You Gotta Be Crazy to Go See a Psychiatrist

People who think they need a psychiatrist are nuts. I cannot count the number of times where I’ve read or heard about a famous actor who feels that by going through sessions on a couch it helps him get through life as a better performer and/or human being.

Those of you who swear by the “can’t we all get along?” approach to life will immediately express disapproval at the above statement. Yes, I am aware that there is a difference between a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst as well as a psychologist.

I also understand that the do-gooders in the judicial system think that by sending a habitual criminal to see a therapist that it is either going to cure the jerk or help the authorities understand what makes a person violent so that they can prevent others from doing so. And then there are the guys who break into computer systems, spend time in the clink and go on to a lucrative career helping Big Business deter others from breaking into their computer systems.

Going to a psychoanalyst is like pouring gasoline into a fire. Anyone can call themselves one. A psychoanalyst may not always be a licensed medical doctor so he or she may not be in a position to dispense a drug prescription when it is truly necessary. The shrink also tends to develop a tight relationship with the patient and insist on seeing them more than once a week whether the patient needs a holding hand or not. Especially if the therapist’s bank account needs love and affection.

Nor does a psychologist dispense medicine but deals with non-clinical and emotional issues. He or she is there to be a professional listening post when there is no one else you can talk to.

Our high school had two guidance counselors. The one that I preferred to use was a lady who was just a little older than Ma and treated me as if I was one of her own as well. I was able to say things to her that I could not to Ma. The other counselor was older and had seniority. It was his job to give us a kick in the rear in order to get us to think about college seriously. Everyone at my school went on to college.

Except that he did a lousy job for our graduating class. He screwed up the date for taking the ACT exam. We ended up getting two days notice to sign up and take the test.

I went to a guidance counselor while attending college to help figure out what major I wanted to take. The fellow also had a framed diploma on the wall stating that he was a psychologist who earned the respect of being called Doctor. I enjoyed writing back then as much as now and would visit him once a week. I’d bring with my latest written attempts at fiction. After a while it dawned on him that I wasn’t really interested in having him help me declare a major but that I wanted an adult to pay attention to me and not laugh at my writing. He had no interest in nurturing whatever talent I possessed. He was just a guy who punched a clock and filled out reports that let the University administration see how good he was at helping eighteen and nineteen year olds decide what curriculum to take.

After a couple of months of our interaction he threw me out of his office and told me to stop visiting and to “grow up”. So, I declared my major in English and stopped trusting grownups, those over the age of twenty-five, for a few years until I joined the ranks.

None of my siblings nor my parents ever visited a psycho-whatever, at least that I am aware of. You know, they say you are what you eat. Well, everyone in my family likes to eat nuts of all types. But, we’ll keep that a secret, okay?