Doctor Confidentiality

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Breathe, Apr 27, 2009.

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  1. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    I was wondering if anyone could help me find some information.

    I am trying to find out my rights in confidentiality, where does the border to where they can release information to my parents stop?

    I am 16 living within England (if the rules differ from other countrys)

    The information I can find includes if you are under 16 so my age is a grey area. What can i expect when disclosing with doctors?
  2. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Given you are not under 16 then they don't have to feed anything back to your parents. The only time they will break confidentiality is if you are an immediate/severe danger to yourself or others but that won't necessarily be to parents. that is obviously very objective, but they can't do it lightly.

    ETA that when I was 23 they broke confidentiality on me, to my parents, so it can happen at any age. Mine, however, was because they were putting me under a section, all the other times I had gone to people and told them exactly how rough I felt, they didn't say anything.
  3. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your help :smile:

    Is it wise to keep things on the down low if you fear they will tell your parents?

    I fell suicidal often, I am a regular self harmer and i have bad bouts of anger though I can keep it inside most of the time. I am afraid they will relay this to my parents before I get a chance to tell them of my own choice.

  4. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    I think its far better to tell the truth because then at least you stand a chance at getting through the feelings. They can only truly help you if they know the truth. The only person it hurts by keeping it inside is yourself, and you will be the only one who suffers. If you tell people, then they should generally want to help and support you.

    If you are worried about them being told outside your control (you said 'before I get a chance to tell them of my own choice') maybe choose to tell them before you go to the doctors so you have that freedom to be honest?
  5. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    About 3 years ago, my psychiatrist rang my wife to say she thought I was going to 'go off on one' and to hide my passport. she was right, I was going to :tongue:

    In all seriousness, they are obliged to inform a nearest relative if you could be a harm to yourself and/or others, furthermore they will inform the police if the situation dictates the necessity.
  6. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    In my experience, telling them won't make it better but it can sure as hell make it worse. Keep quiet about self-harm.
  7. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you had whatever negative experience you had, but not all experiences are like that. Plenty more people tell the truth without those outcomes and negative experiences, than those who tell the truth and do have negative outcomes.
  8. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    But there's no reason to state that you're suicidal or self-harming. They can't do anything in particular to help with those things other than treating depression as a whole - but they can violate confidentiality and perhaps section you for it.
  9. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    How can they effectively help you unless they know the full truth? They can help what they know, but if they know everything, then they stand to be able to help you more specifically (for example in the case of SI, referring you to someone who is trained to deal with SI, or who specialises in SI therapy, or an SI nurse, etc).

    Yes, they can do those things, but those happen in very few circumstances, and is an extreme. There are far more other common outcomes than that.
  10. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    So they cant help me with self harming? Or my suicidal feelings?
    :unsure: oh..That is the only reason I saw a doctor. Maybe I should not see the psychiatrist then.
  11. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    They can help you if you want them to, but they can only help if they know the truth. It's quite a limited perception that they can't help you with those things. In fact, some therapies are specifically designed to help with self harm and suicidal ideation/thoughts/actions, etc.
  12. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    But the more i ask this question the more i look into it, i see parents being told, people sinking deeper into depression, meds not working and people being forced into theapry. This was not a good idea. The clinic is phoning up today i dont know what to do.
  13. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    What is it you wanted from telling the doctor? What did you want them to do?

    I think it's important to say that its never an easy road to recover from any sort of mental health problems, and yes, there will be bumps and traumas, but just because it might be hard doesn't mean it is not worth doing. It's also important to say that it can be hard to find what works, but that's why people do try different meds, and therapies, but some people find what works instantly.

    Only you can make the choice as to whether or not you want help. It may help you to think about what you do want from them, and what help you will accept (if you decide to accept any) because you are in control here.

    Another option is to try something like talking to Connexions Direct or Childline and see what they say or what they can do to help. Connexions Direct in particular may be very useful.
  14. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    I wanted help to stop it, i mean i've just cut now :nerves: I dont want an arm of scars. But i want help quietly so i'm not a failure in front of my family or friends. i dont want them to see the real me

    what am i supposed to do?
    they phone in a couple of hours
    either i admit everything and spend weeks in hell
    or i carry on saying nothing it wrong and live with the depression and self harming till i finally top myself :unsure:

    I'm rubbish at making decisions.
    I'm panicking
  15. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    Take some deep breaths. In for four, hold for two, and out for five.

    Why would you spend weeks in hell if you tell the truth?

    Which is worse? Potentially weeks in hell (going by what you said) or a lifetime of distress?

    Only you can make the decision. The fact you went to the doctors shows what you really want though. It's normal to be anxious and scared, afterall, its a hugely scary thing, but sometimes conquering those fears can bring the best outcomes.

    It is your choice and you are in control. Remember that.
  16. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    yes my life. keep forgetting that my sister was what you could say "wild" so my parents keep me on a short leash. The breathing helped thank you.

    I'm afraid, seriously afraid for some reason of waking up to my mum asking me if i'm okay mentally like she used to. I'm afraid my parents will act like they did when they initally found out (they think i am fine now) afraid that my friends will look at me differently and my mum will spread the news to everyone she knows :sad:

    Before now for a few days i was hollow i did not feel happiness or depression. :unsure: I could of lived with that right? Either that or i could end it now save all this hassle and grief, and i have never actually seriously considered it. yes I've had thoughts and ideas but...god i'm a mess. i wish i had not made this damn thread now.
  17. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    It's ok to be afraid. I actually really hear that fear. Do you want to talk about what happened when your parents found out before?

    I don't know what happened, but I'm inclined to think it was something that invalidated how you feel which makes you scared for them to know again?

    Sometimes we think suicide is an easy way out, but it's not easy at all. You can get through this phone call, however scary it is. If you decide they can't help you, there are other ways to get help, like I mentioned up there :)

    Keep talking.
  18. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    I do not know. My mind and my heart is just screaming for them not to know. Well not screaming more like quivering and trying to hide that part of me.

    When my parents found out?
    You should of seen the way my mum tore down my sleeve in the middle of me explaining a joke, my mask slipped that time. you really should of seen her eyes bulging with anger and the way she hissed "why" at me. I honestly have nightmares about it.
    They never let me alone, monitored what i did on the internet and would not let me touch a razor for a few days till they gave into my demands as i needed to shave my legs and such. That is why i left my old account, they believe this forum tells me how to cut and encourages it. they threatened to kick me out, to put me in a mental institution or force me in front of doctors who would lecture me. they made the whole thing dramatizing.
    They also made me go cold turkey on self harming while i was addicted to it. And everytime i got a little tearful or they told me off, they would...well my mum...:unsure: she would make me strip to my underwear and she would inspect my body for cuts. :nerves: It was traumatizing and embarrassing. as a 16 year old i have complaints about my body as it is but to have to show it off to your mum. :cry:

    my mum offered for her shoulder to cry on or talk to her, my father kept quiet he doesn't know how to deal with that stuff, he is a good father but he finds it hard to talk about emotions like me. But how could i talk to them after that? Wow i never really thought of it. These emotions are just unearthing.

    I've lost count of how many times i have cut in the last 10-15 minutes. only 1 cm but i cut in the same place over and over, deeper and deeper. I've hitting the same place for a week now i am going to have a hell of a scar.

    My mums home now. She's asked why i have been crying, i've made up some bullshit answer. She cant see the cut as my watch covers it. I have gotten past feeling suicidal and gone back to feeling numb, some kinda bliss i guess. i hate mood swings.
  19. Breathe

    Breathe Well-Known Member

    I think i said too much in the last post...
    still waiting for that phone call, i want it over and done with. I dont know what i am going to say yet but still... i'll say something.
  20. Scum

    Scum Well-Known Member

    You didn't say too much, don't worry.

    To be honest, your parents have reacted in a pretty standard way, and that is with fear. They just sound absolutely terrified but also like they don't properly know how to cope or deal with the fact that their child is hurting so much. If it did come down to them knowing, maybe you could try and educate them about what they could do that would help you. That way they might react better and in a less detrimental and degrading way.

    Please make sure your cut is clean, and look after it.
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