What I don't know about psychiatrists is whether most of them tend to be humorless and dry or if they are just very good at professional distance, and that manifests in sort of blankness of personality in the office.
So when I took a nosedive towards the pit of despair, my solution was to just up my Zoloft.
Which is exactly what I figured a doctor would do, and I had enough, and I have new insurance that my (now-previous) doctors don't take, so I needed to find new ones, which is always so daunting. Plus, I had this quick fix at hand, and so I upped it and went on my not-terribly-merry way.
I shared my great solution with Nick, who was all, "I'm not so comfortable with you self-medicating. Could you please talk to a doctor about this? "
Coming from a line of self-medicators, was all, "Huh. OK, well, seems like overkill, but if you insist."
He did. So I did.
Which led to my visit yesterday to see a psychiatrist, as my new primary care doctor was not inclined to just dole out psychiatric medication. Coincidentally, he pointed me to someone I had seen years prior.
And I must admit there is something to be said for asking for help from people who know what they're talking about.
So when I'd seen this shrink years ago, he'd helped me get back on track. He's a medication shrink, not a talk therapy one. Although honestly, I don't know how many of those there are, and they would never be my preference for talking about things.
I'd remembered that he was abrupt, and my memory served me well.
The way my back-then therapist described him - and I think this might've been around the time she suggested that I should set my dating bar rather low - was that he didn't have a great bedside manor, and that puts people off, but he's a good doctor.
Perfect description. And all I need from him is to help with the chemical part.
I've really only met one practicing psychiatrist who was easy to chat with and has a good sense of humor, and he was my dad's last one. I mean, we didn't really joke around, but he clearly appreciated the dark humor that we doled out.
So I saw Dr. Abrupt, and he is just that, to the point of almost rudeness, although I don't believe that's his intention.
I felt awkward, and on the defensive - like I was answering all the questions wrong. Which, unless you deliberately misrepresent or can't remember, is impossible to do when you're answering questions about how you feel and your life history.
What I think it was like, though, is when Nick and I are trying to communicate directions to each other. On Saturday in Target, I told him that the kids medicine was in the back left corner. And he said, "You mean the front left corner."
Whatever. I mean the back left OVER THERE IN THE DIRECTION I AM POINTING WITH MY ENTIRE ARM.
Anyway, Dr. Abrupt and I didn't have smooth communication, but ultimately I would understand what he was asking and he would understand my answers.
So at one point he asked about suicide. Have I thought about it?
Well, sure I've thought about it.
When was the last time I'd thought about it?
Maybe last week. I think about it regularly.
This turns out to be kind of an alarm-bell kind of thing to say. But what I meant was, I think about my dad, I think about the why, I try to make sense of something that doesn't make sense.
I think about how you might get to the point where you cross over from not liking your life the way it is and hating how you feel but wishing and believing it can improve to not wanting to be alive anymore, to no longer feeling able to be of this world as we know it.
Sometimes I think it's just seeking relief. Not thinking of the forever of it. Just wanting relief, a respite
I didn't say exactly that. But I explained.
So then when he asked if I've ever thought of hurting myself, I said no. Which is true.
Next he asked if I've ever thought of hurting someone else, to which I also replied with a simple no.
Because he doesn't much seem the type to roll with a comment like, "Well, except for occasionally wanting to stab my husband..."