depression is like an ongoing storm

Sometimes your only option is to ride it out by treading water (using whatever thought exercises you’ve got). Sometimes, it’s not a heavy storm at all and you can enjoy it or have it affect you minimally. But sometimes, it’s too intense to ride out, and you need whatever you can get to survive it. My psychiatrist was the coast guard who came to my rescue when I was drowning at sea, but only if I knew in advance I might need it. Medication on the other hand was like a life-preserver, something I had to keep me afloat even when I was too tired to keep treading water.

-Anonymous

Going to Psych

This may be triggering for its description of psychosis, suicide, stigma and hospitalization!

Going to psych definitely helped me. I made a few friends and boosted my self esteem by socialising. It was like being back in school, which I miss a lot. I also learnt about ‘cognitive distortions’ in group CBT, which I use every day to stop unhelpful thinking patterns in their tracks.

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Conflict of Interest with Prescribing Medication?

I just think there is dogma when it comes to the field. That there is a an unspoken belief among those professionals that meds work 100% of the time for all people and that it’s just a matter of finding the right one.

Makes sense: a psychiatrist is only good for prescribing meds. Outside of meds, unless they also qualify as a therapist, they are pretty much useless. They would be out of a job therefore they have to vouch for their “product”. Conflict of interest IMO but that’s none of my business apparently….

-Nemozeno

Psychiatry Rant

This may be triggering for its mention and descriptions of mental illness and offensive language.

I’ll just say that the (mental) health system, like basically everything in this country sans the military, sucks.

From an interpersonal standpoint, at least 2 out of every 3 psychiatrists are either quacks, zealots that worship psychiatry, heartless, appears devoid of humanity under the veneer that “they need to keep an emotional distance”,  implacable, or heartless (not an error I mentioned twice). I have met good ones though and believe there are many of them out there (they just aren’t majority IMO) so it’s not like I’m that biased against them.

For all other workers (techs, SWs, nurses)…I haven’t met a single person that I would have anything bad to say about any of them.

Ironic in a way: more education apparently turns you into a c*** for the most part. All in the name of saving a life without a single regard for the quality of it and devoid of empathy and compassion.

Psychiatrists in the hospital are the ones I have a problem with: Just like all other patients in the hospital, I’m in a very foreign environment, and I’m at a low place. I NEED the doctor to be trustful, have him/her display friendliness, empathy, AND compassion (I don’t care if they actually have it; they’re smart: they can act and say the right things to make me believe it), and work FOR my benefit/make me feel like working with him or her.

Some of the psychiatrists I have encountered did the exact opposite. I have met many who ascribe to keeping an emotional distance with their patients. I don’t know who the hell started this practice as it is common in the US. All I know is I have an irrational hatred towards these people. I did not think it was fair to me and I certainly don’t think it’s fair to patients who are afraid and helpless only to have a damn robot talk to them.

Most of us, having entered the hospital, are emotionally vulnerable and there is the doctor: blank as empty space. You don’t confront emotion with cold stoicism. If you do, I don’t have to trust your damn doctorate  and the BS that you “want to help me”. I don’t feel respected or that I’m being listened to. I don’t feel safe knowing that Dr. Emotionally Empty is managing my medication. (S)he is just going to prescibe me something to “help clear my thoughts” when the medication does the opposite. It makes it worse, (s)he ups the dosage. Continued escalation of higher dosage or combine with meds that also don’t work until I literally go crazy. I experienced that and I have seen it EACH time I was hospitalized with other patients.And people think the anti-psychiatry movement is completely baseless…

I would like a rule that, if you haven’t dealt with MH personally either directly or indirectly OUTSIDE of school (meaning you didn’t deal with it as an assignment/to get credit towards your degree), you’re better off not being a psychiatrist or psychologist. Both professions need a humanitarian; not some intelligent snob who graduated summa cum laude from John Hopkins but emotionally identifies with a rock.

-NemoZeno

All pseudonyms are based off a person or character who inspires the interviewee: the character Captain Nemo from Moby Dick and Zeno, a philosopher. This post is cross-posted on aboutmentalillness.tumblr.com.