Today was my 6 monthly visit to Dr T my psychiatrist. Six months is the default interval so in a sense that's good news. That said I would have brought the appointment forward if it wasn't already there. Things got very very grim around the turn of the year.
I've well established with Dr T that short of new research findings coming out, there's not really anything he can do or say any more to help me manage the psychiatric side of my life. This includes depression, anxiety, grief, pain, and failing artistic ambition – all the fun things in life. For the last couple of visits his only real practical contribution has been to renew the same small mountain of prescriptions and charge me a small fortune for the privilege.
So why do I go? Well, for one it gives me the illusion of medical supervision, a sanity check if you will (and he does) on how I go about managing the inconvenient things in life. Just because I've apparently been doing a good job of managing that small mountain of medications so far doesn't guarantee I'll keep doing so. It's possible I might start to abuse or corrupt the collection of psychological tricks and tools that I use to dig myself out of holes (it's happened before, it might happen again). I like having an alleged professional keep an eye on my experiments. And who knows, maybe one day my experiences might indirectly help another patient.
Those twice-yearly visits are also an opportunity to take stock of the events and experiences of the previous half year as I report/confess all the stuff that may have contributed to the state of my mental health. Mostly he just sits and listens, but occasionally I'll say something that makes his eyebrows lift and and his hands stray to the keyboard to add a note to my file. I like it when he takes notes - it's like he's validating that yes, something horrible really has happened to me.
Today he took quite a few notes. It's been a surprisingly rough half year, when you add it all up. I won't list it here because some of the worst of it I'm not at liberty to share on social media. The fact that I've not been able to share it on social media was another list item in itself. (Dr T definitely allowed that TribbleJ's glass shattering habits were a significant stressor.) We talked about camera gear for a while.
He agreed with all of my drug hypotheses, and approved all my experiments and changes in schedule or dosage. I *hope* he was paying attention – when he just lets it all happen I wonder if he's missed something. But hey, I have been at this a long time, and in the distant past I was an actual trained (and practising) scientist. Come to think of it I was working as a research scientist when I first broke and thus met him.
Next stop: July 2015.