I love being a ”shrink-lady.” (okay, a “psychiatrist.”)
I did not pick it out of a hat. I tried a couple of other medical specialties. The “doctor” part — well, there was never any doubt about that part, really. I mean the idea of taking care of other folks came into my head pretty early on, as did the idea that I was smarter than most other kids, ahead of where I was “supposed” to be.
My family had some health problems as I persevered in schooling. It became evident that doctors had not only status but power over other people’s lives. Read more on Your life, Your Work – What’s The Difference?…
The person who walks into a psychiatrist’s office looking for help is not necessarily the patient.
Often, they are simply the family of the patient.
Sometimes, they themselves have something – possibly a disorder, but maybe just an emotional or attitude problem — that would seem somehow lesser in magnitude than the psychiatric diagnosis the person who is or should be the patient has actually got. Read more on Families Often Indicate Psychiatric Problems…
I don’t think we plan what our real specialties are going to be.
I frequently tell patients I am an expert on getting through menopause now that I have been able to come through my own relatively unscathed.
I became somewhat of an expert on Asperger’s because I diagnosed many elements of it in my father and just about all criteria in my brother.
They both carried additional diagnoses of bipolar (a.k.a. ‘manic-depressive’) illness. Neither one was in any way typical.
Both surely had their problems in life. My father was assisted considerably by his domineering mother who gave him lots — I mean lots — of direction. She even helped him choose a wife — my mother — who took care of the things in life that were difficult or even impossible for him. Read more on From Sandy Hook to Santa Barbara — Asperger’s Syndrome And Violence…
Even though I am both a woman and a psychiatrist, I am no expert on the mother-daughter relationship.
My Mother-Of-Blessed-Memory was a “good” woman by any measure — the faithful and virtuous homemaker. She spent a lot of time thanklessly trying to nurture my Father-Of-Blessed-Memory — a pretty grandiose if creatively powerful music writing and arranging manic with some Asperger traits — and my Brother-Of-Blessed-Memory — a full blown Asperger’s who was also bipolar.
They took so much of her psychic energy it is a wonder she had any left at all for me. But she did, and she told me how she had to fight to get me freedom, the days she would drop me off in the car when I went to the Secondary Science Training program, or even just to walk in downtown Boston. Read more on Mothers and Daughters and Such…
I am not going to repeat the lurid details of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes against young boys and the whole of humanity. I suppose what he was able to accomplish was a pedophile’s dream — The specific charity (the Second Mile) for “helping young boys” that brought him a steady flow of victims, the who judge had been a volunteer for his charity.
Now, there are allegations that his own family contained alleged victims – possibly his grandson.
It’s not that nobody knew — People had complained and reported many times over many years.
Some how it never got out. Read more on Sandusky-Penn State Revelations Keep Coming…
We did not really know where this patient was at. I figured out he was some kind of bipolar, because he talked about mood swings.
When I first saw him, he seemed to have a delusional system that had something to do with idealizing a woman pharmacist and feeling he had offended her and thinking obsessionally about her.
He was starting to idealize me, and commenting on my hair and clothes, and I will admit that I wanted to fix this guy as quickly as possible, so I would not get incorporated into one of what sounded like a series of delusional systems. He had come into the clinic several times, usually with sequentially weakening delusions — always an idealized woman. He gave the impression of being gay — always wearing at least one piece of jewelry that I would have expected to see on a woman. Read more on How To Shock Your Doc — New Uses For A Medicine Bottle…
She said she was depressed and anxious. She was 38, large, and animated, with almost glazed over excited eyes, and talking a mile a minute.
Every person who tells me he or she is depressed gets asked the necessary questions to determine if he or she has manic-depressive illness, otherwise known as bipolar illness. The only way to determine this that I know about is by asking. Nobody who is depressed and comes in for treatment of same is going to spontaneously volunteer the info I need to make the diagnosis. Read more on Bipolar Could Be Misdiagnosed As Depression…
We can’t pick our diagnoses like we pick what outfit we are going to wear.
I remember an encounter where the psych symptoms had political overtones, although I’ve handled plenty of other cases that had the same resistance to being diagnosed.
“I’m scared of this bipolar thing,” he said. “Everyone I know who has it is really sick — like crazy — and I’m not sure I want to take medication for it.” Read more on Great Manics of History…
He was 50 and he told me right up front, “I need more of the medications the other doctors give me. You can just renew them for me; that is why I am here.”
That’s probably the second most common thing a patient says to me. The most common is, “Why didn’t my other doctors tell me that?” No, I don’t just renew prescriptions, I explained to him. I told him that I need to get to know my patients, so that I can make sure that I give them the correct medications.
“I don’t want you to do that,” he said to me. “All the other doctors just give me renewals.” I told him I didn’t much care, that was not how I worked, and if he wanted renewals he would have to tell me how he was doing. Read more on Self-Medicating On Pot And Booze As A Life Plan…