Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shrinking Pyschology

Don’t get me started. I have enough problems with public bathrooms as it is. The worst part about public bathrooms is when you expect it to be clean…but it’s not. I run into this crap (so to speak) all the time. It’s not only ‘just a public bathroom’, but one that was located in my psychiatrist’s office. Each time I arrive at doc’s office, I have to use the ladies’ room. I don’t know if it’s from nerves, or if it’s from that whole, ‘let me get this over with so I don’t have to cross my legs real tight’ sort of fiasco. I just have to go.

I rush into the glass doors of the building, and run straight to the loo. I open the door, turn on the light and plop my purse on the corner of the floor. I don’t think anyone urinates there—so it’s safe. Later on, I’ll dowse that thing up with rubbing alcohol. It’s all good.

As I check out the sink to see if droplets and tiny pieces of curly pubic hair aren't lying around, I then check out the toilet seat to check if that’s ‘clear’.

Oh it was clear alright. But the one thing that wasn’t…was inside the porcelain bowl staring back up at me. Someone obviously had bad Mexican food, or didn’t take well to the meds that doc prescribed. I’m not sure. Whatever this mess was, I wasn’t about to sit above it. I wasn’t about to flush this myself. Instead…I dry heaved.

Okay, no problem. I don’t have to go that bad anyway. I head into doc’s office with my OCD flaring to its maximum and my fear of ‘having to go pee’ at a high alert. Doc notices my discomfort and quickly takes a sip of his coffee which is in a dark brown mug. It’s probably scotch. I’m his last patient, so by the time I get to him, he’s already tapped the dry bar behind his desk a few times. Nothing wrong with a few nips here and there, especially dealing with psychos like myself.

Doc looks at me. I look at doc. He sips again. I now know for sure…it’s scotch. We always have this awkward ‘who’s gonna talk first’ moment. It’s eerie, especially with him. He’s tired. I’m tired. He’s watching the clock. I’m watching the clock more.

“Hiya doc!” I blurt out with excitement just to scare him—or sober him up.
“Heh…hello.” He says, as he giggles through another sip of his ‘coffee’.


“So, what’s up?” I said.
“Nothing. Heh. So how are you?”

At that time, the phone rings. This little bastard has the audacity to pick up the phone right when I’m about to tell him what’s wrong with me! Maybe he has the right idea; scotch and being saved by the bell. Great. Check please! It’s like a bad date. The other person talks about something the other person doesn't want to hear, and the other person sits there looking at the time. It’s a commitment from hell.

He stays on the phone making an appointment for some other lost soul. I sat there picking my cuticles. I had nothing else to do. Maybe I should fill up my Poland Springs with Ketel One. We’d both be happy at least.

Doc hangs up the phone and starts writing in his schedule book for about two minutes. Now, not for nothing, but two minutes is a long time to sit there and fiddle-faddle with your scheduling book—especially having a mental patient sitting right in front of you.

Hello! Remember me?

“So do you have a night crew to come in and clean?” I asked.
“Why do you ask?”
“Have you seen the ladies’ room?”
“No. I use the men’s room.”
He says, looking at me as though he just made the best joke of his life.
“It’s disgusting. I’m freaking out and I feel dirty.”
“Why do you feel dirty?”
“They didn’t flush the rest of their puréed burritos down the toilet.”
“And how does this make you feel dirty?”
“Molecules are in the air all the time doc! It’s disgusting.”
“Why didn’t you flush it?”
“Why should I?”
“Why are we here today?”
He asked.

At that point, I had no clue. I had no idea why I am still seeing this doc other than to get some advice on how to live my life and to fill up on those needed scripts of ativan. My anxiety attacks are less, and I asked if I could cut down my medication in half. I wanted to wean off.

“Well, that’s a great start Deb. You’ve been on this medication long enough. Weaning off is good.”
“Do I at least get cognitive behavioral therapy while I’m in the process of withdrawals and convulsions?”
“We can work on what your goals are after you stop taking the medications.”
“What about effective ways on handling my anxiety? How do I handle the anxiety when I am cutting back on the meds?”
“What works for you?”
“Why am I here???”

You know what’s sad? I get my therapy and cognitive behavior techniques online. Yeah, yeah, I know, online advice is ‘iffy’…but I found someone who really does help. If you visit Dr. Deborah Serani’s site called, “Psychological Perspectives”, she gives some great tips on everyday life struggles and advice to those who need help. It’s really an interesting site that anyone can benefit from.

I need a new doctor…ASAP.

Problems with my doc:

* Answers the phone all the time. Some calls last up to five minutes each. On a regular basis, the phone will ring 3-4 times. That’s twenty minutes of my time!

* Doesn’t give me CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) which is crucial to anyone that has anxiety and panic attacks as well as agoraphobia. He only spurts out a little advice here and there. My dad can do that. Wait…bad idea.

* The man has marbles in his mouth. You can barely make out what he’s saying to you. I consistently keep asking him to repeat himself. “What? What? What?” It’s exhausting.

Problems with finding good psychiatrists:

* Most psychiatrists overbook. They do this so that if one cancels or decides not to go, they have people waiting in the wings.

* There are hardly any in my immediate area who are willing to take me after 5pm. I’d need night appointments.

* (Take this with a grain of salt please.) When I do find a psychiatrist, they’ll sometimes be of an Indian or Pakistani decent, with very thick accents. I can barely make out what they’re saying. I’m not being prejudice, I just want to hear them and understand what they are saying.

Okay, now I’m off for some self-medicating. Red wine and a nice burger to compliment that fine alcohol. Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated. I’m totally being serious and embarrassingly honest here. Yes, the description in my profile is true!

I should write up a personal ad:

NCL: Neurotic Christian lesbian seeks a well spoken head doc. Loves pina coladas and walks in the rain. I’m not into yoga, but I have half-a-brain. I’m not into health food I am into champagne (on a beer budget) I call it meds.


LisaBinDaCity said...

Fire that unprofessional SOB - he sucks! How DARE he treat you that way???

I know you live far away from the city but maybe a Saturday appointment with someone there?

Best of luck, Hon.

limpy99 said...

Again, I offer the basement with pool, darts, poker and a well-stocked bar. I still won't pay any attention, but it sounds like that's nothing new.

Next time he asks we you're there, just say "42"

steff81 said...

Okay...your bathroom scene was enough to give me OCD. Well that and my need to write stuff in lists with little bullet points.

I hope you weren't paying for those precious minutes he was on the phone.

Like I told my second graders today...there are a lot of people in NYC. I'm sure you'll find the right "head" person :)

MQM said...

I can't believe you're still seeing him.

Since psychiatrists push dope to the needy they have no incentive to offer good therapy. Just use him for a 15 minute gimme my prescription session and see a real therapist for the rest (counselor or social worker - if they don't do good therapy they have no business).

Mike said...

Well...I knda perked up at head. I can see we don't talk often enough. I'm always good for that. You could then be as normal as me...what a treat huh?

Åsa said...

Deb! He takes phone calls on your time?! Leave him at once! Don’t the psychiatrists have some kind of organization where you can call and get a recommendation? They have that in Sweden. It’s still a hit or miss – I know – but maybe the chance is better? My experience is that it can take a few tries to find a good shrink, and you have to give them a few appointments before you can judge. And trust your guy feeling!

Åsa said...

Sorry! It's trust your GUT feeling of corse...

bigdaddy said...

wow, nothing is worse than finding a floater. I am on Xanax, I just went to my doctor and fliped out, now I don't have to worry about meds. As my doctor hands me my script he looks at me and says "you really need to talk to a professional", ya doc, right on it. If I have problems I just get drunk with my friends or watch Jerry Springer and I feel better about myself. If you want to screw with your doc, next session waste about 10 min talking about something stupid like roller disco. I think when you get the chance you should always mess with someone's head, it keeps them guessing. I do this all the time to my soon to be wife, I will go on and on about being a robot or being president of the USA. I will even talk to myself for like 15 min or untill she hits me and tells me to "shut it!"

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I never, NEVER, answer the phone when in session. I think it's rude, and makes a patient feel not important. Total attention is the key in any good therapy session.

The problem with most psychiatrists is that they are not trained in doing therapy. They may get a smathering of it in their residential training. THe primary focus of most psychiatrists is the medication aspect. You may need to consider using a psychiatrist for meds only and seek a good talk therapist who specializes in CBT for the real therapy.

You live in NYC, right? Contact me and I'll send you some good psychiatrists.


PS: Thanks for the compliment in your post.

Grant said...

I love you because you make me feel comparatively healthy. Keep up the good work. =)

Miss 1999 said...

Deb, I would tell that asshat to take a hike! You're there for help, not to make jokes! Don't even get me started on withdrawl from medications! Ugh!!! I'm glad you're looking for someone new. As for the bathrooms, that's completely unacceptable. For the amount of money he's making, he could make SURE the bathrooms are clean! Best of luck with finding a new one- and thanks for the link, I'm going to check it out! :0)

normiekins said...

clearly from a business point of view.....WALK AWAY and don't look back....what a jerk....his behavior is unacceptable and deserve and certainly pay for his COMPLETE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION....his bathroom is a reflection of respect of his patients!......good luck on finding a new one... ;)

kathi said...

Darlin, I just happen to have an opening in my case load and would be more than happy to take you on...and don't worry about the budget, we'll work something out. ;)

Curious to know said...

Hi Deb, it's me (you know who)-

Just curious why you started counseling to begin with?

How long have you been in therapy?

As for self-medicating...don't forget to add extra cheese and bacon to that nice burger and some hot fries too w/ honey mustard (that's my favorite).

TrappedInColorado said...

WTF!? You are allowing him to do that shit, Deb. Sorry. No one can get him to stop except you. Now, as far as what you can do. Spend a weekend with me. I'll bring a case of Ketle One and Level, olives, ice, shakers, slabs of beef..we'll find a nice cabin in the mountains.. and just hang. We'll hike into the woods with our water bottles full of the other stuff then I will leave you to find your way back. You'll find your way back and not even notice that you stepped in deer and rabbit poop and there are bugs in your hair. You'll just know that there will be more martinis when you get back. It's great therapy and I am about to go national with it. I thought I would offer you a freebie weekend first. Just sayin'....

Casually Me said...

Deb...please look into this. I know you would win.

jali said...

I love the Pina Colada song.

I want you to sing this one:

Just step out the back, Jack.
Make a new plan, Stan.
There's no need to be coy, Roy.
Just listen to me.
Hop on the bus, Gus.
There's no need to discuss much.
He fucks with your head, Deb.
Find a new psychiatrist.

Anne said...

I agree with all of the above ~ the idiot psych. guy and the need to use a new one only for meds and a therapist for counsel. That's the arrangement I have; in fact the therapist sent me to the doc for meds for depression. Both are working out very well. I'd call the health dept. in about the bathroom, too ~ let the building owners deal with the idiot doc.

Jaded&Opinionated said...

The fact that he is a doctor doesn't make you any less intelligent or important than he is. Your time is equally valuable, so the idea that he thinks wasting your time and money is OK makes me want to scream!

You have every right to see a doctor with whom you feel comfortable, no matter what the reasons might be. Find a new doc and quick! I know it's easier said than done, however.

As for the bathroom fiasco... I don't have OCD and the thought of cleaning up after that sort of mess made me want to puke! I have a little key-chain thing that holds a bottle of Purell. I clean public toilets with it before I sit on them. I don't think that's being crazy, merely being cautious. I don't like those paper rings, either. First, they stick to you. Secondly, why would I put an absorbant product on the toilet seat when I'm trying to keep something from being absorbed?! No thanks!

SignGurl said...

You know you and I are twins on the bathroom thing.

I've missed seeing you around!

~Deb said...

Thank you for the great advice everyone!!! I really appreciate it. I need to lose this guy---but I need to replace him with someone else before I give him the boot.

I've been in therapy on and off since I was sixteen years old for anxiety and panic attacks. Now that I'm older (shush and don't ask my age) I feel that my anxiety has become less...however, I still get really bad cases of anxiety from time to time.

The biggest relief for me is poking fun at it. What else can I do really? No one has been able to help me really, except praying and meditation. Sometimes that doesn't come easy though. In a rut here.

I'm going to look into all the sites that you've given me, and email you back (the ones you emailed me on this post)...

I hide a lot behind my humor, however, without humor, I'd be in trouble!

Oh, and yes, I ALWAYS carry Purrell with me...that's a given!

Thanks again...I'll be around after this weekend!

ell said...

i'm so with you on the bathroom stuff--i totally skeeve them. as for your doctor taking calls on YOUR time--that's disgraceful. i'm sure he's charging you plenty for that time and that's what receptionists and answering services are for.

gimme a break!

find yourself someone else. you deserve better.

CP said...

I've just started on the same quest, to find a psychiatrist, psychologist, LCSW or Nurse ARNP who has a clue about Bipolar disorder.

What I have found in the past is that I am more intelligent than some of the counselors I have been to. They are very easy to manipulate and I find it humorous.

What I need is a doc who is going to say "CP, stop the bullshit and get to the point." I need someone who is going to DEMAND that I stop the jokes, the game playing and the sarcasm. I need a strong doctor who is willing to guide me.

Problem is, none of them are willing to take the bull by the horns. (The bull being Moi).

In NYC, I had a GREAT doc. He didn't take my bullshit. He provided me with fulfilling visits, was not easily manipulated and was not dazzled by my rockstar presence. I loved him, truly.

Sadly, he had a heart attack and died. I think I might have had something to do with it.

But, he always called me his "favorite challenge".

I never quite knew how he meant it, but I was flattered nevertheless. Good luck in your quest. Mines been fruitless.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I have no comment on the toilet. I think I’ve been there too many times.

As for the Doc, a fellow social worker in private practice once had a cartoon hanging in her waiting room: Two women are standing on a corner staring at a naked man chasing a naked woman across the street. One woman is saying to the other: “Good Lord! That’s my psychiatrist.”

Get my point?