Last year my psychiatrist asked me to do him a favor. He teaches at a Chinese Medicine school. He does the Western Psychiatry block of the course. He asked me to come into his class to be interviewed by a student. They would be taking my “history.” I told him that if I did that that I would be very critical of psychiatry and if he didn’t have a problem with that I would go. He told me that the more variety his students got the better.
I went and did it and it was extremely traumatizing even though I got to do a bit of smashing of psychiatry to a young impressionable audience who probably already questions western medicine in large part. My favorite part was when the student made reference to something my doctor had taught them—that anti-depressants often uncover underlying bipolar disorder by revealing a mania. I quickly said, “Oh no, antidepressants cause mania and people get wrongfully diagnosed bipolar. There is a big difference.” No one said anything. Not even my doctor. It was sweet.
Anyway I felt like I’d been hauled through the dirt. I had to talk about my entire history in front of a classroom full of people I didn’t know, but I did get to tell them just what I thought of psychiatry and how I was in withdrawal and successfully, without any sign of relapse getting off all my meds. My psychiatrist thanked me and was not defensive or put off. I told him I wouldn’t do it again because it was too difficult emotionally.
Then a few months ago things were going so well I told my doctor that I would do it again. I thought I should spread the truth and these would be people in health care who could in turn spread the truth to their patients. Well this was before I stopped making commitments mostly due to the chronic fatigue. After my brother died, I called my doctor and said I was sorry, but I was not emotionally up to it and I was unable to make commitments because I am so often sick. I told him once I’m better I will happily go there every year and share my experience of the dangers of polypharmacy.
He called me today in a pinch. One of the people who volunteered to help him out is very ill and won’t be able to participate. I told him I wouldn’t be able to commit until the day of and if he didn’t get someone by then then I might be able to do it. Hmmmm. I hope I can do it. It’s in two weeks.