Getting a psychiatrist or therapist
is like getting a new pair of shoes.
Sometimes they fit in the store and you
don’t take them off and walk home on a cloud.
Other times you think the fit is right in
the store, then try them on when you get
home and realize they only fit before your
feet swell up after drinking two cans
of pop on a hot day.
Then, there are the other type of shoes
that give you corns or a sore spot on your heel.
The shoes were fine in the store. They were even
fine when you wore them the first day around the house.
Unfortunately, when you went grocery shopping you
had to buy flip flops to make it home without crying.
Sometimes psychiatrists can eventually rub you the wrong way.
I read this article in the office of my new psychiatrist.
I was driven an hour away, so that I could get an
established psychiatrist who is not pushing samples
of bi-polar medications. I was under a lot of pressure
from the old psychiatrist to continue taking mood
stabilizers and anti-psychotic meds.
The side effects weren’t worth the benefits.
I never saw what the benefits were for me.
I had to go to the hospital in April due
to its side effects. When I told the doc
that I didn’t feel okay and didn’t like
the feeling of being underwater mentally,
I kept being told to let the medicines
do their jobs.
I got almost completely numb
and stopped enjoying normal activities.
Then I got suicidal.
Then I got committed.
The Psych ward psychiatrist gave me a
depression/anxiety/ADHD/possibly PTSD diagnosis
My out patient psychiatrist was pretty unhappy and
unfriendly with me, I felt, for agreeing
with a treatment plan that he did not initiate.
This is why I was looking for a new psychiatrist.
I want a positive, “Go Amanuensis!” wellness team.
That means, I don’t want to dread each visit to my
doctor because I get told, “You seem depressed,”
Or, ” You’re bi-polar, you’re going to have a breakdown
without a mood stabilizer.” Damn, just burst my bubble.
He has the bedside manner of the Grim Reaper. “Don’t look down,
you’re going to fall into the giant emotional sinkhole,”
that wasn’t there until the power of suggestion created one.
Does that make sense? Am I delusional? Should I
want a doctor who believes I’m miserable, when I think I’m
doing very well considering the vortex of chaos that
hovers around me most of the time?
Last time I checked, I was the only conscious person
in my head. I check fairly often and I don’t have any
squatters or distant relatives who won’t leave when asked.
The doctor has known me for five months. Five sessions.
That’s about two hours. I saw the in patient
psychiatrist for longer periods of time when
I was hospitalized for four days in April.
I’ve been in my current body for 45 years.
That’s a lot of hours. 16,425 days
times 24 hours equals 394,200 hours. I’m pretty
sure that makes me the expert on being able to tell
when I’m depressed. Oh wait, let me check.
Nope, still not depressed yet.
When I go to a new doctor, I try to look at
the friendliness of the staff. How they treat me
on the phone and how long of a wait I have sitting in
uncomfortable chairs reading magazines that make
me wish I were waiting in a library with a pager.
Busy doctors offices, make me feel comfortable that
he or she is in demand. So much so, that patients will
wait for the doctor to be seen. Efficiency and no wait
times are the new trends in medical care. I’d rather
have a doctor who interrupts my visit for an emergency
than have a doctor who waits a day to return a phone call.
Sometimes efficiency equals a dead, disfigured or injured
patient. I know, “Calls of an urgent nature should be
directed to 911.” yada-yada-yada.
Doctors who get you in and out of their office in 10 minutes
may be efficient at talking fast and listening to the surface
concerns. However, some folks can’t get up the nerve to
state that they have an boil in an embarrassing undisclosed
location, in front of their doctor without writing it down.
I don’t think all patients write a list of
their health concerns. I do, but I’m just weird.
Without the list, my mind goes blank as I’m sitting half naked
freezing on a piece of paper, wearing a paper suit. I’m distracted by
the noise, the texture and the temperature in room. No, I don’t
have to take my clothes off at the psychiatrist. That might
just be a red flag. (Naked psychiatry, for those who can only
bare their souls when naked, is not legal in America.)
Well, I’m starting this psychiatric journey over again.
I have both feet on the ground, there are no sinkholes
in sight and I don’t see any dark clouds following around.
This is good. This is promising. Yea! Team Amanuensis!
Wellness is possible. A complete cure, not likely,
but I’m optimistic that my quality of life could get
better, not worse, with this new doctor.
Cross your fingers for me.
I need all the help I can get.
Wanna join the team?