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Doctors Attitude

I recently took my 22 year old to see a doctor in Craigieburn - I insisted on going in with her as she has a history of depression after a sexual assault when she was 15 years old and suffering from PTSD.  I have been concerned about her mental health and insisted that I go in with her to see the doctor as she keeps being given medication but her anxiety and depression has taken hold of her again. 
I have to say that I was shocked and disgusted by the doctors response.  The Indian female doctor didn't ask what medication my daughter was on and asked her about her history and then proceeded to tell us that my daughter should build a wall and put the past behind her and stop thinking about the incident.  From there she told my daughter to keep busy and do exercise, when we said that she is working, studying and does exercise she said that she should rest more then.  I then interjected and said that I am concerned that the medication  is not suitable for her, the doctor said that she is lucky to be living in Australia and that the she the doctor has a sore finger but that doesn't mean she can stay home and do nothing.
She then dismissed us with no follow up, no more advice and no help whatsoever.
I now have a situation where my daughter sees little point in seeking advice from another doctor as she was totally humiliated

We hear all the time that there is lots of support out there for people suffering from a mental illness but in realtime gaining access to appropriate care and support is almost impossible unless you have a supportive doctor.



Re: Doctors Attitude

Hi Augusta8,

That sounds like a horrible experience. Man Sad

Unfortunately, there's good and bad in most things. I don't want to excuse the behaviour of this doctor, but what I'm trying to say is that not all doctors are like this. Some are especially great, others are not so great.

I had a doctor when I was younger who was not so great, and it also put me off seeing a doctor. Eventually I got quite unwell, and needed to see a doctor, but luckily I found a gem and have been with her since. For me it made the world of difference. 

I don't think it's appropriate for doctors to behave the way the doctor did with your daughter, and I wonder if it's worth making a complaint? I think you can do it through the Health Commission.

Does your daughter have other support? A counsellor? It might also be helpful for you daughter to touch base with youth services so they can point her in the direction of youth friend doctors. There's a youth service called Reach out. Also, sometimes just asking friends or other people in your area if they know of good doctors can be helpful. I'd offer some names, but we're not allowed to on here.


Re: Doctors Attitude

Dear @Augusta8 

I'm so sorry to hear that - no wonder your daughter is struggling to function, and especially with depression. I am also a survivor of CSA and I know that it has been an incredibly debilitating thing in my life. The doctor's response was utterly inappropriate.

But there is light. You might find it helpful reading this article . What your daughter needs is compassionate care (which I'm sure you do "get", unlike the gp).

I think @BeHappy 's suggestions for ways to find a good gp are excellent. Ask people you trust.

In terms of further help for your daughter (she is going to need it, you are right):

1. Has she been to CASA for counselling? They are specialists in this field, it might be a good place to start. There is usually a waiiting list, no idea what their's is like (I waited 6 months to get in at ECASA, but am told it was an unusually long time).

2. Some forums which she might find helpful are: pandora's project which is for survivors of sexual assualt (there is also a section for friends and families). It is US based but open to all. There is also Reach Out which is "Australia’s leading online youth mental health service" for 14-25yo's.

I'm so glad you reached out here - you must be beside yourself with worry about your daughter, and yet in some ways have your hands tied due to her age. I think you are doing a great job persistently looking for helpful help for her. She is lucky that you "get it" and care enough to go searching. I know this probably seems like a "what else would I do?" kind of thing, but unfortunately many young people do not have someone who is compassionate and supportive as you clearly are. Remember to give yourself a lot of credit for that.

In the midst of this please also take care of you.

Hope for finding helpful help endures...

Kindest regards, 






Re: Doctors Attitude

Augusta8, Hi, loopy here. Very sad but all to frequent with overseas trained doctors. Your next step is to write to the below,

Medical Board of Australia

The role of the Medical Board of Australia is to:
  • register medical practitioners and students
  • develop standards, codes and guidelines for the medical profession
  • investigate notifications and complaints
  • conduct panel hearings and refer serious matters to Tribunal hearings
  • assess International Medical Graduates who wish to practise in Australia
  • approve accreditation standards and courses of study

Business Hours:

  • Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm


Contact Information:
Location: WA Office: Level 1, 541 Hay Street, Subiaco WA 6008
Postal Address: AHPRA GPO Box 9958, Perth WA 6001
Phone: 1300 419 495
+61 3 8708 9001 (Overseas callers)

This Unit appears in the following related topics:


Health Care Complaints Commission N.S.W

Health Complaints Commissioner Tas

.Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)  Victoria.



Re: Doctors Attitude

Thank you for your advice and for everyone elses, I will certainily report this as I really believe the treatment and the attitude we received was really not acceptable.


Help should be easier to gain access to after all we keep hearing about all the help available for mental health issues.


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