We have literally had this exact same experience. We went to the university fellowship psychiatry program for a year and it sucked. We did get the same doctor for a year, but it was very much a “get ’em in, get ’em out” deal. They were also impossible to reach by phone. We had an emergency and couldn’t reach anyone at the clinic.
Faced with a recent need for meds, I went with a private pay psychiatrist who said she suspected he had autism after talking to him for 10 minutes based on his answer to one question. I kid you not. I could just feel her leading up to me forking out who knows how much money for (yet another) assessment. I told her there was no way we could afford another assessment right now. The thing is (and I’m definitely not “afraid” of autism or anything like that) is that he’s been assessed both privately and by the school district for autism and both ended up agreeing with ADHD/Anxiety.
So now, like you, we’re forking out for a private pay counselor once a week because the psychiatrist wants him in therapy and we need the meds. Even though we live in a big metro area, there are very few psychiatrists who treat adolescents (all private pay) so I can’t afford to burn a bridge with this one.
I don’t think people neurotypical children understand how much we go through and how much it costs! In our case it’s been literally 10s of thousands. The thing is, I don’t care about the money. I just want my kid to be OK. So when people like the $%*#( principal at his school mess up his IEP and trigger panic attacks I get a little bit ticked off!