Trying to Locate Help in the Netherlands - Suggestions?
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Q:  Trying to Locate Help in the Netherlands - Suggestions?

Dear Dr. Phelps:

I am an American woman whose been living in The Netherlands (Rotterdam area) for nearly ten years. Before I moved here I had been taking a low dose of perphenazine with good results. I was getting my life together after years of chaos. Things were working out and coming into place for me. Since living here, and going off the medication, my life has returned to chaos, with long bouts of severe depression, utter confusion, paralysis, anxiety, irritability. I have tried to treat myself, and I have tried for years to find help within the psychiatric community here, but no one will help me. I just don't know what to do. There don't seem to be any professionals here who are capable of seeing what my problems are. They won't even give me drugs. When I told the psychiatrist I met with here that I'd been on an anti-psychotic drug in the states, he found it absurd, and told me that I wasn't psychotic. It seems to me that they're living in the dark ages here in terms of treatment options for people with BiPolar 2. I don't want to waste anymore years of my life, and I am suffering terribly with long bouts of very strong suicidal urges. Despite all my effort at trying to get help, I have gotten none. Do you have any idea where I might be able to find help in The Netherlands? I have tried finding options on the Internet, and have tried the traditional lines of "support" available to no avail. Perhaps you have a suggestion? I am a mother of two. My situation is acute. 

Thank you.

Dear Lila --

Yipes, it sounds terrible.  The irony is that you had found a nifty solution prior to all this. I know nothing about the system in the Netherlands.  So I'm afraid I can't make any recommendations on how to find help there.

Not thinking that this is any magic solution, I wonder if my little essay explaining how antipsychotics are used in bipolar disorder -- routinely, not as antipsychotics but as anti-manic and mood-stabilizing tools -- might be of use were due to wave it around in front of some primary care doctor over there

Beyond that, you will still need some sort of medical supervision even if you were to try to obtain perphenazine over the Internet, because you need someone to help monitor for tardive dyskinesia.  So in the long run, you should definitely not try to manage this on your own. 

Sorry not to be of more use.  Good luck with that.

Dr. Phelps

Published May, 2008


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