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my new psychiatrist assured me I don’t suffer from any major mental aliments; however, he thinks I’m an idiot February 10, 2012

Filed under: self-discovery — courtsbrogno @ 3:26 pm

I saw a new psychiatrist this morning because I’ve come to despise my old psychiatrist. My old psychiatrist seems to just want to push more drugs on me and never seems quite sure about how to treat me, and I’ve been seeing him for 15 years now. You’d think after all this time, he’d have figured me out.

Let me make one thing clear: I am a perfectly normal and healthy woman, but I do suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. No big deal, especially when compared to the millions of people who suffer from much worse than me. I don’t have depression, I enjoy my life, I am able to work and take care of my kids. Blah, blah, blah…I’m pretty emotionally healthy. My anxiety is hereditary and it’s a chemical imbalance in my brain. I’ve accepted this.

But, lately, my anxiety has been off the charts, and so I thought it might be wise to see a new psychiatrist (though I’m still seeing my awesome therapist Tom, he cannot prescribe meds).

And this new psychiatrist confirmed what I kind of already thought: my old psychiatrist was basically over-medicating me, thus making my anxiety worse.

None of this is really important to my story though. What’s really important is how my new psychiatrist thinks I’m a complete and total idiot.

Let me set the scene. Because I am a new patient, the new psychiatrist (NP) had to take a complete intake on me. Which seemed super silly to me since I already know what I have and because I know I’m not suffering from bi-polar, schizophrenia, etc. But still, it had to be done. Let me also mention that my NP is Indian and though he speaks perfect English, at times, his accent made it difficult to understand him.

So, he asks a bunch of questions that I have to answer, and here are a few of the highlights:

NP: Please tell me the month, day, year, and where you’re at.

Me: February 2012, ummm, not sure what day it is, haven’t looked at my phone yet, and I’m in your office.

NP: You don’t know what day it is?

Me: I don’t know. Maybe the 9th?

NP: No…what day is it? Monday? Tuesday?

Me: OH! It’s Friday.

NP: Well, that’s good. And while it’s obvious you’re in my office, do you know what town you’re in?

Me: Are you kidding me?

NP: No, not at all.

Me: (give town name)

NP: Good. You know where you are.


NP: What’s 7-100?

Me: 93.

NP: Good, now subtract 7 from 93.

Me: ummm…80 something? Ummm, 82? No, wait. That’s not right. Ummm, actually math’s not my strong suit.

NP: But  you’re a professor.

Me: Yes, but of English, not math.

NP: Oh, OK, can you recite me a line from Shakespeare?

Me: Ummm…(oh shit! I can’t think of anything like this on the spot. Shit. Shit. Shit.). ummm…”fair is foul and foul is fair.”

NP: Good. Now what play did that come from?

Me: Ummm…(shit. shit. shit!!!). The one with the witches.

NP: Macbeth?

Me: Sure.

NP: What about Wordsworth. Do you like him?

Me: Oh yes, I love him.

NP: Can you name me your favorite poem?

Me (oh shit! oh shit! oh shit!). Well, I always loved the one about the nightingale. What was it called???

NP: I believe it was called “The Nightingale.”

Me: (holy shit! does this guy have a Ph.D. in Literature as well? Fuck me.) Sorry, NP, in my defense, I’m a bit nervous.

NP: (looks at me quietly, I’m pretty sure thinking I have no right teaching at a university).


NP: OK, can you please spell the word “wall” (and he gestures around with his hands)

Me: yes (beaming)! W-A-L-L

NP: No, not wall, spell “whirl.”

Me: O.K. W-H-I-R-L (and I smile proudly).

NP: No, not whirl, spell (some word that starts with a W, but his accent is so thick that I’m obviously not understanding him).

Me: World? Do you want me to spell world?


Me: oh, okay: W-O-R-L-D.

NP: Well, we know you can spell.


NP: Do you ever feel agitated by your children.

Me: Hell yeah!

NP: Do you ever want to hurt them?

Me: Sometimes I think of throwing them out the window, but generally no, I don’t want to hurt them.

NP: (silence. looking at me sternly).

Me: I’m just kidding!

NP: Do you ever want to kill them?

Me: Oh God, no, never. I swear.

NP: Well, that’s good.


NP: When you are alone in your room, do you ever hear things?

Me: Yeah, my kids screaming in the living room. And sometimes my neighbors fighting.

NP: No, I mean, do you ever hear people talking to you that no one else can?

Me: Oh. No.

NP: Well, that’s good.


NP: Do you ever see shadows in your vision?

Me: Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, I just had an eye doctor appointment yesterday, and he says that the reason I’m seeing shadows, or as he called them “clouds,” is because my contacts are old and my eyes are tired from reading so much. So I had to get glasses. Which, by the way, were super expensive.

NP: (heavy sigh) No. I mean do you see things that other people don’t see?

Me: Oh, no.

NP: Well, that’s good.


NP: Do you ever worry about the world ending?

Me: Of course. Who doesn’t? Global warming? Nuclear weapons? I worry all the time about the earth my kids are inheriting.

NP: (deeper sigh) No, I mean do you think the world’s coming to an end and aliens are going to take you.

Me: (laughing) No. That’s just ridiculous. I’m way more concerned about the polar ice caps.

NP: Well, that’s good.

In the end:

NP: Well, I have come to the conclusion that you are not depressed, do not suffer from schizophrenia, have no paranoid delusions, though you do have generalized anxiety disorder.

Me: Ummm…yeah. I know that.

NP: But perhaps you should drink more coffee in the morning.

Me: (Holding up my cup of coffee). I do drink coffee, but generally I drink decaffeinated because of my anxiety.

NP: Maybe you should switch to regular.

The End. I’m perfectly normal, but I am a sleep deprived idiot.


4 Responses to “my new psychiatrist assured me I don’t suffer from any major mental aliments; however, he thinks I’m an idiot”

  1. Katy Says:

    Oh my goodness, my stomach hurts I was laughing so hard. Classic clinical patient orientation, it makes someone completely alert and oriented feel insane!

  2. christine Says:

    this was quite entertaining to read, thank you. and dude–math is HARD!! ….i would’ve been using my fingers to count those problems

  3. joe Says:

    Thanks for this. What a hoot!

  4. nmacdoug Says:

    Next time you go, look up a really hard (textbook) psychiatric problem for him to answer and then YOU can answer “Hmmm.. well that’s good”.

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