The Hamster wheel that is Swedish healthcare

Swedish healthcare have done it again; created an infinite loop of a vicious circle.

Several weeks ago, my primary general physician said he can’t handle the situation regarding my depression and as such he wants to load me off to someone else. He sends me to the emergency psychological clinic. Once I’m there they’re confused because they’re an emergency clinic – they don’t take over treatments and I wasn’t nearly depressed enough at that point to actually need to go there – they were confused and so was I. I tried to explain this to my physician also before going to this clinic – this psychiatric clinic will at most prescribe some concoction that makes you feel like crap – then they send you home saying “if it doesn’t get matter or if it gets worse, you’re welcome to return”. There’s no follow-up, there’s nothing, it’s all on the patient to come back and wait potentially for hours, over and over. My physician insisted that I’m wrong; he says it might have been like that but things change and so on. I eventually got tired of the discussion so I went to the clinic.

One good thing came out of this visit though; they did notice at this place that I already have a psychiatrist, which means I should easily get an appointment there within two weeks.

One must wonder why my physician didn’t see this in my records. The people at this clinic, the long-term clinic, said they’d no longer keep me as a patient after 2016 ends. Perhaps the reason my physician was unable to see this were due to blocks in the medical records. Records from psychiatric clinics are automatically blocked to everyone outside psychiatric care and inaccessible without my consent, if I understood it correctly.  My physician had already written a referral but I’d have to wait at least one or two months longer to get there. Instead I got an appointment within two weeks. Once more primary doctor wants this doctor to take over my medications – but he won’t. I’m sent to another clinic – a clinic I have no need for at this time. We did discuss a few things and I got some helpful advice, though that was the extent to which  I was helped by that visit.

Since my primary physician started my treatment, he’s responsible for it until someone takes over. I call my local health clinic so I can get an appointment to discuss an increase in dose. There’s only one small issue, namely that my primary is on vacation, “but only for a week”, the nurse said. If I were to count the number of times someone’s said that to me; “it’s only x weeks, days, hours”, cumulatively I bet we’ll be talking months upon months. It might not seem like much, but for those who have followed this blog, they know I’ve waited several years and years for other things and all these things adds up.

This kind of psychiatric treatment should only be handled by one physician, which means it’s important that there’s a contingency plan when you go away for two weeks (it was a two week vacation with one week remaining). Not this guy though, he assumed. He assumed every time he sent me to these psychiatric clinics that they’d take over. In fairness, I only knew for certain that the emergency clinic wouldn’t do what my physician said they would – still he assumed.

I now sit here today, with an appointment to a different doctor, not knowing if she’ll prescribe this antidepressant or not. I’m being treated for depression and anxiety – my primary has sent me to three different places with complete uncertainty as to what’s going to happen. Now I have to wait and see if this person will help me. When I spoke with the nurse yesterday and she said I’d likely have to wait a week, I had an anxiety attack for the first time in months. Keep in mind that I’m not asking for narcotics here; these antidepressants cannot be used “recreationally”. Can anyone else see the irony here? I’m being treated for anxiety and my primary physician bounces me around like a football, making assumptions – and then he go on vacation without a contingency plan.

Many of you might think, reading this that I have major mental health issues but that isn’t generally the case. I’ve had similar things happen a few times before; one of the worst, apart from this one, was caused by low levels of testosterone which can wreak havoc on your system, physically and mentally. Otherwise it’s been a few weeks and I’m better again. I am treated for depression and have been for a long time, but it doesn’t affect my life. This time the depression was triggered for other reasons. I can’t go in to details but suffice to say, my physician will get reported for improper care to IVO (some content available in English and other languages). They’re the organization responsible of making sure that the healthcare in Sweden lives up to the quality standards – if you’re mistreated, a physician makes a mistake that could reasonably have been avoided, they can get reprimanded – but it seems to take a lot for the doctor to receive something other than a slap on the wrist.

What’s so sad is that the person I now call my primary really isn’t my primary. I’ve had him for a year maybe, but my regular primary is home with child. That doctor actually helped me. The one I have now, as soon as it gets worse, I get less support and when I get better, I get more. I also feel a bit sorry for him since my list of illnesses is long and the number of specialists involved are many, and he’s the one in the middle of all this. Let’s see if I can get more appropriate care the 24th.


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