Kaiser Permanente mental health staff have injured me and my relationship with my family due to a hasty and inappropriate misdiagnosis with which I vehemently disagree. Since age 19, I have had a diagnosis of mild to moderate depression, with no intent to harm myself or others. I have never owned or operated any firearms. For decades, I took one of the older antidepressant medications which
seemed to help me.
In June 2011, my husband and I experienced several mechanical malfunctions of equipment in our home in rapid succession. This included problems with failures of our clothes washer, microwave oven, a new digital camera, and a car battery. Also, the provider of cable, Internet and telephone service to our home was involved with several interruptions of service. This was due to a router problem, as my husband found out several weeks later.
The difficulties escalated into almost daily verbal harangues between the two of us, due to my husband's meticulous attempts to fix the problems and refusal to call any outside technicians. Since we were both experiencing sleep problems, I felt exhausted, pressured, and rebellious. Despite his warnings, I made one thoughtless decision to include two mildly vulgar terms on a greeting card to be presented to a member of our family. This created a difficult scene in a local restaurant, where four adults ended up yelling at each other.
Subsequently, a harried Kaiser social worker branded me with a totally unfounded diagnosis of severe mental illness. This was by observation only, and no testing was ever done on me to corroborate this. The lead psychiatrist, who is employed by Kaiser only to dispense psychiatric medications, called the police. The inference was that I would descend into homelessness unless I was treated with medications. Later, this psychiatrist insisted my family force me to ingest a drug for psychosis and schizophrenia. I had tried two medications before at his direction, and stopped them due to intolerable side effects. This final drug made me so incoherent that was driven to a local hospital, and a week-long, involuntary admission took place in a locked psychiatric ward. I stopped taking the anti-depressant I had been prescribed decades before. After a week, when I was threatened with commitment through the county court, I was forced to leave the hospital due to non-compliance with their drug treatment plan, taken to a local motel by taxi using the hospital voucher system for indigent persons, and left there alone with no
car, wallet, money or telephone.
In October 2011, we thought we might receive some help via the Kaiser emergency doctors for another verbal argument over another intense disgreement. However, this produced an overnight observation
of me alone, although it was my husband who had been abusive. I was sent to a non-Kaiser facility and placed in a locked psychiatric ward, where I refused another strong drug suggested by an unknown psychiatrist who talked to me for 15 minutes. Then, I was also ejected from that hospital.
More than $1,000 of co-pays were demanded for the two involuntary hospital stays (Providence St.
Vincent Hospital and Portland Adventist Hospital). Despite my protests, neither Kaiser Permanente nor Medicare have done anything to help me ameliorate these extraordinary situations or relieved me of paying either of these amounts. Trying to amend, redact or seal an erroneous and frequently preposterous medical record -- filled with inaccuracies and misstatments -- is an effort in total futility.
I am still responsible for $200 from the second hospital, which has sent the bill to a local collection agency, as of March 22, 2012, where it continues to accrue interest.
Unless you are prepared to believe that there is a pill to cure every mental health challenge, you may find Kaiser treatment injurious and intractable. We are now working with other providers, including a community mental health group, to deal with behavior and communication challenges in a
long-term marriage. One can only wonder how much big pharmaceutical companies are involved in turning health care organizations into pill-pushing entities with no recourse for persons who cannot or will not take pills.