In Which Today’s Post Disintegrates into a Whiny Rant


One stressful thing about starting a blog is that readers expect it to be updated regularly (quite a relative term). When I can’t think of anything after coming off a three-day string of posts, I’m too hard on myself when, in fact, it’s not really surprising to people: Oh, a guy dealing with mental illness? Of course he’s gonna be consistent. Just like all those young blondes that marry Hugh Hefner do so out of love.

Today, no attempt at a deep, profound flash-fiction parable that would rival those of Jesus. No stab at a Tony Robbins-style pep talk/kick in the pants. I’ll just write about how I’m doing or what’s going on.

Okay. Here goes.

I’ve been really frustrated with my bad luck regarding psychiatrists. I know they are overworked in this country due to a shortage and a big need, but when I see my psychiatrist, it would be nice if he would try to act like a doctor. I’m reaching my limit with conversations like this:

Me: Doctor, I’ve been on these meds for three months and I still don’t feel any better.

Shrink: Well, what do you want to do?

Me: Um, I’m not sure. I was hoping you would help me out with that.

Shrink: Well, if you want to change medications, then change them.

Me: (long pause) Do you think that would help?

Shrink: You tell me. What do you want to do?

I mean, I know doctors are busy, but I don’t think it would be asking too much for them to at least pretend that they care. At least the preceding conversation didn’t dissolve into the one that I’m about to show you. In the next one, I had just come out of the hospital after my second suicide attempt, and this was the first time for me to meet with my doctor after that:

Shrink: So, you tried to kill yourself again?

Me: Um, yeah…

Shrink: (throws pen against wall) I thought we were making progress. I can’t trust you any more!

Me: I’m sorry. I was trying… Can you help me?

Shrink: No. You don’t listen to me. Go and be your own doctor. Go on.

This still makes me angry when I think about it. The shrinks in these two situations are both from the same country. (At least no one can say that I don’t give second chances.) It’s not like the American ones are any better, though. This next exchange happened during one of my hospital stays:

Shrink: …….and then take this one to counter the side effects of that one. And then this one will stop the weight gain from that one…….

Me: Wow, doctor. I’ve never taken eight kinds of pills at the same time. I’ll have to get one of those weekly pill containers that old people have.

Shrink: (takes off glasses and glares at me) You want to get better, don’t you?

Ugh. I told the second story about the psycho-shrink to our family practitioner during my annual check-up. He told me that psychiatrists are basically one step away from being patients themselves. By the end of med school, he said he had accurately predicted the ones who would pursue psychiatry.

Actually, I didn’t intend to whine about shrinks for this entire post, but, since I am, I might as well talk (whine) about therapists while I’m at it.

I had to change my therapist during my first hospital stay. She was very nice and intelligent, but, seriously, none of us could distinguish her from our fellow patients. For starters, her attire: It was like no one had told her that Woodstock was over.* Some were actually convinced that she was sampling the product in the hospital cabinets.

Then there is the therapist from whom I’ve recently parted. I’m not kidding when I say the following took place during every session:

Therapist: So, have you and your wife had sex yet?

Me: Um, no—

Therapist: NO??!! ShoutshoutshoutshoutMaslow’sHierarchyOfNeedsshoutshoutshout………

My current therapist is pretty good. I haven’t run into any problems (yet). What’s funny is that she is pro bono.

In the hospital, the lecturers and nurses kept telling us that medicine alone would not help us get better: We needed a combination of medicine, therapy, exercise, coping skills, hobbies, etc. Isn’t that the truth.

Since this post disintegrated into a rant, I’ll share this link that I posted yesterday on Facebook and Twitter as a source of encouragement. It also includes a healthy dose of Christian faith which I, ahem, somehow left out of this post.

Actually, ranting like this is therapeutic. Maybe I should become my own doctor.


*You know you’re getting old when you feel the need to explain Woodstock.

About Topaz

I'm a college teacher, writer, and faithful Catholic. I do my best to juggle all of these while dealing with my mental illness -- a constant thorn in my flesh. View all posts by Topaz

8 responses to “In Which Today’s Post Disintegrates into a Whiny Rant

  • Jolene

    I don’t mean to chuckle over here at your horrible experiences but …wow… the guy who threw the pen and had a little hissy fit in his office chair took the cake!!

    Back when I was a freshman in high school my mother went snooping into my room and found letters that I had written to my best friend, Jenny… one letter I spoke about how heart broken I was over my break up with Ricky and that I didn’t want to live any longer…..instead of coming to me and being a MOM, she took me to a therapist. This man was awful….he flat out called me a slut (was still a virgin), a trouble maker and no good….I left that office feeling like I was worthless.

    As an adult my experience with therapists have been quite good…although when I think I am going there to talk about divorce or kids…it always comes back to my childhood and ALL of them end up telling me that I shouldn’t be the one sitting across from them, it should be my mother…….which makes me feel a tad bit better!!

    Hope you have a better day!

    • Topaz

      No problem! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I feel like I’ve been too concerned with making my posts so “professional” and self-helpy. It’s always good for me when I remember that I’m not an expert; I’m just a guy sharing his experiences.

      Actually, the doctor who had a hissy fit was a woman. I was about to put in a disclaimer saying we weren’t dating or anything (we were not), but I decided not to.

      I am so sorry about your horrible experience in high school! Unfortunately there are some bad ones out there. I was so naive and expected my very first one to be a perfect fit. Ha

      Yeah, my father had a lot to do with my problems, so I understand!

      • Jolene

        all I can say is just be you. Sometimes writing from your heart is much better than some uptight professional blog who doesn’t show heart or passion…ya know??

  • Jen Kropf

    Yes, I’ve run into some of the same problems with doctors. I actually quite enjoyed your “whiny rant”. I think it was therapeutic for me too. 😀

  • Topaz

    Yep, absolutely. Part of me thinks that if it isn’t “intellectual” enough, then I’ll lose readers. But that works both ways. If I try to be too intellectual and uptight, then I’ll lose those who want something else. I guess either way, we all gain and lose readers!

    • Pilgrim Jet

      True! And that’s the spirit! If I may say, please don’t get too stressed out about updating your readers (us). The blog is for you and for God. I guess, from there, everything will follow and will fall into place. Although we would really love to know how you are, but we also don’t want you to be worried about updating your post.

      I would have to agree with Jen there. 🙂 If what we write is from the heart (with sincerity and faith), I am confident that the post will give more impact to the readers.

      I enjoyed this post too. You just don’f fail to give us some laugh. Although I cannot help but be concerned about the Psychiatrists. All I can do is just say a prayer for them, coz they’re suppose to be instruments for healing, and its a bit saddening that they treat their patient like that,

      Anyway, I’ll continue to pray for your total healing. 🙂 God bless you and all your readers!


  • Topaz

    Thank you, Jet! I really appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    Your first paragraph really meant a lot because I had just finished praying that God would inspire me to write the next blog post. God timed it perfectly yet again!

    I have only gone through about 5 or 6 doctors so far. At some point I hope to find “the right one.” Thanks for your concern.

    God bless you and YOUR readers too, Jet!

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