Sit and think with the shrink

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

Featured Review on this writing by moa rider

Patient lackadaisically enters the stuffy antique office and sits down without a word. He kept up the same sullen and apathetic composure for the entire session.
"Good day. Nice to see you again. And how are you feeling?" Asked the psychiatrist with as much enthusiasm as his dreary state of mind permitted.
"I want to die." Responded the patient nonchalantly.
"Do you have any intention to hurt yourself or anyone else?" 
"No. Like I said, I just want to die."
"You may think you do but that's just a symptom of your pathology."
"What is my pathology, doctor?"
"Your diagnosis is manic depression. We've been through this several times. Are you feeling okay?"
"I really hate that question. I just want to die."
"But what about your loved ones?" 
"I'm sure they'll manage."
"I see. You don't see that line of reasoning as selfish in any way?"
"What do you mean by that?" Said the patient inquisitively.
"The act of suicide is frowned upon." He said tersely, almost begrudgingly.
"How so...?" 
"You know this. Suicide is commonly seen as disrespectful to others."
"How's that? It's my life, not theirs."
"To whom are you referring when you say "them""? 
The patient's eyes turned blank and he did not respond.
"We've been through this before. You don't remember?" Urged the psychiatrist.
"Maybe. Maybe not. Indulge me."
The psychiatrist was patient. Each minute he spent here with this lost cause was worth just over $7 and the session was only for one hour. He simply sighed and employed that same old adage.
"By killing yourself you will deeply hurt those whom care for you."
"Remind me who they are again?"
"Well there's your mother for a start, your girlfriend-"
"Thanks for reminding me. I'd almost forgotten." Interrupted the patient with a sardonic tone.
"So you don't care for your beloved? Would you not feel guilty?"
"I... care. So much as words permit. But how could I feel guilty if I'm dead? I wouldn't feel anything, would I not? Nor would I suffer." 
"So in other words you don't care?"
"Im by no means a callous individual. But I do believe I have become cold-hearted. I wouldn't want for any unnecessary harm. I just want to die."
"Why do you want to die?"

"I've simply had enough."
"Had enough of what?"
"I can't say for sure. All I know is I want to die. I think people would be better off without me. It would be a relief for them, my beloved, as you call them?"
"And what do you call them?
"My beloved."
The psychiatrist looked at the clock with a subtle sidelong glance and felt a sense of relief.
"Im afraid our time here is almost up and I look forward to seeing you-"
"There's still 5 minutes left."
The psychiatrist shuffled in his chair uncomfortably and mumbled something under his breath.
"What was that?"
The psychiatrist repositioned his spectacles to give the impression of intelligence.
"If you continue to fetishise your sadness, you know well the probable outcome."
"The mental hospital? Well how do you propose I stop fetishising my sadness?"
The psychiatrist was upset. 
"Sir, there are many recreational activities you could partake in alone or with friends, you could join a community or learn a skill... the possibilities are infinite."
"I know that. But you didn't answer my question."
"How to stop fetishising your sadness? Well you could think of something different for a start. Change your environment? Not everything is rooted in past trauma. In our culture this is an uncomfortable topic to talk about."
"But then why am I here?" The patient responded wanly.
The clock had ticked over the mark. This annoyed the psychiatrist who customarily liked to end his sessions early. Without a word he scribbled out a script and handed it to the patient. There was a mutual understanding. Some kind of tacit exchange had taken place. The patient frowned still more, took his script, and exited the room. As he left the psychiatrist called after him in a relatively enthusiastic tone (perhaps glad that conversation was finally over for now), "see you in 6 weeks. Please see reception on the way out for payment."
The patient obliged. Left feeling the same as before. Wondered for the umpteenth time whether his coming here was worth it in the slightest. These thoughts proceeded mechanically and without consequence he carried on his life of quiet mundanity.

Submitted: April 15, 2021

© Copyright 2022 olive tree. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


moa rider

You've confirmed what I've always thought, psychiatry is fuzzy, based on the patient saying what they want to hear, and then they're cured. Usianguke

Thu, April 15th, 2021 9:19pm


Yup. It’s ridiculous.

Thu, April 15th, 2021 4:59pm

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