Don’t be afraid to change medical professionals

If you see a GP or counsellor under the NHS – it is your NHS – owned by the country, working for you.

If you are seeing someone privately – it’s your money. You are the customer.

The first counsellor I saw via the NHS had me in tears after the first session, and not for the right reasons. For me, he was awful. We spent most of the session in silence as he waited for me to say something. For some people this method works – they want to fill the silence, or relish the time as their chance to speak. For me, I have no problem with silence. I needed someone to prompt me, to ask me questions, to encourage me to speak, even if it’s just about the weather.

The next day I went back to my GP, explained what had happened and asked if he could help me get a different one. He did, and she was fantastic. She had me in tears after some sessions too, but for the right reasons. Tears brought on from the natural process of partaking on a course of counselling.

My GP surgery has a policy where you register under a certain doctor, but you’re free to see anyone within the practice. I’ve seen several there when I haven’t been able to get an appointment with my preferred GP. There’s a few I would chose never to see again, and will opt to have an appointment and day or two later rather than have to. The others are okay as a second choice. But it’s my choice.

And it’s your choice. If your doctor or counsellor suggests you do something you don’t want to do, then don’t do it. Obviously there are often things we don’t really want to do, but are in our best interests to. I’m talking more about doing things before you are ready. For example, the GP I saw the other week suggested it might be time to start lowering my anti-depressant dose. I said I would think about it after my wedding. You don’t have to do everything they suggest.

Remember, these are all individual people. They bring their own methods, ideas, attitudes and personalities to the table. Find the one that works for you.

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