When dealing with severe pain it’s easy to forget you have a mental illness that requires as much attention, if not more. It’s critical to have the right doctors, I see a Pain Management Doctor for my Chronic Illnesses, a Psychiatrist for my Mental Health and a General Practitioner for everything else. The doctors are not trained to do each others job, a General Practitioner is not qualified to treat chronic Illnesses, including mental illness.
If your only choice is seeing a General Practitioner for chronic or mental illness, you will have to take on additional responsibility to make sure you’re getting the best healthcare. What you can’t expect is a General Practitioner to be a one-stop shop, they have 15 minutes per patient and treat the most common illnesses. Once your 15 minutes is up, you have to save questions for the next appointment.
If seeing a General Practitioner for all your chronic illnesses, go into each meeting expecting three questions to get answered, if the conversation doesn’t go off track. Go prepared with questions, concerns or meds issues but don’t expect more than 15 minutes unless your insurance company allows 30-minute appointments. I schedule 30 minutes with my GP on each visit, that lowers my stress level and allows us to talk more in-depth if needed.
I’m an Ambassador for the U.S. Chronic Pain Foundation Inc., in the latest newsletter, they offered information on chronic illness and mental illness. They are ahead of the curve making mental health information available to those with other chronic illnesses.
Please visit their site, maybe become a Junior Ambassador yourself. http://www.uschronicpainfoundation.org.
U.S. Chronic Pain Foundation Inc. Offers
MENTAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL SUPPORT WEBINARS
“Chronic pain and the risk of suicide: A staggering crisis and what to do about it” with Robert Rosenbaum, PhD, Daniel Lev, PhD, and Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW
“From ow to om: Using mindfulness to reduce pain and stress” with Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW
“ChronicBabe 101: A Q&A with Jenni Grover about thriving with chronic pain” with Jenni Grover
“Pain reduction through grounding: An exclusive movie showing” with Laura Koniver, MD
“Don’t let pain limit you: Tracking, empowerment, and Ouchie” with Rachel Trobman