Friday, February 04, 2005

Intersection 2: The Sequel. You’d Be Crazy Not To Read This.

One of the great things about recovering from a mental illness is the semi-regular opportunity one has to sit in the psychiatrist’s waiting room and try to deduce whether the other patients are more or less batshit than you are.

It’s fun because it’s simply not the kind of game people with other illnesses and ailments play. Would a man waiting to see his cardiologist scan the waiting room, wondering if perhaps the old guy across the room reading the four-month-old issue of Auto Upholstery Weekly has a more life-threatening aortal blockage than his? Do women waiting for their electrolysis appointment try to see if the other ladies in the room have fuller moustaches? Of course not. It’s just not done. But when you’re a looney, it’s somehow a comfort to know (or at least believe) that there are others in the room who are worse off that you (sort of the opposite of penis envy).

The first time I ever walked into to a psychiatrist’s office, I expected to find people banging their heads against the drywall or drooling all over the pages of Highlights For Children or quoting Jack Nicholson to the receptionist: “PUT YOUR HAND IN THE AIR, CHIEF! DON’T YOU WANT TO WATCH THE GAME, CHIEF?” But it wasn’t like that at all, and part of me was disappointed. In fact, the only real crazy person I saw that day was the psychiatrist himself --- a balding, sweater-wearing old man with a thousand-mile stare who talked in barely audible whispers and appeared to be simultaneously under the influence of a valium, Milk of Magnesia and Grey Goose. Needless to say, I found a new psychiatrist.

The new guy is of Middle Eastern descent and his receptionist has huge breasts. She speaks to me very nicely, in a practiced, polished, professional tone that seems to say, “If you’re severely disturbed and homicidal, I hope that my sexy voice and this up-close view of my enormous cans will convince you to walk away and kill someone besides me.” The waiting room is bright and spacious and loaded with pamphlets about antidepressants that contain happy, supportive phrases like “not feeling yourself lately” and “get back to being you.” This doctor, whom we’ll call Dr. Pakistan, seems to attract a more affluent mix of crazies and in the half-dozen times I’ve been there over the years, I always have a good time deconstructing the white-collar psychos and projecting various ailments and lifestyles onto them. It makes me feel better about myself to imagine that they are, in fact, certifiably wacko.

There’s a woman sitting next to the magazine rack. See her? She’s here seeking treatment for a unique kind of behavioral disorder --- the kind where anytime someone says the word “chicken,” she stands up, tucks her hands under her armpits like wings and begins to cluck. “Buh-kawk! Buk-buk-buh-kawk!” Such a sad, misunderstood woman. Dr. Pakistan’s Prescription: 95,000 mg. of Wellbutrin before bedtime (may be taken with or without food) and for God’s sake, stay away from all Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

Oh, and see that man over there by the window? He’s here because he has trouble with childhood memories of his father, the kind of man most would describe as an overzealous Little League dad. He was pushed so relentlessly by his father to excel at baseball that he came to believe this was the only way he could earn his dad’s love. The man is in his late 40s now. His father died over a decade ago, but the man still walks around wearing a batting helmet. He had thick black lines tattooed under his eyes. And whenever he gets nervous, he begins to chant “Hey, batter, batter, batter. Hey, batter, batter, batter. Swing!” over and over again. Naturally, these issues have had decidedly negative affect on the man’s love life and his work as a librarian. Dr. Pakistan’s Prescription: 600 mg. of Zoloft eight times a day and start rooting for the Chicago Cubs (which would break just about any baseball fan’s enthusiasm for the game in no time flat).

And then there’s the man who is in with Dr. Pakistan right now, a man who likes to curse and make funny noises so much that he pretends to have Tourette’s Syndrome just so he has an excuse. Before he went in to see the doctor, he was sitting here looking for nudity in the January issue of Cosmopolitan, going, “Woop! Fuck it! Click. Click. You’re an asshole. ASSHOLE! Wooooooop! Fuck it!” It’s a nice show, but it gets a little old after 15 minutes. So now he’s in there with the doctor and I can hear his antics through the door. Dr. Pakistan’s Prescription: For starters, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

See? I’m not so crazy after all.


At 3:25 PM, Blogger DyingBurningFighting said...

I'm FIRST!!! I beat you all!!! Nyah Nyah!!!!

At 3:26 PM, Blogger DyingBurningFighting said...

Oh, and you are soooo crazy. Only crazy people call other people crazy. . . uh oh.

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay..have you noticed the Google ads today? Main page - depression, click to comment and they change to Bipolar and Schizophrenia ads. It's that quick how a small case of depression can turn into a major bipolar/schizophrenia problem requiring hospitalization.
....woop! fuck it! ...ROFLMAO!

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Harry said...

You know how much time it took for me to realize that the baseball team of my grade school wasn't that retarded, after all?

The phrase "Chicken-headed! Chicken-headed!" would repeat maddly throughout many of my nocturnal fantasies for several years (and not neccessarily the better ones, where you woke up smiling) until I confessed this abberation to a close pal who played the damnable game.

They were merely saying, "She can hit it!", My friend revealed.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger alyssa j said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Lola said...

Playing "Whose More Fucked Up Than You" is the best game ever! I just thought I was the only crazy who played it.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger amy said...

i spent three years seeing a shrink for something that was finally diagnosed properly as severe sleep apnea. yet for those three years they, the ones who charge $120/hour convinced me that i was bipolar or just plain nuts. my first time in the waiting room i saw people i knew from my past and thought 'holy shit' they really are CRAZY not just from my own imagination. like you, i made fun of everyone (in my head) sitting there. i made up their problems, what they'd say in their sessions, etc. i'm happy to know i wasted three years on drug therapy for apparently no reason at all now. i'm so glad i lost my hair and gained 70 pounds from them experimental drugs just cuz the quacks at the normal clinic didn't refer me to the right kind of doctor in the first place. i'm so glad that they waste 15 years of their life in medical school to be so fucked up in their owns heads that they cannot see the difference between SLEEP APNEA and someone being BIPOLAR. best wishes with Dr. Pakistan and his hot toddy with big tits.

At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Pakistan?
you don't sound like a decent guy. if you're unstable, that's irrelevant.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Lola said...

Don't you just love people who make snarky comments anonymously? I know I do. Fever, you are a more than decent guy in my book.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Amanda B. said...

I'm glad to hear you have a decent psychiatrist. So many of them are neglegent douchebags.

Douchebags! Beeeeep, Fuck! Douchebags!


At 8:58 AM, Blogger Lala said...

This is Dr. Pakistan. Stop looking at my secretary or I'll come after Hot Wife.
You Ideeyot.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Rootietoot said...

my shrink's a nice guy...he politely requested that I not freak out in his office as it would upset the people in the waiting room. I told him to get a haircut. He told me a joke about a fish and a cantalope, I told him I would try very hard to appear normal. He thanked me and gave me a prescription that made me feel very relaxed. That was 12 yrs ago and now we share photos of each others kids.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger LadyBug said...

What makes you think women waiting for their electrolysis appointments don't check out each other's facial hair?
We also check out each other's bellies at OB/GYN pregnancy-related appointments, trying to discern, by the size of the bellies, which women are further along or not as far along as we are, hoping the skinny bitch who's barely showing is only 6 weeks pregnant and not six months.
But I'm not bitter.


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