Wednesday, September 21, 2011

GW: Chronology of Psychiatric Treatment -- Submission to SSA 10/94

October 10, 1994
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
#136
Washington, DC  20008

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington Field Office
1900 Half Street, SW
Washington, DC  20324-1600

RE: Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

Dear Sir:

Enclosed for your information is a letter dated October 10, 1994 that I have forwarded to the U.S. Social Security Administration, together with two of the enclosures.  (“Item 3” and “item 4” have already been forwarded to you under separate cover.)

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman
_________________

The following letter and attached statement were submitted to the U.S. Social Security Administration under penalty of criminal prosecution for making false statements.  The following documents have the legal weight of sworn statements.

October 10, 1994
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 136
Washington, DC  20008

Joseph R. Muffolett
Director
Office of Disability and
  International Operations
U.S. Social Security Administration
1500 Woodlawn Drive
Baltimore, MD  21241-0001

RE: Disability Claim No. xxx-xx-xxxx

Dear Mr. Muffolett:

Enclosed are four items pertinent to the above-referenced claim.

1.  Tape recording of telephone conversation between me and my sister, Mrs. Estelle Jacobson, on the evening of Thursday August 19, 1993, immediately prior to my receipt of the Social Security Administration’s Notice of Award, dated August 17, 1993.  I discuss meeting with Jerry M. Wiener, M.D. earlier in the day, and the upcoming telephone conference call between my sister and my then treating psychiatrist, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D.

2.  Report that I have prepared summarizing my treatment history at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry.

3. Letter dated September 28, 1994 from Keith T. Ghezzi, M.D., Interim Medical Director at GW re: my letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated August 29, 1994.

4.  Letter dated October 4, 1994 from Jerry M. Wiener, M.D. declining to comment on concerns stated in my letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated August 29, 1994.

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman
cc: FBI

Social Security Disability Claim: xxx-xx-xxxx
Claimant: Gary Freedman

Psychiatric Treatment History at the George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry

September 24, 1992:  Initial assessment chart prepared by Napoleon Cuenco, M.D.  Dx: Bi-Polar Disorder (rule out schizoaffective disorder); Rx: Lithium (and possibly neuroleptic).  Dr. Cuenco acknowledges having read my “autobiographical study” that details what appears to be a complex delusional belief system.

January 13, 1993;  I submit to Dr. Pitts, under cover letter dated January 13, 1993, a copy of Akin Gump’s Response to Interrogatories and Document Request (in connection with my unlawful termination complaint against Akin Gump).  I had received Akin Gump’s Response via the U.S. Postal Service on December 22, 1992.  Akin Gump’s pleading states that the employer had determined, in consultation with two mental health professionals (including an unidentified psychiatrist), that I was paranoid and potentially violent.

January 19, 1993:  Dr. Pitts advises that she will be scheduling an EEG and prescribing an appropriate drug.  See Letter to Dr. Pitts dated January 19, 1993.

February 9, 1993: Drug therapy commences with prescription of Lithium (no drugs were prescribed or discussed prior to January 19, 1993).

February 16, 1993:  Under cover of letter dated February 16, 1993 I submit to Dr. Pitts a detailed statement (“Draft Letter to D.C. Certification Board in Neurology & Psychiatry”) outlining the apparently paranoid fantasy that I am under surveillance by my former employer.  (It is to be six months later, on August 26, 1993, that Dr. Pitts makes her first specific recommendation for anti-psychotic medication).

February 26, 1993:  I discontinue Lithium.  Dr. Pitts makes no further specific pharmacologic recommendations until August 26, 1993.

July 1, 1993:  I receive via the U.S. Postal Service a copy of the D.C. Department of Human Rights’ Initial Determination dismissing my unlawful termination complaint against Akin Gump .  I learn by way of the Initial Determination that Akin Gump claims that it was Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. who advised the firm that I was paranoid and potentially violent.  (I had never consulted Dr. Ticho).

[Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center.]

July 1, 1993: [evening]: I speak by telephone with a former coworker at Akin Gump, Mrs. Patricia McNeil.  I learn for first time, from Mrs. McNeil, that Dennis Race at Akin Gump had conducted a de minimis investigation, if any, of my complaint of harassment immediately prior to his decision to terminate my employment effective October 29, 1991.  Mrs. McNeil states that she had not formed the belief that I was mentally ill, and knew of no other Akin Gump employees who had.  Mrs. McNeil seems surprised when I report Akin Gump’s allegation that coworkers found my behavior frightening.

July 2, 1993 [morning]:  I telephone Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D.  Dr. Ticho denies ever having had any contact with any attorneys at Akin Gump concerning me.  I learn for first time that Akin Gump had apparently fabricated evidence that it had determined, in consultation with Dr. Ticho, that I was paranoid and potentially violent.

July 6, 1993 (approx.):  I report to Dr. Pitts that I had determined that Akin Gump had apparently fabricated evidence that it had determined in consultation with two mental health professionals, including Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., that I was paranoid and potentially violent.

July 1993:  Dr. Pitts begins making treatment recommendations consistent with a severe mental illness, and inconsistent with her prior handling of my case.  Dr. Pitts, on her own initiative, states that she can have me admitted to GW as an in-patient.  (Dr. Pitts knows that I have no financial resources).  I mention to Dr. Pitts in a casual manner that I had been reading about a drug called Clozapine, an anti-schizophrenic drug.  Dr. Pitts states in response: “I can prescribe Clozapine for you.”  (Apparently Dr. Pitts had not yet ruled out a schizoaffective disorder).

August 20, 1993:  I forward to Warren Strudwick, M.D. of the D.C. Board of Medicine the final version of a letter of complaint requesting that the Board investigate my current and past psychiatric treatment.  (The complaint was subsequently dismissed by action of the D.C. Board of Medicine in September 1993).

I copy the letter (or draft version of same) to the following persons:

(a.) Arthur Isack, George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Director, August 6, 1993
(b.) Betsy Ranslow, Ethics Director, American Psychological Association, August 9, 1993
(c.) Jerry M. Wiener, M.D., GW Psych. Dept. Chairman, August 17, 1993
(d.) Harold F. Baker, GW University trustee (and partner, However & Simon), August 20, 1993
(e.) Sheldon S. Cohen, GW University trustee (and partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius), August 20, 1993

August 19, 1993 [morning]: Consultation with Dr. Pitts.  Dr. Pitts and I agree that she and I will have a telephone conference with my sister, Mrs. Estelle Jacobson, regarding my psychiatric treatment at GW.  Dr. Pitts does not state what she plans to discuss with my sister, and does not state that she will be recommending the prescription of a neuroleptic.  I form the belief that the telephone conference call will take place on the morning of Monday August 23, 1993.  (On the evening of August 19, 1993, during a telephone call to my sister [see enclosed tape recording], I give no indication to my sister that I am in any way aware that Dr. Pitts plans to discuss prescribing the neuroleptic Haldol.  Dr. Pitts had not discussed in any specific manner any plans to prescribe a neuroleptic as of the morning of August 19, 1993).

August 19, 1993 [afternoon]:  I meet with GW psych. department chairman, Dr. Jerry M. Wiener to discuss the letter of complaint that I plan to send to the D.C. Board of Medicine.  (I thought that it was appropriate that I meet with a Board Certified Psychiatrist before sending the letter of complaint to the D.C. Board of Medicine, and I had first sought to meet with previous psychiatrist, Stanley R. Palombo, M.D.  I learned, however, that Dr. Palombo would be away from his office until Monday August 23, 1993.  It was upon learning that Dr. Palombo was unavailable that I arranged an appointment with Dr. Wiener).  At my meeting with Dr. Wiener he advises that he has read the letter of complaint, a copy of which I submitted to him on August 17, 1993.  He states that the letter is incontrovertible evidence of my paranoia, and that my paranoid preoccupations have crippled my life.  He states that he declines to investigate the charges made in the letter of complaint to the D.C. Board of Medicine.  Throughout the meeting, Dr. Wiener refers to the letter of complaint, copies of which I have forwarded to various parties, as symptomatic of severe psychopathology.  Dr. Wiener refuses, however, to reduce to a writing his comments concerning my paranoid mental state that I could then submit to the U.S. Social Security Administration in connection with my disability claim; he reminds me that I had initially agreed that my meeting with him was in his capacity as Psychiatry Department Chairman and not as a psychiatrist conducting a consultation.  We do not discuss Dr. Pitts or my current psychiatric treatment, per se, and Dr. Wiener makes no treatment recommendations, which is consistent with the agreed nature of the meeting.

August 19, 1993 [evening]:  I speak by telephone with my sister (tape recording enclosed).  I discuss meeting with Dr. Wiener earlier in the day.  I also review Dr. Pitts’ statement that she can have me admitted to GW as an in-patient, and her having mentioned the prescription of the anti-schizophrenic drug Clozapine.  I advise my sister that Dr. Pitts would like to have a telephone conference call with my sister and that the telephone conference will be held on Monday August 23, 1993.  I appear to have no idea what Dr. Pitts plans to discuss.  I give no indication to my sister that I am in any way aware that Dr. Pitts plans to discuss prescribing the neuroleptic Haldol.  Dr. Pitts had not discussed in any specific manner any plans to prescribe a neuroleptic as of the morning of August 19, 1993.

August 23, 1993:  Dr. Pitts advises that the telephone conference call with my sister will have to await the availability of a speaker phone.

August 26, 1993 [morning]:  Dr. Pitts advises that the telephone conference call with my sister will be held on Monday morning August 30, 1993.  Dr. Pitts gives me three pages of handwritten notes, dated August 26, 1993, summarizing the content of the planned conference call.  Dr. Pitts, for the first time in my psychiatric treatment with her, recommends that I take the neuroleptic Haldol, an antipsychotic medication.  I ask Dr. Pitts why she plans to discuss with  my sister my letter of complaint to the D.C. Board of Medicine (see final paragraph of Dr. Pitts’ handwritten notes dated August 26, 1993).  Dr. Pitts responds: "If you don’t stop sending out letters, the Medical Center might just decide there’s nothing more it can do for you.”  Dr. Pitts’ treatment recommendations seem to me to be a radical departure from my treatment to date and I ask for a second psychiatric evaluation.  Dr. Pitts prepares in my presence a handwritten note stating that it is appropriate that I seek a second initial assessment.

August 26, 1993 [early afternoon]: I telephone my sister and review with her the handwritten notes prepared by Dr. Pitts.  My sister is incredulous when I tell her that I have been diagnosed as manic depressive:  “Bi-polar!! You don’t have mood swings high and low!!”

August 30, 1993 [morning]: Telephone conference call with my sister and Dr. Pitts (I refuse a neuroleptic during the entire subsequent course of therapy).

August 30, 1993 [afternoon]: Consultation with Stanley R. Palombo, M.D. to discuss my concerns about Dr. Pitts.  Dr. Palombo affirms that Dr. Pitts’ handling of my case is appropriate.

May 3, 1994 (and subsequent dates):  Psychological testing performed by Yu-Ling Han at GW, under the supervision of William Fabian, Ph.D.  Testing discloses no psychotic thought processes and fails to yield an Axis I or Axis II diagnosis.  Dr. Fabian assigns the diagnosis Paranoid (Delusional) Disorder on the billing statement for the testing.  Test report summary prepared by Yu-Ling Han states that I may have lied on the testing to conceal the severity of my paranoia (though the validity scores on the MMPI and Millon self-report surveys fail to indicate that I lied).

August 29, 1994:  I state concerns regarding the psychological testing in a letter to my current treating psychiatrist, Dr. Georgopoulos.  I forward a copy of the letter to Keith T. Ghezzi, M.D. Interim Medical Director at GW, who, in turn, submits the letter to Dr. Wiener for comment.

October 4, 1994:  Dr. Wiener responds to my letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated August 29, 1994, which had been forwarded to Dr. Wiener by Dr. Ghezzi.  Dr. Wiener declines to comment, apparently ratifying the test result summary prepared by Yu-Ling Han, including Ms. Han’s comment that I had may have lied on the testing in order to conceal the severity of my paranoia.

/s/
_______________
Gary Freedman
October 9, 1994

2 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

"October 4, 1994: Dr. Wiener responds to my letter to Dr. Georgopoulos dated August 29, 1994, which had been forwarded to Dr. Wiener by Dr. Ghezzi. Dr. Wiener declines to comment, apparently ratifying the test result summary prepared by Yu-Ling Han, including Ms. Han’s comment that I had may have lied on the testing in order to conceal the severity of my paranoia."

Dr. Wiener's letter was a one-sentence dismissive comment to the effect: "I am sorry to learn that you continue to be preoccupied with these matters."

Dr. Ghezzi, GW's Medical Director, had directed Dr. Wiener to prepare a substantive response to my concerns.

Gary Freedman said...

I advised SSA of matters and facts adverse to my claim, including the results of psychological testing and infirmities in Akin Gump's allegations that the firm had determined that I was not suitable for employment effective 10/29/91.