"So, have you taken cocaine?" "Sorry...what??"

I did more today in three hours than I did the past couple of weeks. Not by choice though, and I didn't particularly enjoy my doctors' odyssey either. I had an appointment at 8 a.m. with a psychiatrist nearby. Since I'm currently on sick leave my family doctor sent me there for an official diagnosis. I'd heard a bunch about psychiatrists before but now that I've had the personal experience I definitely have to admit: other people were right; all of them.

It's inconceivable to me that someone can make a diagnosis about the psychological state of a person all thanks to a 15 minute Q&A. Which is exactly what psychiatrists do. Honestly, I felt like I was smack in the middle of that Ellen DeGeneres joke: "Are you sad? Do you get stressed?" (from her Stand Up Here and Now). It went something like this (parts of it are simply left out here):

Q: So what seems to be the problem?
A: Well, I'm in therapy for burn-out. I was a bit stressed before, but it all kinda culminated when my father died and I got married two months later. So I quit my job and now I'm... well, here.

Q: Well, what are your symptoms?
A: Uh... I guess exhaustion. Getting out of bed is a fucking feat these days.

Q: Sleeping problems?
A: Always had those. But really, it's more exhaustion less sleepyness that is my issue. And I've started to smoke again.
Q: By smoking do you mean cigarettes or marijuana?
A: Ah, cigarettes. I don't like marijuana, it makes people slow, not a fan of that.
Q: What about cocaine? Have you used cocaine?
A: Uh... No! (What the hell is wrong with you??)

Q: Do you self-mutilate?
A: Uh... No.

Q: What other symptoms?
A: I've been crying a lot, eating a bit too much.
Psych types on computer and mumbles "eating binges"
A: What? No, I don't have a fucking eating disorder???


Q: Now, how long do you think you need? What are the next steps?
A: Uh.... Gee, if I had a manual for this that tells me what I'll need and how long, I probably wouldn't be sitting here in your office, now would I?

Long story short, she says I don't have burn out but a so-called adjustment disorder, but I really don't care what they call it. And the asshole of a doctor at the insurance (where I went afterwards) tells me that I need to be on meds for sick leave to be justified. Yeah, right? because I want to pump myself full of antidepressants that will make me think that I'm fine and stop therapy. "Psychotherapy is not grounds for extended sick leave", she says. I tried to explain to her real slow that therapy is not my ailment but the treatment for my adjustment disorder, which actually is the ailment. I really tried not to roll my eyes or headdesk right there and then, but I sure felt like it, because, no, she really doesn't have the competence to put me on prolongued sick leave for psychotherapy (headdesk headdesk facepalm). No duh, you have no competence, I thought. So instead of the 8 weeks the psychiatrist suggested I got 4 days sick leave. Which basically means I have to go see a doctor who's higher up  in the insurance-bureaucracy (with city-wide responsibility instead of just district-wide) and hope he has a better grasp of mental health issues.... the misconceptions really are unbelievable...


  1. hun.
    all bullshit.
    you need to work the system, they did give you a solution: i'd take the prescription, buy the pills and then i'd not take them if i didn't feel i needed to. if it gets you official time off though, it's worth the spend.

  2. I'd also suggest to "take" the pills (down the toilet). That's how the system works.(And if you should get hold of a competent doctor that's exactly what she/he is going to suggest to you.)

    I'm sorry about this situation (must have sucked) but the story is hilarious to read. I can imagine your facial expression during the "interrogation" very well. ^^