The following information is intended for students in psychiatric treatment with Jeff Duffey, MD, but may also be beneficial to a wide range of people and their concerns. Due to a high level of demand for treatment, Dr. Duffey is limited in the the number of times he can see students. Thus to improve efficiency and improve patient education and outcomes, he has provided articles to read, videos to watch and assignments to complete between sessions.
There is an old Alcoholics Anonymous slogan that goes, “It works if you work it.” More importantly, the AA program does not work if you don’t work it.
In this pandemic time, when we are able to offer you less than we want to, you need to face the hard reality that much more is required of you if you are to make it work. I believe it will work if you work it. It is up to you. I am actually excited about what I have been able to put together to help you build a foundation for your ongoing work with another provider after you have seen me four times. So, please do the best you can.
Before your first session, please watch the following video: Tips #1 Getting your bearings in psychiatric treatment, which is the first in the series "Tips for Seeing a Psychiatrist."
After our first session, please download the pdf to the published book my wife, Dr. Barbara Roquemore, and I wrote, SEARCH: A Guide for College and Life. Open it on your desktop and use it as a reference. I will refer to parts of it in the course of your treatment. Here is the pdf. I would encourage you to glance through the table of contents so you will know what is there when situations arise.
- Watch the nine videos in the series "How to Get Ready for College in Trying Times." Here is the link to the YouTube series. It will take you about 45 minutes.
- I expect you to watch TIPS #1 the first video in the series "Tips for Seeing a Psychiatrist." This video will give you an overview of treatment and will help you gear up for what we will be doing during the 4 visits you will have with me.
- You should then watch TIPS #2, which will explain how to go about finding a follow-up provider. Since you will only be seeing me four times, you will need to start this process immediately. There can be a delay from the time you call and the time you can get an appointment with another provider. (I believe there will be two weeks between our first and second visit, two weeks between our second and third visit and four between our third and fourth visit.) If you miss a visit without reason, you will have one visit less. When you miss a visit you not only miss out yourself, but you keep a fellow student from being seen in that time slot and waste the school’s limited resources. We are serious about what we do and we expect you to be also.
- Consult this list of potential providers to identify a physician to see after we conclude our work together.
- Watch TIPS #3 in the series "Tips for Seeing a Psychiatrist," which is designed to amplify our discussion of what it might be like to take medication.
- If you were started on medication, I want you to go to these two websites below and look up the medication and read more about its side effects. It is important that you do this because it is hard to absorb everything you are told during a session. Please bring up in the next session any questions you still have about the medication.
- Read the handout on Zoloft as a representative of the SSRI family and , regardless of whether you are taking an SSRI, read the material on the need for contraception while taking medications.
- Then, watch TIPS #4 which is about unbearable feeling states and other things that are dangerous to overlook in psychiatric treatment.
- I have picked comprehensive articles from the psychiatric literature that go into more detail about different diagnoses. Read the articles that best fit your situation:
Please remember, as you read these articles, that you are not your diagnosis. We use diagnoses to help in decision-making but they are not as real as you are. I have often found that the better I know a person, the less well they fit into a particular diagnostic scheme. We are all complex and, like Harry Stack Sullivan said, we are all more simply human than otherwise. We are all parts of the fabric of humanity.
- https://healgrief.org/actively-moving-forward/ Actively Moving Forward is one part of Healgrief.org that connects actively grieving college students.
- ADJUSTMENT DISORDER
- https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000932.htm discusses adjustment disorders, which usually are not long-term disorders and may involve overreacting behaviorally or emotionally to an identifiable stressor. This website also discusses adjustment disorders:https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-adjustment-disorder#
- Depression Central offers information about the various forms of depression, including bipolar depression. https://www.psycom.net/depression.central.html
- https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000945.htm has an article from the NIH National Library of Medicine about major depression and its treatment.
- www.ConnectingMDD.com offers information about the role of synaptic connections and glutamate signaling in Major Depressive Disorder.
- Some subtypes of major depression are severe enough that some form of psychosis can occur. As a college student, you may notice the cognitive changes first when you find you cannot think well enough to study. You may find yourself holding beliefs about your worthlessness or being a failure that others do not confirm. You may see you are neglecting your appearance or not bathing. You may find yourself not telling others what you think because you feel the thoughts are illogical, or you don’t trust them as you would ordinarily. You may have a sense that a voice is trying to tell you that you are bad or that you should not believe others. You may mistakenly feel very guilty, inadequate, punished, mistreated, or diseased. You may feel very restless and agitated and unable to sleep. You may find yourself preoccupied with your body function, and it may seem like both your bowels and your brain are slowed down. You may experience yourself feeling immobilized and unable to get out of bed. It may be hard to talk about these things because you feel strange about experiencing all this, but it is critical to get help for this immediately because it is treatable, and early treatment can make a real difference. It is also dangerous not to get treatment. It can be life-threatening. It is treated differently than other types of depression. Remember, if you are having too much trouble thinking to study, you may be able medically to withdraw from school without your grades counting against you. When you have gotten help and are better, you may be able to return to school. Here is a discussion. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/psychoticdepression
- OVERVIEWS OF ANXIETY
- GENERALIZED ANXIETY
- PANIC DISORDER
- OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER
- http://ocd.stanford.edu/treatment/resources.html discusses resources, literature, diagnosis, and treatments for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/ TRAUMA
- https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/indexasp is the National Center for PTSD site and covers PTSD from multiple causes
- Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE provides support and information at https://www.rainn.org/after-sexual-assault
- If you are are part of the LGBTQ+ community who has experienced sexual violence, RAINN offers you this resource: https://www.rainn.org/articles/lgbtq-survivors-sexual-violence
- ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDERS
- Psychosis is an umbrella term and not a diagnosis. A psychotic person has difficulty seeing reality. This article discusses the symptoms and potential causes of psychosis. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001553.htm
- Watch TIPS #5 in the video series "Tips for Seeing a Psychiatrist," which is about anxiety reducing techniques you can master yourself.
- Watch TIPS #6 which has to do with stumbling blocks in seeing a psychiatrist
- I expect you to read Chapter 13, “Improving Your Wellbeing” in our book SEARCH : A Guide for College and Life. The pdf. of the book is here. You can find information about substance use in the chapter on impediments to wellbeing.
- Be sure and view video #9 on sustaining hope in the series "How to Get Ready for College in Trying Times" if you have not already.
- I also want you to read the section on Feeling Suicidal in the pdf you have of SEARCH : A Guide for College and Life. It is in chapter 13 , Improving your Wellbeing. In the published print book version it runs from page 184-189.