Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bag of Tricks

In a few hours time, I'll be heading into the mental health center in Cambridge to see my psychiatrist. He and I get along very well, but I still dread every meeting. The process is humiliating to me, but I made my peace with that a long time ago. I'm sick, and there's a price to be had for getting help. That price is that I have to be honest, and let myself be guided by his better judgment. This requires trust, and it must be present in two ways.

Of primary importance is that I trust him not to mock me. Simply put, I must be able to trust his professionalism and intellect. If he were to ever laugh at my pain there is a small chance that I would kill him, or at least hurt him, and I'm strongly inclined towards a peaceful disposition. But a person has limits, and I'm in an awful lot of pain, manifest as paranoia, anxiety, depression, mania and self-loathing.

Equally important is my trust in his abilities. I have to know that he is good at what he does, otherwise I can't take him seriously. And part of being good at what you do when you're a doctor is having scruples and being compassionate.

In every sense, I trust him, which is why I've been his patient for nearly a decade.

Back in 1998, after my first suicide attempt, I told a psychiatrist in a mental hospital that I didn't appreciate the way he spoke to his patients, including me (it was in group). I was rather worked up, and I told the fellow that, "If I had no problem trying to kill myself, why would I hesitate to stick a knife in a cruel, arrogant prick like you?" That got me a very long talking to by another staff psychiatrist. And it probably kept me in the locked hospital for a few more days.

I detest cruelty, especially within a hospital context where people are struggling to get better.

Anyway, I have a lot to talk about with my psychiatrist today. Practically, of greatest concern is the prospect of starting a new anti-psychotic medication; I'm thinking of Zyprexa or Seroquel. Either way, I may find a modicum of peace, but at a price. Neither one of these drugs are really new to me, I just haven't touched them for at least a couple of years. My file is like the Tokyo telephone book; very thick. I've tried just about every single psychiatric medication at one time or another, and found a few (like lithium carbonate) which work.

Must go now. More later.


Chica. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chica. said...

I deleted the above because I didn't proof well enough and my super obsessive self could not leave well enough alone. :)

I'd like to know what your experiences were with Lith Carb. I'm currently on the med and it's got me feeling manic. Of course, it's heaven compared to the lamictal which almost sent me into the nut house earlier this year.

I'd also like to know if you've taken Risperdal or Risperidone and how that did for you.

PS. I hope your appointment went well.