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How to talk to dr about emotions

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Depression and Coping
Ok guys I've got a question. I've been on disability for a year now. My LTD carrier approved me almost immediately so they don't seem to have a question about my disability. My SSD claim is on appeal which is pretty normal I guess. And the LTD's lawyer picked up the appeal so I guess they feel they have a decent chance of getting approval. So an insurance company and a lawyer seem to feel my disability is legitimate.

My problem is my neurologist. I have been seeing him for almost two years now. When I see him (every month because of insurance requirement) I feel like he is doubting me. We have tried many medications but I have had complications with each. Other treatments have been ruled out by specialists.

What I noticed along the way is that certain anti-depressants that I was trying for pain relief had the side effect of calming me. I'd really like to try them again but don't know how to ask him. I feel that if I explain this to him he will think I am just looking for a new problem to add to my SSD claim. It sure wouldn't hurt the claim but it's not my primary reason for wanting to try this.

I need to stay with this neurologist until next Spring because of my no-fault claim. I've thought about looking for another but don't want to complicate things. So I'm trying to figure out how to speak to him about this without making him think it's an insurance ploy. Any ideas?


  • Kris is all you can do is explain it to them. They may not right it up as a depression issue, but might prescribe the meds. If it is a depression issue, they might want to send you out to a professional whom deals with depression. But all you can do is explain your situation and see how it goes. It is always so important to be up front and honest with a doctor.
  • As Tam says, they may want to refer you out to a professional... I don't really think your neuro should be handling anxiety issues (which is usually how they write up the needing calming issue).

    You might be better off coming right out and saying that you've noticed that you are feeling more anxious as time goes by and that one effect of the nerve pain meds he had tried in the past helped this problem. Would it be possible for him to handle that or will he need to refer you to someone better suited to handling that kind of issue?

    What I noticed with my sister in law when she was having a LOT of anxiety due to her dad being ill... her primary was willing to try all sorts of entry level drugs maybe you'd call them... because he thought she was depressed... it wasn't until she came right out and said... "I'm NOT depressed, I'm ANXIOUS... about everything and I need to calm down" that he was able to find something (xanax) that worked well for her.

    It would suck if he feels you're looking for more stuff to pad the SSA claim with... could you possibly say that that is part of it all as well... waiting on the news and realizing he is not necessarily believing you about how you are not feeling calm?

    Last thing... I've been saying anxious, rather than wanting calm because they really don't seem to "get it". Perhaps it's all the write ups on the meds... maybe it's something else... but they do tend to understand anxiety.

    I wish you luck with him.
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  • Thank you both. After I posted this yesterday I started to think about exactly what I am feeling. I was thinking that it must be depression since the drugs that seemed to help were the anti-depressants. But what I feel is more of an anxiety. Perfect example is going to the store...as soon as I walk in I can't wait to get out. I'm worried about getting my things to the car and into the house.

    I think you are right that I need to tell the doctor how I am feeling. I'm getting very upset about the lack of success with all these drugs. The one I am on now is awful. I go between exhaustion and jitters. I'd rather have the symptoms and pain than live like this.

    Again thanks for your support.
  • Kris,

    The advice given has been great. The only thing I can add is you "tell him like it is", eg, how it effects your day to day, your extended activities, what the medications (do or don't) do etc. You have to be straight, and hopefully he will get it.

    As for disability and such, keep that topic out, and focus on YOURSELF is my thoughts.. I hope this helps.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,435
    I do especially agree that a neurologist might not be the best specialist to discuss concerns/issues regarding depression.

    I think they all understand that anyone who has been dealing with chronic pain for a long period of time is very opt to have some form of depression.

    But a more qualified specialist might be required.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • HI,
    I agree with what others have said...you have to be honest with your dr. about how you feel and what you need.. I was just accepted for SSD, after only 32 days...a record, I think.... Anyway, my spine dr's are fine for surgery, but I get all my pain meds, antidepressants and anxiety meds (xanax is great) through my primary dr. Even my pain dr., said all he can do is injections, that don't work for me. But my primary knows the "total me" and is always available and willing to try whatever might work. Just a thought... Feel better..
    PS I'm in NY near Albany, are you anywhere near here?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    All the above posts...such great advice!
    It can be nerve racking trying to communicate with docs. I know to be honest about everything..but I remember being nervous about walking in with my cane...I thinking doc would be thinking I'm trying to exaggerate my situation.

    So, I know those feelings of ..like not wanting to rock the boat. Seeing a shrink and therapist is one of the best investments in myself that I have made.
    My depression and anxiety issues. Depression I was physically familiar with..but I didn't even know I had anxiety issues.

    Doc explained how even though I'm acting all calm on the outside..anxiety manifests in other ways,also.
    All that to say...with pain 24/7...it's not unusual at all to have depression and or anxiety.

    As I write to you I telling self, also..tell doc how you're feeling and responding to treatments and meds. Antidepressants have been a God send to me.
    All the best to you!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hey Kris,

    Just checking in, wondering how you are doing? Did you get a chance to see an md about this?

    Hoping you are feeling better or at least on the road towards it!
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