Thursday, April 14, 2016

HAVE I EVER BEEN SEEN OR HEARD BY A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL?


When the psychiatrist you have been seeing for over a decade says she will no longer see you, then you begin to wonder not only what is wrong with you, but if you have ever been seen or heard in a so called therapeutic setting.  I am not going to address in this blog the question of if I have ever been seen or heard by anyone at anytime.  


Being heard, seen or recognized as a person all fall under a similar umbrella.  There have been a lot of words written about active listening, positive regard and other terms addressing the issue I am speaking about.  It is my experience that all the words written seem to have had little influence on the real world interactions between mental health professions and the folks like me who they are attempting to provide care for.


You, the reader, can accuse me of being bitter and angry and seeing through a glass darkly at the moment, but those of you who have received services over a long period of time from the public mental health system will have to admit it is as rare as hen’s teeth to be served by someone who sees you as a person who is fully human and who has all their civil and human rights and who has the right to make their own decisions without being fixed against their will by the system.  That is if you have been seen at all when you wanted to be seen.


Next week I will see a new psychiatrist and I am being required to go through a full intake process at the Veterans Administration Mental Health Outpatient Clinic at the hospital even though I was seeing the head of the clinic when she fired me as her patient and have been going there for over a decade.  My take on that is that they do not want me coming there anymore.


My crime?  I turned down the kind offer to continue seeing the psychologist my psychiatrist wanted me to see after about three visits.  I was under the mistaken impression I had the right to decide.  I really thought I could decide the course of my treatment and with whom I shared my secrets, thoughts and feelings.  No. No.  Ed you must share them with whom we tell you to share them with.  The hell I do.


To answer the question have I ever been seen or heard by a mental health professional?  The answer is no.  Nothing more than mere surface sightings have they ever bothered to take the time to do.


© Ed Cooper, April 14, 2016, Stoney Creek, TN
  All rights reserved  

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