Stupid Shrink Tricks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


True story. This woman was sanctimonious and just plain wrong. And wealthy, one might add, off the lamentable suffering of others.

Submitted: July 21, 2018

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Submitted: July 21, 2018

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STUPID SHRINK TRICKS

 

By Alexander Guinevere Kern

 

 

How about the female psychiatrist, who has spent the last 25 years treating ONLY people with affective disorders?  Bipolar Illness is her specialty.  As an expert, she's considered one of the best pdocs in town, and she charges *large* for the pleasure of her services.  She has a professional and confident manner; she assured me she could assist me with my two ambitions: to get off Klonopin, and to reconnect with my imaginative faculties, which had been effectively destroyed by psychiatric drugs.  (This is a common complaint amongst mood-disordered artists.)

 

Hoo ahhh.

 

She started right out telling me that I MUST be Bipolar, and my manias were actually dysphoric mania.  I informed her I was tired of being "treated" as though I were about to bust out in fulminant mania any minute, when in fact my entire "illness" has been characterized by a complete and total lack of energy and feelings of despair.  In my entire life, I'd never experienced a moment of normal energy.  Please note: I described the features of my illness right up front.  Get me some damn energy or punt.

 

She placed me on Tegretol, and commenced to systematically raise the dose while dropping the Klonopin.  She definitely weaned me off the Big K with very little withdrawal symptoms. However, I did suffer muscle spasms, pretty impressive muscle spasms in the wee hours of the morn, I may add, and some nausea and dizziness.

 

Alas, by Thanksgiving, I did not recognize my daughters seated at the table.

 

I should have KNOWN under what Shrink Star she was born when she said, "Oh, no, that's not the Klonopin.  No, something else is going on with you."

 

Excuse me?  SUCH AS? Klonopin withdrawal is known to be absolute HELL. Doesn’t she read the literature?  

 

Ah, but she wasn't finished with me, yet. I found out she was yet another Doctor Drug Defender. To the point of losing all credibility with me. After I told her how much better I felt, now free of the delirious and dismal effects of the Klon, she asked, anxiously: "Are you sure you're not feeling a little TOO good, Guinevere?"

 

WHAT?  Was this woman not listening to me on the occasion of our first session, when I told her, weeping, that I had not enjoyed but a handful of even "normal energy" days in the last twenty years?  Even if I'd been stark, neon Manic you'd think she'd have been GLAD for me!  I mean, seriously, what the HELL?  I say it once again, if you are draggin' arse Depressed, can’t work, can’t think, and have gained enough weight to look like a human dirigible, that does not seem to nuzzle their nuggies one iota. Ach!  But just tell them you are feeling a tad more animated and KERziiiiiiip! -- faster than a speeding Zyprexa they are ready to yank your plug and lock you up!  I was absolutely shocked at this “expert".

 

No matter what Shrink or which therapist I ever paid to ‘help’ me, they became animated and even angry, if I seemed happier or (finally) enthusiastic about life.  Most treated me like a criminal. I was heavily criticized and accused of "not taking your medicine."

 

That was false. I was compliant and that is a fact.

 

As soon as they noticed I was not drooling, sobbing or staring, they got enthusiastic about their prescription pads in a hurry.

 

Mention at the preliminary interview that I'd suffered horribly from severe depression since my youth - and could barely move or think and had lost all interest in life - and not a single “doctor” ever showed compassion or interest in that complaint, or recommended a prescription to treat the depression. No, not ever. Not even alternative remedies proven to improve depression symptoms. Not a recommendation to see a physician to make certain I did not have some other underlying medical condition.

 

Keeping you quite and compliant, THAT they cared about. Normal mood and normal energy are promised and never delivered.

 

In my entire life I have never done anything remotely illegal or unethical or unusual. I did not spend the family fortune on gambling or the horse races or buying stock in nose plugs. I did not diddle and fiddle with the zippers of every man in town. I did not declare myself to be Jesus Christ or Napoleon, or even Alexander the Great.

 

But somehow a bit of energy, positivity and joy = Mania and I had to take serious drugs to contain that, immediately.

 

Her office was a showy display of expensive antiques, may I point out. Pricey carpet, too. She charged more per hour than any other doctor in my memory.

 

I said, "No, actually I am very slow and terribly tired. But I feel a bit better, mood-wise."

 

At that very moment she was opening up the results from my blood tests, and announced: "My! You're very anemic!"

 

Then she goes back to questioning me, trying to find out how hypomanic I am.

 

::banging head on desk::

 

Ah, but that was not the end of my sorry revelation re: this femdoc.

 

Incidentally, I have run a 9 Hemoglobin for 25 years; that’s 3/5 of normal – my internist refuses to give me an Iron Dextran injection, and then the shrinks wonder why I am slow and depressed. 

 

At one point I bled so heavily during the Days of Auntie Flo Visiting From The West Undies, that I had to call the ER.  We’re talking filling a baby diaper within 15 minutes - every 15 minutes - and blood clots the size of small countries. The EMT in the ambulance could not get a DROP of blood to flow so he could check my vital data. Not One Drop.  I could not stand UP without passing OUT, and the hospital STILL sent me home, despite several nurses’ persistent badgering the ER docs; they were quite vocal. In their opinion that I needed a blood transfusion, STAT.

 

Don’t trust doctors. Trust ER nurses. They know where the bodies are buried.

 

I explained to this imperious PsyDoc, in detail, the sad story of my breakdown, including, but not limited to, the worst phase -- when my first psychiatrist, not knowing WHAT the hell to do with me and my wacko, non-standard symptoms, decided to put me on Imipramine. You all know the outcome: I went psycho. The world, and its inhabitants, its flora, and its fauna, looked like a Japanese Anime cartoon. I am not exaggerating for effect now (although I've been know to engage in that narrative privilege <g>) -- I have NEVER been more frightened, more out of touch, more psychotic, more depressed, or more frenzied, in my life -- EVER.   My symptoms were NOTHING like those of my "breakdown" (mostly tiredness and severe insomnia), the symptoms he was attempting to "treat" with his drug.

 

Without question, and with the testimony of an ER doc, what I experienced was a drug reaction. In fact, for women my age, who are a certain type of Depression, a *perfectly predictable* reaction.  He *worsened the course of my illness* FOR LIFE.  Please note that, also. NONE of that lamentable escapade was in any way my fault.  I suffer from a P-450 isoenzyme deficiency, which causes me to be drug sensitive to the extreme; I begged that joker not to force me to take his rotgut drug, and in the end, I was right, and I got to be more crazed, fatigued and unable to sleep than I was when I first walked into his office. Oh, but he got PAID, dears – for causing me to become even more disabled.  Quite a lot of PAID, if you catch my drift.

 

Did you know you can’t sue psychiatrists? 

 

I was recently told by my new, sympathetic, ethical shrink that Imipramine Hydrochloride is a terrible drug, created in the 1950s for patients with TB - and no one even prescribes it any longer.  Well, we’re only talking nine years ago when it was prescribed (aggressively) for ME!

 

He said, "You must take this medication. It will change your life!"

 

Now then -- After sharing this data with my new (at the time) pdoc, she fixed me with a determined look, and says, "Oh! I'd have you on 10mgs Zyprexa per day, for at least a year.  No question, no excuses.  One year at minimum!  Besides, the Imipramine didn't do that to you. Something else must've been going on with you."

 

That's right.  She'd slap me upside the head with a potent neuroleptic, one which has the potential to cause the irreversible and embarrassing condition Tardive Dyskinesia, FOR ONE YEAR.  I mean, how does she figure?? (Never mind that the imipramine most certainly DID do that to me!)

 

I have taken 5mgs of Zyprexa before, in fact, once I entered that psychotic rabbit hole adventure, the docs down at the local ward PUT me on 5mgs for a month because I could no longer sleep at all.  I cannot FUNCTION on that much Zyprexa. I cannot drive. I can barely walk. I had NO CLUE who I was, no clue. It is truly a marvelous drug for hallucinations and such, according to people who take it regularly. But to ruin my life for ONE YEAR after a medical professional's serious mistake?  He’s lucky I did not sue him for MALPRACTICE!

 

But you can’t sue a psychiatrist and I did not have hallucinations!

 

I decided she wasn't really the pdoc for me.  But I needed to finish the transition to Tegretol, so I continued seeing her for pharmacotherapy.  

 

When I complained about the (well known) cognitive side effects of lithium, she said <rustling papers> "Aren't you one of those Mensan people?  People with High I.Q.s are quite often very arrogant.  You don’t need that kind of I.Q. for the everyday life. You need to concentrate on your relationships, and not worry about the loss of 25-30 I.Q. points.  You need to learn humility."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now this is just the sort of propaganda which drives me truly nuts.  Damn near.  This is a moral/value judgement, just a personal opinion, which is NOT her job.  She does not give a flip if I am arrogant or not; she just wants to talk me into continuing drug therapy. That's what *really* gets me.  That is why, no matter what hideous side effects I must endure, the drugs "didn't do it”.

 

There are (who wants to guess?) multitudes of arrogant people in the world, but they don't have to go into "therapy" and have some pretentious soul-less faux-scientist tell them they need to be more warm and fuzzy.  I have never been warm and fuzzy. I don't WANT to be warm and fuzzy.  Yes, I have a high I.Q., or, at least I DID, before the drug parade walked over my genius loci. <g> And if I don't like people maybe I have a damn good reason for my POV.  Outside a shrink's office, people might call me "irascible", or "choleric", or "supercilious" or some such pejorative.  But a shrink has power -- they can lock you up if they feel inclined -- so they play the tiger act and start telling you to revamp your entire personality 'cause they say so.   They wave around their DSM classifications like ninja shuriken.  

 

Like THAT will eliminate so much as ONE episode of mania or depression or whatever the hell I have ailing me in mah coconut.

 

And by the by, I had a thorough psychiatric evaluation before I was allowed to work in Nuclear Containment at a Nuclear Power Plant and passed with . . . profound sanity.

 

I'm 51 years old.  Yet she spoke to me as though I were a child, and told me things so blatantly false it was an insult to my so-called intelligence.  She told me she'd never had a patient whom she "allowed" to get by on such a low dose of meds. She told me I am NOT suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, and that ALL of my phobic symptoms were due to my Illness. It did not matter WHAT my therapist had dx'd, ALL of it was covered under "Illness".  I've been terrified to get in a car unless *I* am the driver; I have been that phobic and panicky ALL OF MY LIFE.  She insisted that my panic only occurred when I was "switching" from one mood state to another -- as if all I did all day was gently swish through all the various affective states -- lalalala!  I said, "No, umm.  I don't *ever* let anyone drive me. I don't care what day, time, year, feast of the virgin it is."

 

She then argued with me.  I KNOW I have Asperger's Syndrome. My ex-husband had been saying it for years; I've been dx'd by an expert in the condition. But this broad wasn't going to allow it -- because I might try to claim I'm really Aspergers instead of severely depressed. In fact, the combination occurs fairly often.  We take the same drugs -- what the fuggers is her *problem*?  Panic Disorder, with which I have been diagnosed *many* times, can co-exist with Major Depression or Bipolar Illness -- what the fat is her main malfunction??

 

I can't believe THAT woman is an "expert" in the treatment of our disorder.  She proudly told me she did a lot of "advocate work for the mentally ill" -- which is scary, man!  I mean, whoaaaaa!

 

When my car caught fire months ago, whilst I was tooling down the main interstate?  I was rescued by a trucker and his wife, who had pulled over in the hopes that I would recognize my Toyota was aflame and steer my buggy right behind them. The gent yanked me out of the car and immediately opened the bubbling hood and started to spray his fire extinguisher all over my sizzling engine. His wife took me over to the shoulder of the road, handed me her cell phone and waited with me until the fire department and police had arrived. They were a gift from God, as far as I'm concerned.  When I related this story to the shrink later that week, I called them "angels unawares" (a Southern expression).  She snorted at me, and said, unctuously: "Oh, no. They just happened to be there. There are a lot of truckers on I-95. They're required to carry fire extinguishers.  There's nothing magical about it.  People like You are irrational. You have to try and understand that.”

 

Well, without those Angels I would have been irrationally DEAD.

 

Grrrrr!  Now, you see, any other person would've agreed with me -- that their presence was fortuitous and wonderful and "God was looking out for you."  I have heard the expression thousands of times in my life. Now I am not allowed to view this incident in that manner, because, according to literature, people with affective disorders tend to be "overly mystical, engaging in magical thinking, and too much fantasy."

 

That is precisely WHY that pdoc wench said those things to me!  GOD FORBID!  I might have been getting Hyper-religious!  A symptom of my “illness.”  It is outrageous!  :::wheeze!:::

 

Nuns, Monks . . . hyper-religious and in need of antipsychotics, I guess she believed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally she informed me she did not approve of our local live support group (run by DRADA, one of JHU's satellite orgs., and highly reputable) because they did not "have a psychiatrist present."   Sheesh!  That's the main reason I LIKED that group!  That told me all I needed to know about her -- she thinks we "mentally ill" cannot even be trusted to conduct a support meeting alone.  I mean, get real.  Advocate This!

 

I hated her. I couldn't wait to dump her sanctimonious tush.  I went straight back to my longtime psychopharm., who said, "Oh, you shouldn't say those things. She's so nice. We always sit together at the APA meetings."

 

Then she found out that my recently dumped shrink wanted $50.00 for my medical records.  My old psychopharm. was like, "How unprofessional of her!"

 

Yeah. And ya know what?  I don't sit around all day watching Jerry Springer. I don’t even OWN  a TV! I paint, and I write, and it is HARD WORK. I need every blasted one of my I.Q. points, thank ya verah, verah much!

 

Man . . . 

 

 

 

***** Now that I am a 63 year old Near Death Experiencer - clairvoyant medium and have spent the last 14 years investigating the Realm of So-Called Light, I can tell you with certainty, there really ARE “angels unawares.”  So watch your behavior, folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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