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...