Monday, August 21, 2017

Value of a Psychiatrist in our Late Capitalist Society

A friend, who is aware of the stress I am going through, suggested I go see a psychiatrist he knows down here. The good news is that my friend wants to help. The bad news are the details, so lets go through it.

I think my friend knows all this, by the way.

The short version is to skip to item 10.

1. The doctor he recommends is an adult psychopharmacologist, I already have a psychopharmacologist. About six months ago, I was thinking of changing, but now I plan to stick with the one I have until I leave the area at the end of the year. (This particular recommended psychopharmacologist is also semi-retired and expensive).

2. Psychopharmacologists are good for one thing, prescribing drugs, period. My psychopharmacologist already prescribes the maximum of the drugs I intend to take. (Note: I would take more if I could, but I cant, so I have to deal with that).

3. There is a more general kind of shrink called “a therapist”. Some of them can prescribe drugs, some dont. In my experience, they are useful for one thing: the rent-a-pal phenomenon. When you talk to a shrink once a week, you tend to lean less on your friends for moral support. This is valuable! But time consuming and expensive.

4. Doctors cost money. I dont have the money to spare.

5. The money could be spent on many other things, like travelling to Sf to see an ex girl friend. That might cheer me up more than any doctor.

6. The problems I deal with at this time of life comes from trauma experienced in my 30s and afterwards. That trauma results in anxiety attacks today when I am not in control of where I live or how I am going to afford to live.

7. Therefore, if you want to help, and my friends do want to help, you should listen and say something cheerful, or (this is much more difficult....) you should help me find a job, or arrange for a place for me to live, or give me money or introduce me to someone who can. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done, especially in today's world.

8. We live in a corrupt, late-capitalist society. Money is necessary to solve problems. Shrinks are a tool which used judiciously, can be helpful. But, like lawyers, they are not a panacea and they run on money. At the end of the day, money may not buy happiness, but money, or a steady job, or both, will buy stability and some satisfaction. This is not the only path but it is a good one and very straightforward.

9. I recognize that most people can not provide this help for their friends, or when they do, only in very limited amounts. I have sampling error here. There was a time when I could give people jobs, two different times in fact, but those times are past for me and may have never existed for my friends. Your good wishes and thoughts are appreciated.

10. But the biggest mistake here is to think that doctors are good for anything and the patient knows nothing, even after a life time of dealing with this.

11. Send money!  Just kidding, sortof.  Thank you!

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