“Hey Dr. I think my appointment is on Thursday the 15th….at 2:30? If i’m wrong call me back, otherwise I’ll be there at that date and time.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left that message. I have a memory. I don’t forget my dentist appointment in three months. I don’t forget where I parked. I don’t forget long or short-term things, yet, I always manage to forget my appointment. And I’m straight up with my Doctor:
“I do not want to be here. Nothing personal, just don’t want to be here.”
It’s a lot of pressure to squeeze your mind into one session. Figure out what drugs work, or not. Figure out how you feel about yourself, your place, your job, your relationships, your family, your life. It’s a lot. Maybe that’s part of it. The feeling that I have to make sure I give up all the information I can to better my mental health; to better help my Doctor determine what’s best for me. It’s a lot of pressure.
But I do. And I feel better afterwards when I walk down the stairs out of the building. It’s a weird sensation.
You walk in terrible, and walk out better. But the next time I go through it all over again. I forget the time and day, I dread the drive there, I hate the sitting down and now spill it all out in a finite amount of time and hope that you say the right thing. Cause you can say anything. Maybe that’s the bizarre challenge.
It’s hard to go to your psychiatrist.
I don’t know why they say, “Go to your doctor.” I’ve been in a hole the past week and need a doctors note to justify my absence at work which really isn’t happening and shows the stupidity of the modern age to expect someone with a mental illness to make it a doctor for a note.
When I used to work in psych wards in Los Angeles County, it used to irk me that the treatment team would throw out diagnosis left and right with NOS for either they didn’t have to time to properly diagnose patients cause the hospital was a rotating door, OR, they don’t know enough about mental illness to properly diagnose someone so stick on the NOS to be safe. It annoyed me on multiple levels cause once a person has an Axis I diagnosis it’s documented in a system. Patients would come and go and float from hospital to hospital and when I would pull up their name in the system the patient would have several different diagnosis NOS…NOS…NOS.
Some people diagnose themselves before they get professional psychiatric help. I did, and society influenced my “self-diagnosis.” Just like PE class for children’s physical health awareness, it is crucial to teach mental health diagnosis in schools instead of using buzz words like ADHD and jumping on a bandwagon that might not be yours. I thought I was ADHD because I didn’t know there was such a thing as Bipolar II – Chronic Hypo Mania. Big difference.
Here are some red flags to consider when you self-diagnose and/or miss-diagnose: