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Feb 28 2008

When the Psychiatrist is a Bully

(Find a follow up to this post, Lessons Learned)

What you are about to read is my own personal experience, having taken place over the past 10 days with a psychiatrist from Naples, Florida who works in addiction psychiatry through his “Healing Institute.”

Many of you regular readers know that my blog used to be located at WordPress. About six weeks ago, I moved it so I could have more flexibility with its look, etc. All the posts were moved from the old location to this new location, but many visitors continue to find the old location first because it is so accessible through the search engines. In fact, I still get many more visitors in the old location than here in the new.

Ten days ago, I went to check the statistics on the old blog location, and — the blog had disappeared! It had been pulled offline by WordPress, with only a page that said I was in violation of the Terms of Service. What?? I had no idea why or what I had done wrong!

A day later, I got an email from WordPress saying my blog had been pulled because they had received a complaint from a man who didn’t like a comment made to one of my blog posts. Mind you — not anything I had written, but what one of my readers had written. Here is a link to that comment.

In order to put my blog back online, I had to remove his name. So I removed it from the old blog — and WordPress put my old blog back online. Truth was, I don’t know the man, I don’t know the woman who wrote the comment, I don’t know who is telling the truth — in fact, I didn’t even know the comment was there!

Two days later, I got an email from the psychiatrist himself, demanding I remove his name from the new blog, too. He was clearly frustrated that there was no one else to complain to — God forbid — he had to ask me directly. He cited all kinds of trademark laws he thought I was breaking, cyberstalking laws, etc — bottom line, his email was quite threatening and indulgent.

But — I was mad. What right did this guy have to get my blog pulled offline? And if he could find my email address NOW to make his demands, then why didn’t he do that politely to begin with? (I ask you — don’t you see my email address, front and center at the top of this blog, easily found?)

If he had asked me first, I would have gladly removed his name — as I said — I don’t know who is right or wrong, he-said, she-said, and I didn’t even know his name was there.

So I replied to him with just that — that I thought he was a bully, and that he couldn’t simply demand I remove his name. That he should have contacted me before he contacted WordPress. Then I very clearly told him: if you apologize for contacting WordPress, and embarrassing me, I will remove your name.

He replied to me: no apology, of course — instead, how is he supposed to support his children? No recognition whatsoever that he had interfered in my work by pulling my blog.

I replied once again — as clear as you see it here — “apologize to me, and I will remove your name.” I also asked him, “If you can’t own up to your own responsibility in this matter, how can you ever expect to teach your patients to own up to their responsibilities?”

As you can guess — no apology has been forthcoming — still. No — instead, he got in touch with my colleagues about About.com and demanded THEY get me to remove his name. Can you believe it? They thought it was as ridiculous as I do.

So — from the sublime to the ridiculous. This man has real problems, in my opinion, and based on my interface with him. Think of it this way. He can’t apologize for his rude and ridiculous behavior, he invokes his children in his plea (who even knows if he has kids?) — but they aren’t important enough for him to type two words — “I’m sorry.”

Oh — and one other thing. I got to thinking I might not be the only one he has bullied. So I did a little research and learned that I am not. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence online that indicates he has problems, including the fact that he has only practiced in South Florida (Naples and Ft. Myers area) for a few years. He was in Indiana before that, and for some reason, his license is listed as “Expired. Non-renewable.” In checking with friends who are psychiatrists, that “non-renewable” thing may mean much more than that. It’s hard to tell for sure.

But you know what? I can’t be party to this anymore. No time. I need to spend my time helping patients.

A message to The Bully Psychiatrist from Naples, Florida: you have won!

Your name is removed from that comment. I hope people who find you at your Healing Institute move on. Nobody needs a bully for a doctor, especially when they have addiction problems.

Lessons learned for patients: Doctors are human beings, too — with all the foibles that go along with being human. A doctor who can’t apologize has no empathy — and if you have an emotional problem that needs addressing, if you are battling addiction in particular, you need someone with empathy.

And — if you are looking for a psychiatrist in Naples, Ft. Myers or South Florida, there are many others to choose from not located in a Healing Institute: http://www.ucomparehealthcare.com/drs/florida/psychiatry/Naples.html

I truly hope this is the end of this. As my grandmother used to say, I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

(Find a follow up to this post, Lessons Learned)

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4 comments

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  1. sickmind fraud

    I run a website dedicated to “Documenting Psychiatrists Behaving Badly”

    I was easily able to find the only healing institute in Naples, Florida, and track this down a little.

    While his license is expired in Indiana, his license, at least according to the State of Florida licensing board website is in full effect.

    I note that there might not be anything sinister in this, by itself. He may have simply moved to Florida for the warmer weather, and let his Indiana license expire rather than pay the fee. There are no records of discipline that I could find on this shrink at this time in either Indiana or Florida. Further investigation may turn up something, but it does not look promising.

    While I am unsympathetic to psychiatrists in general, it seems that this one, for the time being, is off the hook, since the nurse in question has been tarred with the brush of being slightly crazy herself, and other evidence is currently lacking.

    I agree that his actions were heavy handed, and could have been more well thought out.

  2. EveryPatientsAdvocate.com

    Sickmind,

    re: the Indiana license — if he let it expire, I doubt it would say “non-renewable.” That indicates to me that whatever he did means he will not be allowed to practice in Indiana again.

    Then, consider that in the span of only 3-4 years, he worked in at least three different practices in Naples before he set up his “healing institute.”

    Further, I have learned that his licensing is in geriatrics — not psychiatry, and certainly not addiction psychiatry, which is what his “healing institute” is set up to do.

    You’ll be interested in my follow up experience with this man: http://trishatorrey.com/2008/04/28/the-bully-psychiatrist-from-naples-fl-follow-up-and-lessons-learned/

  3. mira

    On March 14th, the healing institute doctor, tried to detox my son. (My son was given Fentanyl for pain in his back. )The procedure with Suboxone failed. This doctor should have known that my son was too ill, depressed and in pain to undergo this procedure in his office. He misinformed us and did not take it seriously when my son told him he will kill himself if the procedure does not work. Doctor L___ told us that there is no difference in being detoxed in his office or going to the clinic exept that my son will have to stay longer. After the tragedy that took my son’s and my life away, I now know that when the Suboxone procedure does not work there is an injection to be given to stop the withdrawals. L___ did not have the injection. he sent my son to the clinic then. Also, the clinic personel would observed my son and determined if he was a candidate for that procedure and/or make preparation for procedure diferently. My son killed himself 20 min down the road towards the clinic. This doctor is all about money. He does not care for the patients. Of course there is nothing in the police report about what happened with my son and the doctor is still practicing. I was trying to be so careful to whom I was to take my son to. Unfortunatelly I made a deadly mistake to take him to this unethical doctor. I wish he could be stopped from hurting people. In Florida he cannot be brought to justice as my son was older then 24, had no wife and no children. This a discriminatory law. I wish somebody would look into this matter.

  4. Itinerant Naples Florida Psychiatrist

    Having encountered patients with depression and addiction issues who are suicidal, I think it is a better idea to make a house call. When a depressed patient is asked to drive to the psychiatrist, that encourages them to see it as an option but also feel boxed in by it, they may make hasty decisions. In my time as a mental health professional in Naples, I have seen more than my share of people who suffer from both addiction and a high level of undiagnosed depression. As psychiatrists, our goal is to make these people well, and sometimes the right response is to drive to their homes and conduct a psychoanalysis session.

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