Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mannequin Depression

"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else." -- Margaret Mead

Lately I've noticed that my meds need tweaking. I'm feeling lethargic during the day and am having trouble sleeping at night. I will be seeing my psychiatrist soon and we can address this. She is very in tune with my psyche and always has ideas for adjustment. She is always open to suggestions from me as well.

I love this about my psychiatrist. Over the course of my treatment, I probably have seen about a dozen therapists and psychiatrists. Of this number, I would say that probably for of them really tried to see me as a unique person with unique needs. Now, this is not meant to suggest that most all psychiatrists are this way. I can only base my opinions on my own personal experience. But I've learned over the years that, to get the best treatment, you must find a therapist or psychiatrist who knows the truth that everyone is indeed unique and is willing to put in the time and effort to get to know you in a deeply personal way.

The quote at this article's beginning has a kind of humorous bent to it. But Margaret Mead was a renowned cultural anthropologist and she meant this in a serious way. Each one of us is unique and, yes, this applies to everyone. This is especially true of the combination of brain make-up and personality. Psychiatrists, more than anyone, should know this truth.

What I'm trying to say is that psychiatric treatment is like no other. Take the example of an orthodontist. With a child's crooked teeth, it's easy to apply some braces (the same braces he places on most all his other patients). With respect to someone with a blockage in coronary arteries, there are basic procedures that apply to most everyone. In my opinion, physicians treating patients for these issues can see us all as mannequins -- only the skin, hair and eye color is different. Generally speaking, what works for one works for all.

It's just not the case with psychiatric problems. My friend, if your therapist or psychiatrist sees himself or herself as treating what I call "mannequin depression," you have the wrong caregiver. And, listen, it is up to you to figure out whether your psychiatrist is among those in this category. They are out there, and, in my opinion, being treated by one with this mentality is a complete waste of your time. With this type treatment, you will most assuredly not get better. You don't have even a shred of a chance, really.

Please do yourself a favor. Take a long, hard look at your therapist or psychiatrist. If you fee he or she is not taking the time to get to really know you and your needs, then let him or her go and find someone who will. You must also educate yourself regarding drug and other treatment options. Most physicians, for reasons not entirely clear to me, will want to prescribe only the latest available medications. Granted, many times these are just what you may need. But many times, an older medication will be more effective for you. (Please don't misunderstand me here. As a patient, you indeed must realize that you are the patient and not the physician. Sometimes, there will be very good reasons for not attempting something you suggest. But the physician should at least take the time to explore in good faith any option you suggest.) If you are getting a blank stare while you are discussing your ideas, please, go elsewhere.

I wish you all luck. I have learned this lesson the hard way -- over ten years of working with psychiatrists. Again, while this is simply my opinion, I feel strongly that I know what I'm talking about here. When it comes to your psyche, you are truly unique with truly unique needs. You can trust me on this one.

Copyright 2011. True Self Enterprises, Inc.

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