Friday, February 27, 2009

Something is Wrong With This Picture

When I was talking at the family support group last night and I came to the part about the psychiatrist needing to fill out a portion of the tax credit form one of the family members participating in the meeting said: "How is my son's psychiatrist going to fill this section out. They barely know him. They have hardly met with him".

I had a few thoughts in that moment:

  1. Something is wrong with this picture. Given how ill it sounded like her son was it does not seem right that the psychiatrists have not met much with him. He isn't even at the point where he has the insight that he has a mental illness. When I mentioned I was in therapy with my pdoc, and that it was a very important (I think the MOST important), aspect of my treatment...the lady looked incredulously at me and could not believe my pdoc participated in therapy with me.
  2. I felt guilty. Guilty that her son was so ill and needed help and here I was 7.5 years into therapy, once, and for extended periods twice, a week. I am taking up important resources that others need too. Maybe I need to leave therapy so others can receive the help and support they need to get better.
  3. I really think therapy needs to be a part of the healing process. People need human support, they need professional psychiatric support, not just medication. What if this had been me? No medications seemed to help until recently...and I am not even sure about them helping now, as I am still taking them and I feel extremely depressed again. I am sure I would not be here if my pdoc simply prescribed me medication and sent me on my way. My way would not have been merry and I would have given up.
  4. I am so extremely lucky that I am cared for by Dr. X. When I first met him I thought it was the norm in psychiatry to treat patients with both therapy and medication. I recognised fairly quickly that Dr X. and his psychiatric style and approaches to treatment were/are far above the norm. I recognised, and still do recognize, meeting him, and having his unflagging support is the biggest blessing I have ever received in my life.


Rachel Cooper said...

Aqua, why do you feel guilty?
You're not taking up valuable resources - you're just as valuable as anyone else who needs help. Is one person with cancer more valuable than another? no.
If anything the government needs to get more doctors trained, make more medical school spots available, and make the system more available to physicians...

If anything Dr. X clearly realises you are valuable to society, and therefore takes the time to see you as often as he does - and clearly you see yourself as being valuable as well.

Lisa said...

You are more valuable when you are taking care of yourself than you could ever be neglecting yourself.

I personally have had bad experiences with psychiatrists, so will steer clear of them and get meds through my PCP but I am so happy you have found someone who takes the time to be there for you!