Reading your own file...

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by ThePhantomLady, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    Is it ever a good idea?

    When I trained as a healthcare service secretary in 2012 we were told that patients (here in Denmark at least) usually had insight and right to insight in their own medical records; but it was problematic when applied to mental help treatments. Often most of it would be blacked out if the patient was allowed insight at all.

    This was to spare the patient as it could be difficult to deal with certain things in writing, away from a professional.

    I remembered this when I pretty much helped my my last therapist back in 2012 write my records of our sessions. (I think she wanted to help me learn the systems and give me some confidence)... and I later found out that the website you can use to check your medical records had all the notes on my mental health, word for word. I've read it through a few times and it always has the same effect. I end up crying. (especially because I faked recovery with that therapist while in truth I was getting worse...)

    I was curious tonight and wanted to see if there were any records written on my wrist yet... I was a bit curious if I could even see the x-ray...

    I refrained from re-reading the notes from the previous therapist this time... and I was actually a bit sad there were nothing new from the new one yet.

    I honestly don't think it would have been healthy for me to read that. We had a very honest talk about some very, very tough things such as SH, suicidal impulses and abuse etc...

    What do you think? Should that even be available to a patient??
  2. Deety

    Deety Well-Known Member

    I don't know if it's a good idea, but I do believe it should be the right of all patients. It is the law where I live that a patient can have access to their records, however the organisation that holds the records has the right to withhold them if they think it will affect the individual's safety, and they generally have someone with the patient when they read them.
    I plan to read my records from my hospitalisations last year when a bit more time has gone by. I am a health professional myself, and am very curious as to their perspective versus my own.
  3. undercoverlover

    undercoverlover Well-Known Member

    i do believe its a right, but i dont think its always a good idea. things that are said are from a medical perspective and arent always kind. sometimes they arent even correct. i always get frustrated reading my medical records. i have one that i read from time to time from my first inpatient hospitalization and it makes me incredibly sad every time i read it. i just try not to do those things anymore. but as i said earlier, i do believe as patients we have a right to access those things.
    SillyOldBear likes this.
  4. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    I agree with others that, yes, it should be a right but that it is not always a good idea. I also was able to read my past psychiatric records and, at the time, it was really hard to read some of what was written -- sometimes I think I wish I could re-read those now (15 years later) to help myself see what progress I have made but I do not think I should read my records from my current therapist. I think that would be a negative for me -- especially since I tend to tease things apart and try to read between the lines.

    But it should absolutely be a RIGHT. Just not sure it is always GOOD. Depends on the person.