Shrink’s Line of the Day (edited)

Me: I don’t want to do any med changing until after I take the boards next week. At least my mind is okay right now.

Shrink: What happens if you move the date?

Me: I don’t think I can at this late notice. (Note: I never said anything about moving any boards. I had no such thoughts.)

Shrink: And if you don’t go?

Me: I guess it’s noted, and I’m out a couple thou.


Shrink: What happens if you fail it?

Me: I don’t know. The same. I have to redo it, it’s noted that I failed once, I’m out a couple thou.

At the time, I just moved on to the next thing. But now I’m thinking, what the fuck? I have never failed or screwed up any professional or other obligation in my entire life. If anything, I’m too perfect all the time. And right now, I actually feel sort of okay about going into the test. So what the fuck was that? Why would he hint that I might fail? How could that possibly be helpful?

The other great thing is I think he left with the impression that I am paranoid. I mentioned something about how during these last three months, I hardly answered phone calls. I mentioned that lately many friends have been leaving messages asking if I’m ok, that I don’t know why they all the sudden started calling. He asked, “So, are you worried there are rumors flying around?” I said no, it isn’t that, it’s that I hate people worrying about me and I honestly have no idea how to answer them. I don’t want to lie and say everything’s fine, but also am not interested in sharing my insanity with everyone.

Other things touched on: the upcoming personnel physical and drug test, which he didn’t believe they did (the drug test part), so that made me sound paranoid, and that I had used a fake name to do the levels test.

Suddenly, now I realize why he said he wanted me to come back in in the next couple of days, before the exam. He thinks I am totally paranoid, and also, in discussing the exam, I mentioned how my mind is working better now (as opposed to when he had me stoned out on lithium), and phrased it as something like, “Yeah, now I can just see the question and the right answer.” So that’s probably some magical thinking in there too…and why he asked me what happens if I fail.

I feel stupid for realizing this only now. I hate that I can’t really get a doctor who shares a native language with me, because I’m sure that contributes to this.

Anyway, he said he would call tomorrow – which I also couldn’t figure out until I just realized all this – because he certainly didn’t make such a big deal when I was actively suicidal. But now I get it.

Question now: how to confront the issue without sounding more paranoid? After a certain point, anything you do sounds worse, incriminating. What I’m most angry about is that he wasn’t just honest with me, and didn’t ask further questions. Just took a (mistaken) clinical impression and ran with it. I figure that unless I get some brilliant suggestion, I’m just going to ask straight out why all the sudden he jumped on me so much, and if that isn’t clear enough, I guess I’ll ask directly if he was thinking that I’m sliding into psychosis.

And maybe that’s why he encouraged me to go into writing and get out of medicine. Assumes I am shortly to be too mentally ill to practice.

See? Anything I can say or think now always sounds paranoid.

On the other hand, it is very tempting just to never go back. Again.



  1. Good Lord, what is wrong with this guy? I hate talking on the phone and it has been more than 4 months since my diagnosis. So what? I don’t worry about rumors, I just don’t want to talk about it because, in all honesty, it makes me feel worse. And, I figure with all the other problems in the world, that I may sound like I’m whining. That’s why I have a blog and I do actually go out of my house and see these people. I have told them outright, “I HATE talking on the phone, so don’t take it personally when I don’t answer.” Done.

    Hang in there. This guy is an idiot, but you need him because he is the one that can give you the drugs that you need. Listen to your body and you will know whether or not you can take the test. So far, I think it sounds like you can. However, I am not a medical professional. šŸ˜‰

    Also, my drug combo of choice is Lamictal with Cymbalta. šŸ™‚ It’s working pretty well so far. Other than last week being a slight mess. But there were outside circumstances involved.

  2. I think that’s pretty much the combo they want me on.

    I feel so fucking stupid for trusting a shrink again, after I should have learned that lesson a million times. Last time, when I didn’t go back for 4 years, I realized that it was a big waste of time and shame and upset. I promised myself not to put myself through that again. And when I needed drugs again, I let myself get sucked into talking…again.

  3. “At the time, I just moved on to the next thing. But now Iā€™m thinking, what the fuck? I have never failed or screwed up any professional or other obligation in my entire life. If anything, Iā€™m too perfect all the time.”

    can relate to that, too. it’s always the external that matters (so much!) more then the internal, isn’t it? no idea how to make that switch – or even if it’s possible, or even if want to, or even if i can.

    as far as meds, have been on effexor for over a year with no effect, though i had really good effects with if a few years ago. addition of lamictal’s (4 months ago-ish?) gotten me more or less stabilized – feeling a lot milder, if that makes any sort of sense. suicidal thoughts have lessened, intensity overall has lessened. (glad about the suicidal thoughts lessening, not sure if i’m glad about the lessening of intensity; am i losing a piece of myself?) on the other hand, haven’t seen my mood improve all that much. problem is, it takes forever to get up to a therapeutic dosage…..

  4. Hey Sarah,

    Everyone seems to love Lamictal. I don’t know why I’m so damn resistant. I guess I just don’t like drugs that no one knows how they work.

    There was new data released – for a long time they said Lamictal works against depression based on this 200 patient study. Well, turns out there were 4 more studies of about that size that showed it didn’t – that were just never published. So no surprise on the mood.

    And I also don’t like losing my intensity. I just want the ugly mood taken off of it. I guess shrinks don’t like that, feel it isn’t treating.

    Anyway, I’m glad you find some of what I write helpful. Wish you would write too.


  5. Hey Sara,
    i c a n n o t believe he spoke to you that way…what a son of a bitch…what game is he playing…???? No wonder you lost faith in psychiatrists loooong ago, who could blame you??? wish i could send you “my” resident, just for a few days…now, my “Meds Cowboy”, i could take or leave…but i need the pills…have you tried Cymbalta? it kindasorta seems to work for me…take care hon. tracy

  6. It’s fuckwit shrink week isn’t it?

    I can never tell when I’m actually paranoid, or when I’m paranoid that the doctor will think I am.

    Actually, I have the opposite problem. I mentioned delusional thinking and my doctor was just like “oh, really. That’s interesting” and said nothing further.


  7. i seem to be having the same problem…once they get out of residency, WTF happens…??? My “Drug Cowboy”, once he got his very own drug pushing, “i’m not here to do therapy” practice, became a whole other person…i think he’s a changling…..
    i cannot believe i idolized him in the hospital…..
    now ,”my” resident/therapist…he has a whole two months to remain sweet, i think.
    Sara….thinking of you, as always……..

    “fuckwit shrink” i LOVE it!

  8. Yes, fuckwit is wonderfully British.

    I think that the difference is that therapy just plain doesn’t pay as well as a meds practice. Nowhere even close.

  9. I think your original statement makes perfect sense. Why mess with what’s working, especially if you are facing very important tests?
    I sure don’t understand why he would tell you to switch careers at this point – my gawd, you’ve probably spent a small fortune on your education and training! And besides, it was nervy of him to suggest which one you should change to.
    I would think the language problem could be huge. I too love the “fuckwit shrink” phrase! Maybe that’s what p in pdoc really stands for, eh? You know as in ‘phuckwit shrink’. I think we could both pick our shrinks up and throw them out of our lives and be much happier. I know I won’t miss mine when I finally get rid of him.

  10. Heh, that’s the thing, I don’t know if that’s what he was suggesting. Maybe I am just paranoid. Maybe he just thinks I really would be happier writing. Who the fuck knows anymore?

  11. Oh for Pete’s sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    DH’s myriad of shrinks are basically worthless too.

    Luckily he did find one that wasn’t eventually.

    Good luck!

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