Dear Dr. How can I help you?
because you are not helping me!
You are very aware that I am mentally ill. You are very aware that not only am I Bipolar,but I also suffer from Borderline personality disorder, as do thousands of others, just like me.
I’m not entirely sure what part of mental illness scares you, or what part you struggle to really understand…
so I’m going to try and explain this to you, in the kindest way I can…
because, Dear Doctor, you continue to make my life an utter misery, driving me to depths of despair! I’m already in a space where my moods wobble.
I don’t need you to create an earthquake within me! ….thank you very much.
I realise that when you went to med school, you were taught about mental illness. I don’t know how they taught you, but I’d hazard a guess, that you were taught vaguely about the various kinds of mental illnesses.
How they present, what the dangers of mental illness to people who are ill are, and what medications are supposed to work for which illness.
I imagine you were taught how serious mental illness is or can be, and you possibly had to study suicide cases, reasons for suicides, addictions, self harm, child abuse, and much much more, all with regard to mental illness.
I’m also quite sure you studied hard, and you were amazed at what you read, or perhaps only mildly interested, until the lesson of THE HEART and how it works, came up!! I imagine that was much more interesting than delving into the minds of mad people! (how boring for you)…..
Still, you were interested, because lets face it, anything morbidly weird instantly grabs the human beings attention. In some of those medical journals, the most hideous pictures exist of people who are seriously insane. Not mentally ill. Insane!! –
yes, there is a difference.
So you formed a picture of mental illness and the mentally ill. You put them all into a bubble, and decided they are all the same. This was easy to do, it required little work.
I mean, here you are, working in your little practice, feeling very important, which of course you are…………to some people…
then in comes me. A mentally ill person. A well dressed, clean, good looking woman whose only crime, is that she’s Bipolar and Borderline.
The first thing you do, is give me your ‘careful’ look. You don’t know that I know this look. I’ve seen it on 1000 doctors faces, because, before you even met me, you looked at my file. You saw ‘Bipolar and Borderline’= MENTAL ILLNESS!
The bubble I’m in with all the other mentally ill you stuck me in with, has just burst popping one out, and I’m sitting right in front of you, and you have to see to me. Like it or not.
The first thing you ask is ‘how am I feeling’….
I answer ‘I’m not o.k.!’
The next think you ask is ‘how can I help you’…
I answer ‘I need some diazepam because I’m in deep distress, my sister is dying, and I’m not coping well. I feel as if I’m a glass that’s about to shatter, please help me!’
This is when you start to twitch. Everything you’ve been taught at med school tells you that I’m ‘one of them’ the ‘mentally ill’, the ‘suicide risk’, the ‘pill seeker’.…and you are not going to give me what I’m asking for. However, you need to find a ‘nice, gentle‘ way to tell me this.
You haven’t bothered to listen to one word I’ve said. Neither have you noticed the distress I’m in. The fact that I’m crying like a baby goes right over your head.
You’ve also totally ignored the very real fact, that I AM mentally ill, and a serious stressful situation like the one I’m in, COULD set one of my conditions off, and land me in hospital.
The intelligent thing to do, would be to prescribe me some of what I need, talk to me, and even if you don’t, PRETEND you care.
All you see is ‘ooops, one slipped out the bubble…what do I do now?’
So you tell me a whole lot of rubbish about addiction, ask me if I’m suicidal, and basically, you ask the questions the book told you to ask.
You NEVER look at me… me, the human being sitting in front of you, and talk about ME.
So, dear Doctor, let me help you…
- Addiction? I don’t smoke or drink doctor, how many of both do you consume a day? and if you don’t, how many of your patients are addicted to cigarettes or alcohol, and yet you do nothing about that do you?
- Suicide? If I wanted to commit suicide, I wouldn’t ask you for a few lousy tranquillisers to get me through a severe stressful time you idiot. That wouldn’t kill me and I’d be far more creative to ensure it worked!
- Pill Seeker? Let’s see…I could get hold of cocaine, crack, weed, heroin and oxy today, you short sighted moron! Do you really think that by asking for a few tranquillisers, I’m a possible pill seeker?
I could go on and on, but you are not worth it. You need to learn your profession. I’m here to help.
It is your job to see me as often as I deem fit.
I will make an appointment to see you every single week, for no reason, other than to stare at you, shuffle my feet, tell you boring stories about my life, and make you notice what the ones in your bubble look like!
That mentally ill people look JUST like YOU. perhaps nicer.
It is your job to ensure I take my meds. I will make it my life’s purpose to ensure I keep calling to urgently talk to you, as I’m having various ‘reactions’….this is to make you read up on mental illness a bit more. Methinks you need to learn some more. oh, I’ll also be ‘forgetting’ to take meds and need constant adjusting of them….
It is your job to be kind to me. I will make very sure that I see you every week, sit in your room and cry, loudly, for the entire time. I will tell you dreadful stories about my childhood that will upset you, that’ll make you wince..This is to help you learn empathy for the mentally ill.
It is your job to see me. I will insist on seeing only you every week when I make my appointment, stating that you are the only doctor I trust….this is to teach you that mentally ill people actually need a doctor they can trust, and who they feel actually care…you WILL learn to care…eventually..
I will teach you that you are not dealing with a pancreas, you are dealing with a brain.
I will make you understand, that by your cold ignorant indifference to a mentally illperson, you could be the cause of a beautiful person taking their life.
I’m mentally ill. What’s your excuse?