The wonderful Jen Wilson http://jendotwilson.com/ guested for me last time with an article on Talking to Mental Health Professionals or, rather, how mental health professionals should be talking to their clients. Compassion, reliability and some measure of insight feature high up on the list of helpful qualities. Today, I have something to add.
Read the notes! I am absolutely sick of seeing doctors who haven’t actually read my notes. Today I saw one who had no idea I had bipolar, or any history prior to September. It was not helpful.
Each person, well or unwell, in any circumstance, has a narrative. That narrative can be linear, circular, balanced, interrupted, curved, clear, blurry… but every person has one. In terms of medical notes, there is really only one form of narrative: linear, note-formed and sketchy. But it is there to be used, and I am there to fill in the blanks where the narrative fails. Do your job- read the notes- then ask me what else you need to know. I am NOT there to recant every single moment of my mental health history for the last 13 years.
You should have read that.