They are a strange race of people, psychiatrists. Multiple people have already told me that to profoundly study and understand the dysfunctions of the human mind, one has to be a little dysfunctional himself too. How else would one ever get the insight needed to treat mentioned dysfunctions? Sometimes it is good to turn the table and switch roles for a while. So here is a short analysis of the specimen that have crossed my path…
The first psychiatrist that came into my life looked exactly as how I pictured a psychiatrist: like a crossover between Dr Who and the doctor from “In Treatment”. Very appropriately he was called Dr W. On the matter of wardrobe only a fez was missing to make him fit in in a particular British series. He scratched his chin when he listened at me. Something about him was relaxingly observant. I liked him, probably because he was handsome and I always had this little teenage crush on Dr Who. My mother didn’t like him, probably because he was a psychiatrist. Duh.
The second psychiatrist I encountered was a woman. She was old and wise looking, with dry blonde hair and piercing eyes. Something about her reminded me of my high school chemistry teacher, a fearsome woman known as “The Eyes”. Just to illustrate how creepy exactly. Her voice was thin and soft, forcing you to listen carefully to whatever she had to say. She didn’t always have something smart to say though, this proven by the fact she apparently told my mother it was her fault I ended up insane. I still haven’t figured out if this really happened, or that this event was generated by the overemotional imagination of my quasi-psychotic matriarch. Imaginary or not, somehow it drove my usually very stoic father to nickname her Wall-E. Well deserved, I’d say.
I used to think psychiatrists were fearsome people; this opinion changed when I met Hamster. When I first met her she was still an intern, silently observing my conversations with Wall-E. She wore flowery dresses, had a short brown bob cut and black nerd glasses. Her front teeth stuck out a tiny bit, and in combination with a tiny purse which she kept in a rather pompous way on her lap she somehow made the impression of… well, a life size hamster. She was absolutely adorable and I practically had to sit on my hands to restrain myself from stroking over her head. It should be illegal for psychiatrists to be so damn cute!
The first time we met, I couldn’t quite concentrate, because it was by then already the fifth time I had to tell the whole of the story to another person and all that on the day of my admission (you’d think the bloody arms, suicide attempt and complete derealisation would speak for themselves, but no). Later on, however, I noticed she was rather… fat. The matter split the department in two groups: Camp Fat and Camp Pregnant. How could we possibly tell if the mysterious weight gain of Miss Conception was caused by the impossible amounts of food she stashed in, or by a baby psychiatrist growing inside her? From the name you can tell what it eventually turned out to be. She had a low voice, and looked over her glasses a lot. She was the queen of not-saying-anything-while-talking, yet she was also very easy to corner in a discussion. Probably the effect of pregnancy…
The Iron Lady
There is this book. The Book. It lies on the Nurse’s Desk and in it the psychiatrists write down who they want to see when. Every morning you’re supposed to consult the Book so you come in time for your appointments. Of all psychiatrists there was only one who writes her appointments in the book for multiple days. Illustrating strictness and accuracy… The Iron Lady wasn’t old, and had very little physical resemblance with Margaret Thatcher, but when you looked into her eyes you knew you were the Falklands, and your Mental Illness the Argentinian aggressor who had to be chased ASAP. She wasn’t nice. More than once people have come out of her office crying. Actually, the only person who has confessed to really liking The Iron Lady was Emotionless Barbara, who literally had an inability to feel anything. Just saying…
There was something very interesting about this man. When we first met I noticed his left ear was strange in shape, very red and seemingly much larger than his right one. The reason for this became clear when we spoke. Poker players have a “tell”, something that betrays their hand. This particular specimen of the psychiatric race also had such a “tell”. He fuddled with his left ear when he started considering something interesting. Now, I know this may seem funny, but further the overall appearance of the man was perfectly coordinated. He even had a beard, and we all know I love beards. He also showed some very un-psychiatrist-like behaviour, convincing me of his superior skills. He came to sit next to me, to speak like equals. No desk between us. He cited T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” in response to a quote of Dante from me. Can you tell I liked him? Apparently he supervises the Schizoid Personality Dysfunctions Department for a reason…
So far the psychiatrists in my life… Or at least, the ones I had more than one conversation with. The “you’re an interesting case let’s chat” conversations don’t count. *giggle*