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jeauxbertjjeauxbert Posts: 953
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Pain Management
So, I go to my PMs office yesterday for my usual one month visit.

As I'm sitting there, the Nurse Practitioner is looking through my file and asks if the psychologist and I have gone over the results of the MMPI that I took several weeks back. I said "No.. Why? Is it bad?"

The NP said, "Well...., according to his report, 'due to your depression' you will probably not get any relief from the stimulator, and are not a good candidate."

:jawdrop: :O

I told him that I am about sick and tired of "MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS" telling me I am depressed! I AM NOT DEPRESSED!!! I am sad on the days that I am in more pain than usual due to my activities. But, in no way shape or form feel that I should have a diagnosis of DEPRESSION!

Furthermore, I said, he probably just wants me to start coming in to see him (you know - can never have too many patients!) and the NP said, "Well, as a matter of fact, he would like to see you just a few times". Hmph. So, he thinks I am depressed and he can "cure me" with just a "few" visits?

The NP asked if I wanted to go through with the trial anyways. Well, HELL YEAH! I am tired of being on all this medication. Making sure I take it on time to "stay ahead of the pain" and making sure I have my prescriptions so I can fill them, and be sure I can FIND the dang things, feeling as though I am weak for having to take them, and finally really hacked off at my body for desserting me when I needed it the most.

Angry? Yeah. Frustrated? Fer sure. Depressed? Oh Puleeze. ~X(

So the NP spoke with my PM and my PM was surprised at the impression the psych came up with. So, I have another appt scheduled in a few weeks - one with my PM and one with the psych. That ought to be a fun visit there, let me tell you. My childhood was a great one. I was well-cared for, and loved. I was picked on my my 4 older siblings (isn't every child?), neither my father or any male relatives "messed with" me. I was and have always been a champion for the underdog, whether I knew them or not.... Went to a catholic school and had friends at school and around my neighborhood.

I could go on and on, but, I will save it for the "shrink". I sure do want to give him a small piece of my mind. Who does he think he is? :W

Am I the only one who has ever failed a test where the answers are your very own opinion basically? :SS

Thanks my friends. Have a good day.



  • Hiya Jeaux >:D<
    Oh i totally understand where you are coming from with this one :) . My (GP)family doctor asked me how i was feeling when i saw him not the other day but last month when i saw him, i said i was in so much pain and i just want someone to help me ~X( . He said i was depressed, i said im not depressed i get fed up on days when the pain is intolerable ~X( , which anyone would. He insisted i was depressed X( , by this time i was going off on one, =; so he said he would give me more tablets see me in a months time @) . Omg i was angry X( . It is fair to say when you get pain day in day out, but some days you can just get on with it :) , and other days it just pulls you down I) . I disagree that this is depression :| . I worked in mental health and have seen many types of depression 8} , so being just fed up is not depression :? .PM me any time you want to vent! ~X(

    Angie x :H
  • Thanks for responding.

    You know, sometimes I wonder just who the doctors work for? Us or the Medicine Companies?

    Stubbed your toe? Here fill this prescription and come back to see me.

    Ear ache? Here fill this prescription and come back to see me.

    Feeling mad/angry at the world? Here take this pill and come back to see me.

    I have read posts from our fellow posters here in our Depression and Coping forum. Yeah, you can definitely see depression there. My heart goes out to them, too. I can't imagine feeling that helpless and hopeless.

    Well, at least I'm not the only person who gets frustrated with myself. Thanks again Angie!


  • Last year dealing with a herniation for the first time of my life was hard. This kind of pain was new to me and I was overwhelmed.
    One day my doctor said I looked like I was going to cry. Yeah,driving with an L4-5 herniation can do that. I said I'm not depressed, I hurt and it sucks. She started on depression and I squashed that right there. I said being in this pain is "discouraging" and I felt frustrated. Don't put that label on me,I said my pain IS real.
    Once depression appears on your chart, is like you're not believed for anything at first. It can hinder or slow down treatment, esp.if you're a female. Years ago I had abdominal pain and the doctor thought is was mental. My husband took me to the ER, I had a 10mm ovarian cyst. Then the psychosomatic cyst ruptured a week later and I had emergency surgery. See my point?
    If course you feel down. Who wants to be in constant pain? It is a situational discouragement caused by a clinical injury. The doctor is on the ball asking for a redo of that psych evaluation. I personally wouldn't tell any doctor I feel depressed, that's my decision, and I have avenues to deal with it. Family, mental fortitude, and my friends here at SH.
  • Exactly! I have been treated by this PM for the past 3 or 4 years. She suggested my surgery. I had it. I have had all the work up and testing she has requested and everything has come back with exactly what she figured it would: The herniation. My symptoms were classic - she called it "text book". Then the permanent nerve damage. And now, the scar tissue.

    My PM is definitely on the ball with my care. I have cried in front of her. I have also told her I've come to terms with my impairment/limitation. She said "no you haven't" - and she's right (grr). I accept it, but I don't like it one bit - I like being in control of my surroundings and not vice-versa. And my PM knows - IF I am depressed, it is secondary to my pain and not the other way around.

    Thanks for your advice. It is well-received.

    Take care!

  • Hang in there! I think it's great that your PM is willing to go to bat for you! I have a wonderful relationship with both my PM doc's and they seem to be able to move mountains for me when it's necessary.

  • You know how much I value your opinions. :)
    (no, seriously, I really, REALLY do value them! No Kidding!)

  • If you didn't pass it...I would hate to see what kind of grade they would give me??....lol "Oh dear, call the cookie truck and hide the women and children"
  • I failed a PERSONALITY test!!!! I know this is not the same, but seriously! I was put through management training for this company I was working for. They were so impressed with me, they rushed me though the course, without having first given me this "personality" test. It was a "test" of "no right or wrong answers" AND I FAILED!!!! They couldn't give me the management job (My shift was 10pm-4am, classes 11am to 4pm for 3 months) and they wouldn't give me the management job, because of this "test" OMG was I ticked!!! It was all questions like "how do you think classmates rated you in school" "How do you think your classmates would rate your grades (top of class etc)"

    And as for depression, I have been there! I went to my PM, and brought them a post I had made, on one of my down days. They immediately said (even insisted) that I am depressed. Well yah, maybe that day I was a little depressed. But who wouldn't be a little blue, given the situation I am dealing with? Doctors who pass me around like a hot potato, doctors who wont listen, being in too much pain to make breakfast for my toddler... who wouldn't break down and cry? I didn't need antidepressants, I needed HELP with my pain!!! ~X(

    I hope your next visit goes well. I am sure that your PM will be able to get a good idea of your mental health, and proceed with what you need... Good Luck!

    Hugs and Kisses from a friend!
  • I think that in lots of cases people with chronic pain do suffer from depression. Not a mental defect or weakness but depression caused by chronic pain. I am suffering from anxiety with a touch of depression (nothing major) that was not there before my chronic pain but caused by my chronic pain. I am seeking help for it because I would rather not deal with the anxiety on top of the chronic pain. I never thought about the fact that I would be labeled and have all of my ailments chalked up to the depression. After reading this post I am somewhat sorry that I chose to seek help for it.
  • If the psychological exam only included the MMPI and not the BHI2 or BBHI2, you can fight that easily.

    The MMPI is a personality inventory. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The BHI2 and BBHI2 examine the psychosocial issues that specifically impact the likelihood of health improvement. It looks at your diagnosis, your description of your symptoms, your description of your pain levels, your description of your activity limitations, and your acknowledgement of anxiety/depression. All of your answers are processed statistically and the results are compared to the results obtained from "normal" people AND from other chronic pain patients

    If neither of those tests were included in the psychological evaluation, I would request a re-evaluation from another psychologist.

    If either of those tests were included in the evaluation, I'd probably thank the stars above, because those tests are extremely reliable for predicting SCS success. As hard as it is to be told you didn't "pass" those tests, it would be nothing compared to going through the entire SCS process and finding out you're no better off than you were - or worse, having to go through the SCS explantation surgery.
  • Good morning everyone,
    For me the pain just drains me...and then depression and anxiety come on. Then if there are any other problems in my life,I'm not at my best to cope with them. I don't really care what any tests might say (psychologically anyway). My pain has been going on a long time though, so I'm probably at a different place than you Jeaux. When you are depressed you will know it...and you don't sound like you are! I think Dr.s think they are being helpful by suggesting depression. Because they don't know what to do to help you.
    Same with just writing a script...But for me...I believe I had a breakdown last fall/winter....I told my Dr. I was in need of something, and he gave me Zoloft. He didn't say "go see a psychologist a "few times", (that is ridiculous). I also in the past "failed" the test to see if I was really hurt. And could return to work...(can't remember what it's called) The guy actually told me I was a malingerer! 3 months later I had major surgery on my shoulder and my surgeon "couldn't imagine the pain I'd been dealing with".
    So don't let them get to you....you know yourself better than anybody! Hope you get to do your trials and have a great sunny day! (it's 29 degrees where I am) Sagehen
  • OMG! I am so with you on this one.
    My doctor, Like many on posts above, wanted to label me DEPRESSED too - why?
    Because i was crawling the walls in agony, tears and distress.

    I said "I am in Pain not depressed. You take my pain away I will skip out of this room happy as can be!"

    Labels are so hard. Just because the med books say long term chronic pain = depression doesn't mean we all are.
    I believe that some persons are truely depressed and pain may even be a symptom for their mental pains, they kind of linger in that part because they do not know how to get out.

    I would go ahead and see the professional to show them how wrong they have you so that you can re-apply for the pain stimulator. How dare they! X(
    Good luck!
  • Oh these tests are the bain of my life. I had one when I had my emergency hysterectomy, had cervical cancer and the doc thought I was depressed as I was coping so well with the hysteerectomy and I hadn't had children of my own.

    The tests showed I had the thought processes of a man and that I was happy and of a logical disposition. At the end of the day I got prescribed antidepressants....Hubby has genetic condition, we had said that if we had genetic counselling and testing and the chances were more than 20% we would either foster or adopt children if we wanted them. At the time I was struggling enough with my health issues and my husbands health to even think about raising kids properly.

    Had to see the doc about my health again as pain has started being an issue again as has my arthritis. He said to me I think you need antidepressants as you haven't been at work for 6 months. I said I haven't been at work for 6 months as I have a bad back and Im awaiting surgery. I fought with him and persuaded him I wasnt depressed.

    Saw him a while later as my feet had swollen to over 50cm each foot - his diagnosis = Depression.

    Hubby then saw a different doc about his health issues - joint dislocations etc - Hubby walked out of the docs room not a happy man, His joints were depressed!

    I think these docs are being paid by these depression medication companies for however many prescriptions they fill out.

    Sorry you failed your test Jeaux, you know yourself better than anyone else. You say you are happy, you're happy, if you are having a bad day, you're having a bad day. What Im trying to say is you are more than able to say to someone you are struggling and need help.

    So hunnie, listen to your body and mind and be true to yourself. You are doing a great job and you have a lovely personality that shines through here at SH.

    Take care
    Love Danni xxxxxx hugs xxxxxx
  • You are all great. Each of you. And I thank you all for your replies.

    BionicWoman: I do believe it was just the MMPI. The doc asked me generalized questions for about an hour. Then, I had to look at a bunch of pictures. Immediately, I was shown more pictures (each page had 2 pictures and I had to choose which one was in the group I had looked at not 1 minute beforehand). I took a test that had over 200 questions to which I only had to answer true or false (NOT everything is either true or false, you know? Sometimes, it could be maybe, or possibly....) and in the middle of that I had to stop and look at more pictures and decide which ones I had seen before... The whole thing took me about an hour and a half. So, I'm not sure if that is what the BHI2 or the BBHI2 consist of....

    I am looking forward to speaking with him again, believe it or not. I want to be sure he realizes that IF I am depressed at all, it is BECAUSE of my back. I'm not having back problems BECAUSE I am depressed. Because, Lord have mercy! IF that were the case.... I'd gladly take "happy pills" and feel better, you best believe that, yeah!

    If anything, I think I am more uptight and Anxious than I am depressed. Too much to do; too little time to do it. With my husband's recent injuries (broken leg at work - great now a WC issue and Short term/possibly running into long-term disability. He had surgery 2 weeks ago where there was a plate and some screws put in) my Mother being treated for lung-cancer and diminished mental capacity, my sister (who moved from Alaska to help me care for her and my dad) is moving BACK to Alaska at the end of the month, and my Dad's recent diagnoses of COPD, Emphysema (no doubt from my Mother's chain smoking - grrr) and Macular Degeneration.... AND holding down a full time, demanding job, and taking care of 3 boys.... Anxiety is more my style, dontcha think?


    Well, I said all that to say, Thanks for Your Support!


  • Coming from the mental health side first to chronic pain has given me some weird insights or maybe its the pain talking.
    Its funny(note sarcasm) when you are depressed they will throw medications at you like candy and say you will be fixed.If you hurt, they do whatever they can to avoid medicating you.
  • Glad to be of help. My PM sent me to a neurosurgeon just like you. They thought something could be done. I went and had surgery last June. I'm not doing to well lately and PT is done with me. I get to hear the verdict from NS soon. I don't want to go there and get the cold shoulder due to my nonimprovement. They fixed everything, but I do know I have permanent nerve damage in my right leg. It's been like that since March of last year, and the microdiscectomy iast year didn't help one bit. They say it takes a year for a nerve to heal; it's been over a year with that leg.
    And I still feel the same despite the fusion. The doctor said some people improve, stay the same, or get worse. He did offer a stim trial if things went south, so I wonder if it will come up. I had complications from one and am not anxious to try it again.
    But that's just me. And one more thing, I am still not depressed :D Take care
  • The BHI2 and BBHI2 are essentially the same test, but the BBHI2 is the condensed version; the BHI2 is 217 questions and the BBHI2 is 63 questions. Both test multiple choice tests and are administered either using pencil and paper or a computerized assessment. I've never known anyone that would administered either test verbally.
  • That just sounds so yukky, doesn't it? Several months and several pain docs ago, I was seeing a brand spanking new PM who just finished his training in July. We reallt didn't "hit it off" because he didn't listen to me. He was always getting ready for the next thing he was going to say. He was trying to find a long acting med that I could tolerate (pain meds tend to make me EXTREMELY ANXIOUS and panicky feeling. (At least we don't have to worry about my developing an addiction.). Anyway, the long term drug I was trying was Fentanyl and I couldn't get it to stick. I later learned (here, as a matter of fact) that the patch must adhere completely or the medicine won't get into your body. So----I had reduced the dosage of my short acting drug and I wasn't getting relief from the non-stuck-on Fentanyl so I was in really bad pain for days and days and days. I made an appointment to see my new PM and in his notes which I later saw, he said that I appeared to be depressed. Actually, I was appearing to be in pain. How different would the two appearances be? Not very, would be my guess. He didn't ask. But I did tell him several times that I really had been hurting. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? I'm going for my psych eval for a stimulator next week Wed. --the 15th. I almost think it would be an honor to fail--(in some convoluted sense). In reality I WANT THAT STIMULATOR!!!
  • There's no such thing as 'failed' a psych eval... The tests are there just determine which of 2 or more predefined groups you fit into, not pass/fail, that's such a positive/negative label to slap on it.. You didn't fail, their test is broken.

    I took a VERY large psych eval, consisting of multiple, 100-200+ question written, image, session, etc tests, when fighting for custody of my son; mom was abusing crystal meth heavily, amongst many other things, while our child was present, and I was working full-time drug free and a model citizen.. Wouldn't you know it, I 'failed' mine too. The psychiatrist who conducted the whole testing, found that mom was 'A-OK' even with her speed addiction, and should be with our kid all the time, and that I should see him no more that 4 days a month! I'm a mellow yellow, nice guy, and their tests ALL pegged me wrong.. So, you're not the only one, and man their tests suck.

    Don't feel bad about it in regards to who YOU are, you're fine, but the frustration is unavoidable though, because of the results. Hang in there, and don't let their incorrect assumptions about you ever make you question yourself..!
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