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The New Psychiatrist was a Locum….

How hard is it to fill a £130,000 job? Psychiatrists must be rarer than diazepam prescriptions (which, personally speaking, I have access to) or so jaded that even a vast sum of money like that can’t pull them into an office for any length of time. What I do know is that it’s bad news for the weirdos out there who could do with some psychiatric meds and a friendly ear. In that respect I am truly blessed. I got lucky. Actually, no, I didn’t. At the start of this episode of treatment in my life I was assessed by a CPN and then waited nearly a year with no word at all…about anything. When I finally rang up and asked what was going on, the answer was ‘who are you?’ Then I got a letter saying ‘Thanks for being crazy, but we don’t even have the money to assess you any further, never mind treat you.’ Or very close words to that effect. I remember curling the letter up into a very small ball and throwing it at a wall in the dark gloom of my old cottage. I wasn’t even worth assessment… I reached for the tablet stash. Natural selection and all that. Afterwards I wrote to the head of the County Mental Health Services saying I’d be happy to mention his name in any suicide note. Manipulating behaviour (something I’d never done before, or would ever do), I know, but it got results. I was on treatment within a month. Magic, eh.

The locum Psychiatrist was bland, well-informed about my treatment plan, and said all the right things in all the right places – anyone earning that sort of cash should do. She stared intently, asked me questions, and told me off for non-compliance in medicine taking. Naughty. Slapped wrist. I’m minimising the problem, which isn’t fair to any of us. Generally my risk level has increased since I started Trauma Therapy last week. They (CPN, Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist) spoke that morning about me and decided this was the case. They wanted that risk to diminish. Who wouldn’t.

I’ll see my Psychiatrist in a few weeks – she’ll still be there, she told me. Then a new one starts and I’ll have to explain the terrors of my life all over again to another blank face who’s heard much worse a hundred times over. Pathetic old me, hauling myself up the hill in the rain dressed like I’m going into Hungerford with a grudge and couple of automatic weapons. My pilgrimage for wellness is breathless and always under the gaze of mocking motorists. ‘Shouldn’t he be at work?’ ‘I wonder who that freak is and where he’s going?’

Me too.


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