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.