What I (should) tell my medical doctors

crop doctor with stethoscope in hospital

“And what medications are you taking?”  Yeah, I’m on a cocktail of 4 drugs for a mental illness, 2 of which are antipsychotics. “And what are you taking these for?”  Bipolar disorder.  I’m sure you’ve heard of one or two murderers who’ve also been diagnosed with that.  But I swear my stomach pain has nothing to do with hysterics.  This is how the conversation goes in my mind.  I dread disclosing my diagnosis and medications to a new doctor.  I usually do but haven’t always.  This probably falls under the category of unwise, but I can’t help but feel I’ll get less than optimal medical care if a mental illness diagnosis is known.  I will definitely tell my primary during my annual exam.  The dentist though got a “Nope, not taking anything” response.  Which makes absolutely no sense.  Is he going to tell me my cavity is really a symptom of bipolar and to follow up with the psychiatrist?  And even though I didn’t disclose to my dentist I still felt like he could somehow read on my face that I’m not quite with it all the time. 

A doctor-patient relationship doesn’t follow the norm.  It’s unusual in that you skip the chit-chat and spit out all your garbage up front.  You hope that the very human doctor can compartmentalize it, while not neglecting to acknowledge that perhaps the medications or the illness might be related to the physical complaint.  And good luck explaining to the sensitive patient if anything bipolar is the source of the problem.

For the doctors reading this, sorry but there’s nothing you can say to assure me if I’m your patient.  In fact, any extra scrutiny in that direction will probably just make it worse.  This is something that I must deal with and resolve on my own.

The logical course- tell ALL of my doctors everything.  Don’t hold back.  If I feel dismissed, discuss it with my doctor or find another one.  

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