A patient has become obsessed with me; contacting the office, sending letters, demanding attention - I am aware this patient has a psychiatric history that frightens me. Any advice?
Very sorry to hear. This is a very tough situation that must be handled delicately. Inciting the patient further could place you or others in jeopardy. Depending on the individual and circumstances, my advice may vary to a degree, but in general, it is best to limit your direct interaction with the patient and be sure not to encourage the patient in any way for continued contact. If the physician patient relationship has not been terminated, be sure to effectuate same in writing without abandonment. To protect yourself, it is advisable for you to file a police report of the actions taken or threats made by the patient, creating a written record of the situation, and giving the police the opportunity to evaluate the circumstances and determine whether from their perspective the individual is a harm to you or others. If so, charges may be pressed, and at that point you may be entitled to seek an order of protection, demanding the patient steer clear of a certain radius of you, or dictating other terms of protection. If charges are not pressed and you feel a threat, continue your dialogue with the police. Priority number one, do not take the situation into your own hands.