I visited the doctor this afternoon. The psychiatrist.
We met for roughly an hour.
He was a gentlemen in his early fifties with an opinionated air to him. Dr. Chris White I believe. Approachable and easygoing, but always ready with a response.
I sat down in his office and, for the first time really, I began to consider why I chose to make this appointment. The obvious answer was medication for my distractability… a crutch to aid my attention. But as I sat there, I realized that simply handing over some IQ tests and explaining that I thought I was a candidate for medication wasn’t going to convince him to write a script.
Since I’ve come from a long history of psychiatric therapy and evaluations, I began weighing my options: I could manipulate him and play the role I knew would satisfy his clinical diagnostics, or I could be straightforward, transparent and honest about my history. I decided in a split second decision to let him into my life.
This is not without risk, however. I am painfully aware of a psychiatric system that is inherently flawed. It approaches humans as simply a sac of DNA that secretes neurotransmitters that contribute to our personality and mood. I disown this philosophy. Obviously they are aware of environmental and nurture factors, but genetics take center stage when chemical therapy is sought as the solution. I also knew how dangerous it is when doctors label you with these mental disorders. The reasons might be far removed from the reality, but they hold the MD so they decide. Its actually scary when you lose your rights and the ability to advocate for yourself because they told you what and who you are.
Anyway… I decided that I was safe at this point in my life. I had gone years without any sort of depressive relapse… or any severe mental relapse for that matter. I continue to succeed and am mentally at peace with myself and the world that I create using my thoughts. (Attribution theory and explanatory style is my modus operandi).
So I began… the story of my life… told soo many times. Starting with first grade… mentioning the suicides, the thirteen moves, the six elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools… along with my stint in home school. I went over my psychiatric history with doctors and over all the diagnosis I was labeled, and the medications I was prescribed. I talked about the oppressive and destructive relationship I held with my parents growing up. Then we got into a little of my most recent history with my revelations about life… my turnaround. Then we proceeded to recap in detail all the events… mutilation, suicide pacts, overdoses, substance abuse, moves and transitions, etc.
After an hour all we got through till about my senior year than had to call it. He told me to set up an appt in two days… and to bring back additional ADD testing… and if I was up for it any of my past medical history and documentation(and I’m probably not… cause I’d rather not having too much of this crap on a file… insurance reasons etc).
The doctor was an uppity doctor. He definitely exuded an air that said “I’ve got it figured out”. Throughout my retelling he would interject with an explanation as to why something turned out that way… sometimes I corrected him with additional information and my own explanation and he would appear thoughtful and say ‘Interesting”… other times I just nodded and agreed…mostly to boost his ego and build an receptive relationship. I’ve heard so much of their explanations that I could practically be a psychologist.
The whole time I was telling this story I was trying to imagine what exactly he must be thinking. I mean, if you heard my story you would think that I was clinically insane. Based on my adolescent history, there is no logical reason why I made it out of all that with my mind and emotions still intact. He was asking me if I was bipolar, depressed, or suffered any of that stuff… I stolidly replied no. Not in the slightest. I could tell he wasn’t convinced… he was fighting to believe it.
He was like… “its important that we talk about all this so I can help you… so if you have another depressive relapse I can set you up with the right doctors and get you help.”[sic]
My reaction was like… um… that is the farthest thing I could ever imagine. No way could I go back to that place. He, of course, reminded me that those with depression have a 50% chance of relapse. Although I didn’t say it, I was thinking “… that is impossible. I choose my world… it does not choose me.”. In the end I had to agree with him… i mean… there is a statistical chance that my whole family is tortured and dies a horrible death, and I am forced to watch, and I have to bear that burden for the rest of my life…. and even then I still believe I’d make it out alive. Other than that, I am not a victim of circumstance, my world, my past, my feelings. I choose thoughts… and they make up my world.
Anyway… It was sorta funny. He was extremely fascinated with my whole story… often pondering after one of my responses to his questions and responding with “Let me be selfish for a moment… and when I say selfish, I say that as a joke really, but let me be selfish and ask you a question…” and he’d ask some question to satisfy he personal curiosity.
I won’t lie, the last doctor I saw about medication simply wrote me a script 15 minutes after I introduced myself and told her my academic history with ADD. Probably illegal, or unethical, but I was happy. Expedient drugging.
Dr. White told me at the outset that pretty rigorous ADD testing is done to protect the phenotype…. or people who have are legitimately disposed to ADD. I was fine with that.