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Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Something I’ve noticed over the past two years or so is that people who write to me for help seem to be getting increasingly belligerent when they don’t like the information I share, or reply to their questions or requests. Three examples: A woman wrote to me through my About.com Patient Empowerment site, asking me to please make a phone call to her psychiatrist to tell him that she needed a higher dose of Xanax. I replied to her to say that first, I don’t work directly with patients – I write and speak and run an organization. Further, that I would never consider phoning someone’s doctor to tell them what to do! Further, that I don’t deal with mental health issues at all – I just don’t have any sort of knowledge bank that could help me do that. I was polite, I suggested she make a list of reasons to share with her psychiatrist that might help him help her, etc. She wrote back… calling me a few unprintable words – telling me she was already being abused by the psychiatrist and now I was abusing her, too. (Huh?) A young woman, a former PACE member of AdvoConnection, attacked me on Twitter because she disagreed with a blog post I wrote several weeks ago. The difficult part was that she was disagreeing with something that is a fact – not my opinion or something that had two sides. Instead of learning from it, or asking questions, or showing me evidence to the contrary, she instead attacked me. Now – it will come as no surprise that I can be wrong! We all can. I would have loved to have engaged in a dialog with her on the topic. I might have learned something from her. Or maybe she would have learned something from me. But she’s not interested. (I have refunded her membership dues.) A man wrote through the AdvoConnection site telling me to “force one of them advocates you’ve got there” to help him. “They all want to charge me money I don’t got.” I wrote back…