Personal Hell: Visiting a psychiatrist

When I’m being treated by a psychiatrist, I imagine I’m on the popular television show, Jeopardy. It goes like this:

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Throughout my twenty-four years of existence, I’ve had a heaping amount of visits to doctors of all kinds in an attempt to manage my numerous life issues – my sensory processing disorder being at the forefront.

I believe psychiatric/psychological help is imperative when dealing with physical illness. So darn it all, I’ve got to pull on my big girl panties and get stuff done, no matter how miserable it is to visit a psychiatrist.

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I never enjoy going to see a psychiatrist. If I had $5 for every bizarre session with a psychiatrist, I could probably afford to go to medical school, become a psychiatrist, and THERAPEUTIZE myself.

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As usual, I just made up another word: therapeutize.

Definition: Therapeutize: to use therapeutic techniques.

In a sentence: “I’m going through a tough time with my wife, if I could only therapeutize my marriage back to where it used to be, we’d be happy again.”

——————————-

Psychiatrists never seem to pick good locations for their offices. Unfortunately for me, these locations are sensory UNFRIENDLY. I’m uncertain whether or not these locations are chosen on purpose.

One psychiatrist had the office lights so bright, I almost couldn’t open my eyes. That was a fun visit.

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Another had a million winding stairs up to the office, like one of those M.C. Escher paintings. I felt like I could die at any moment whilst making my way to the top. Additionally, it was nearby a train station, so periodically, the train would blare its horn and I would feel my lungs give out from the intensity of the sound. I’d grip the staircase railing, waiting for death.

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Some psychiatrists have leather couches to sit on. I don’t know about you, but my body doesn’t understand leather. It’s shiny, and rubbery. My body actually hates me when I sit on leathery surfaces, as I find myself sliding right off and into a pathetic puddle on the floor.

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Some psychiatrists don’t understand my sensory needs at all, which is both humorous and sadly ironic. For example, everything they do is often very noisy, including speaking. It’s not done intentionally, but most of them are so oblivious that they don’t even notice how sensory unfriendly they are. Even if I tell them directly about the nature of my issues, all psychiatrists seem to live in their own psychiatric bubble. Must be nice there…

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well times up

Even WORSE is when I’m in the middle of an appointment, and I REALIZE the absurdity of what is happening. I want to explode with rage and hurl various sized fruits at the ignorant person in front of me. Problem is, I never remember to bring the fruit with me.

so anxiety

fascinating

why yes i am

wow congrats

thank you darling

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Still, the most difficult part of all of these psychiatric visits is when I have to think critically about myself and answer endless complicated questions.

How do you feel? How are you feeling? Describe that process? Can you give me an example of a time when your SPD did this or that and why it made you behave in this or that manner? The severity of anxiety and depression dissociative tendencies increases or decreases when compounded with the negative associations of certain stimuli with which you are negatively associated on the grounds ohfds  hfds hjbdnjcfnd sun43uhu nfjdnsf

My brain, now reduced to a mushy potato, replies:

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When it’s all over, I have an overwhelming urge to fill a void in my delicate psyche (created by psychiatrists poking at it too much). There is only one remedy for this kind of destruction:

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xo kelly

p.s. Please send all cake to me, I will stuff it into my psyche void. Thank you.

 

 

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5 comments

  1. What kind of cake?
    P.s. Personally, I loved the autism meet up group I went to recently where they had bright fluorescent lights and ceiling fans spinning…
    p.p.s. classic yellow with vanilla buttercream.

    1. Any cake, honestly. I’ll eat them all.
      p.s. I would’ve flipped some tables at that autism group if I were you.
      p.p.s. Buttercream is clearly the top choice for frosting and filling.

  2. I believe psychiatric/psychological help is imperative when dealing with physical illness.

    Did you mean mental/psychological illness, or physical?

    Also, do you mean it seriously, or jokingly? (It doesn’t look like psychiatrists are all that helpful).

    Very entertaining post:-) I recognise some of the scenarios… or the gist of them.

    1. I think psychiatric/psychological help is imperative for physical illness (as it goes without saying that pysch help is usually given for those with psych illnesses), I wanted to point out physical conditions as well.

      I meant it seriously, even though my from experience, counselors/therapists/social workers are a million times better than psychiatrists. Most psychiatrists have been of little help to me.

      Thanks for enjoying the post anyway 🙂

      1. Aha, get it now (I think)… So it is in relation to SPD = neurological = physical illness. Yes that makes perfect sense in relation to the cartoon, sorry for being slow. (I love your cartoons, I just wasn’t sure what that one sentence meant).

        I’ve also had plenty of experiences with therapy, in most cases brief and not very useful although there are exceptions.

        I’ve rarely tried to describe my sensory issues in past therapies (until the last, which is where I got my Asperger’s diagnosis incl. SPD), even though they’re omnipresent and frame my life in terms of preferences and limitations. That’s partly because I to some extend thought they were “caused by” my back in time overwhelming social difficulties and didn’t have a real existence of their own, and partly because I had no verbal concepts to define them until I learned about Asperger’s & SPD. I’d never heard about any experiences/problems like mine, so had my own private “names” (no words) for them and they sort of popped in and out of existence depending on the situation. I had also filed away that whole type of problem as “inexplicable physical weirdness” = not really psychological and perhaps not even real (albeit mysteriously omnipresent and pervasive), and therefore not relevant for psychological therapy. (I guess that’s the same attitude that caused my confusion about your sentence!) My idea of “relevance” in psychological/psychiatric therapy was very narrow back then and confined mostly to family/childhood dynamics. Also, I was so shut down in any therapy session that I only associated with topics I was “fed” by the therapist, and couldn’t bring something into it that seemed “out of context”/not strictly psychological-only. I was so tense and overwhelmed by the unfamiliar surroundings and having a professional constantly, invasively, inquisitively starring right into my eyes, that I disassociated, felt unreal and experienced the situation as fragments (also happened often in the most recent & more understanding therapy), observed myself talking from a distance without really being present, and just responded to cues as if I was some sort of play-back recording machine serving up elaborate and meaningful talk when certain associations were activated, but in an emotionally disconnected, identity-free, and memory-impaired mind state.

        In my therapy history of the far past, although my big, pervasive life problem was obviously social: constant loneliness privately (incl. very little contact to my family, and no friends), extreme exhaustion and depression after being around other people, not knowing how to keep conversations going, manage body language, make friends etc, I barely ever (if ever) mentioned my social problems to the therapists I saw. I suppose it was obvious in the situation that I had communication/social issues, but it was never addressed directly, as in: asking what my here-and-now experience was like, and how I managed to communicate and relate with people in general. Instead the focus was directed towards the past, to trying to dig up potential “root causes” = family dynamics and childhood traumas, perhaps incest (one therapist was certain of that). The general assumption must have been that I was severely psychologically broken, so someone must have broken me in the past, and so if that event could be clarified then it would be possible to repair my brokenness. It is only after my social abilities has gradually improved qualitatively (a lot) over the years, that I’ve been able to define sensory issues as a distinct and separate collection of issues that can be managed with tools, and which has in itself caused huge social development issues from early on.

        Personally, while I found it helpful to talk with one understanding psychologist about sensory issues ,it wouldn’t help to talk more about it (albeit it is essential that people around me understands it), because it just is what it is. Talk therapy is in itself overloading and challenging and can cause its own problems, and the chance of being understood by a stranger is minimal. For me, the only effective remedies I know of are practical strategies for sensory management, realistic expectations, tools, and the understanding of people around me. We all have our own unique blend of traits and preferences and circumstances, and different things work for different people.

        I also suspect that you’re likely to have met many more competent(with SPD) professionals because of your early diagnosis, understanding family, newer history (SPD and ASD is much better understood today than in my youth, where it probably wasn’t known at all).

        However, one professional that I would like to see for SPD is an OT, but I haven’t been able to find one here in Sydney that deals with SPD in adults. (I even asked the Australian SPD trade organisation, don’t remember its name. They couldn’t help either).

        Ps. I hope you don’t mind that my comment is quite long, I’ve tried to edit it down but it is still quite long. It is basically because the your post and the topic is inspiring… but if you do mind please just tell me, then I’ll only write brief comments here in the future.

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