I was really interested to hear your description of your dissociative episode. It was really well written and I thank you for so clearly describing to me and the community what its like to experience it.
I have witnessed a patient having a dissociative episode in my room and I will tell you that from my side, it was pretty unsettling. I remember talking to my patient and then noticing she had a far away look in her eye. Then I asked her a question directly and she didn’t respond. She then started trembling and looked like she was both frightened and withdrawn at the same time. I didn’t know what I had done wrong. I couldn’t get any response from her and in fact she couldn’t physically move at all. She said later, she just felt “stuck”. I must say I was really happy that this patient had a psychiatrist involved that I could check in with as I wondered what the meaning was of this episode for her at this time and we were both a bit unsure. It was helpful to both of us to have a third member of our “team”.
I’m telling you this because I don’t know if you considered that the psychologist has witnessed something that for you is clearly a horrible, but yet also understandable and not absolutely unfamiliar episode. However, she may have been quite unnerved with the episode and wants to be professional about it and ensure that she gets the best team around you to work toward not slipping into dissociation when things get overwhelming . She may feel that ensuring that she has the right diagnosis, the right understanding of whats going on and ensuring that all pharmaceutical options have been explored is the professionally responsible thing to do.
You say you want your new psychologist to feel comfortable treating you, then I think you have to work as a team with her to allow her to feel comfortable and that she is working responsibly and professionally. Most therapists would indeed refer a patient with dissociation for a psychiatric assessment as dissociation is not a diagnosis, but a symptom . It can occur as a result of many things and being a new patient, I guess she just want to make sure that she is double checking that everything is in order ( e.g. , some people have been known to dissociate due to epilepsy ! So its always important for psychologists to get a medically trained person to check something like this out ) .
Just because you see a psychiatrist doesn’t mean you have to take a new medication. As an active member of the team you can be involved with the plan. It could be something like “Why don’t I try mindfulness, exercise, this new psychologist for 3-6 months and see how things go.. and then if that doesn’t work .. add a peer support group and if that doesn’t work .. then i might come back to thinking about your new medication trial… “ Or whatever. What I’m saying is.. you don’t have to passive , you can be an assertive active member of the team !
So basically, my advice is - let this psychologist find her comfort with you and your symptoms, so if they happen again , she feels ok about it and so do you . Be strong and yet open to new ideas. Don’t be pushed into doing things you honestly don’t want to but keep an open mind.