Because I was so adamant that further anti-psychotic drugs were out of the question, my family doctor thought it would be a good idea to see a psychiatrist. She felt I was depressed. She was right. I was depressed because I couldn’t get my problem treated as real, not imaginary. But I agreed because I thought that if I could get a psychiatrist to view my evidence, the diagnosis of delusional parasitosis might be reconsidered.
After an initial consultation with his registrar, I had a five-minute meeting with a consultant psychiatrist. At this stage I’d seen the organisms I’d hitherto been blind to and had the photomicrographs to prove it.
He glanced at the image above, then said: “I think you’re delusional.”
Me: “How can this photograph be a delusion.”
Him: “You’re reacting to it all in a delusional way.”
Me: “What does that mean?”
Him: “It’s all you can talk about.”
After more than two years of suffering and misery, perhaps he expected me to waltz into his office and start chatting about the weather?
I tried to show him some further images but he wasn’t interested.
I told him about my inability to sleep properly.
Him: “That’ll be the akathisia.”
Me: “Well, can you help me with this sleep problem?”
And he just chuckled.
Me: “So you think I have delusional parasitosis?”
Him: “I agree with the original diagnosis.”
Me: “And what treatment would you propose?”
Now I knew I was in trouble.
So I said: “I don’t know who’s more delusional – me or you.”
He immediately escorted me to the door.
Image from Knol article by Spiros Kakos.
I’ve only had three experiences with psychiatrists in my life. This was the third. And last.
The first was in 1969 when I was 17 and was diagnosed as mentally ill for refusing to get my hair cut. That psychiatrist prescribed Valium, the dosage of which kept going up and up until I was on 60 milligrams a day. (No, that’s not a typo).
The second was with a brilliant man, Dr. John O’Connell, when I was aged 24 and suffering from the iatrogenic Valium addiction induced by the first psychiatrist.
He said: “No psychiatrist can ever solve your problems. Nor can any pill or tranquilliser. Only you can solve your problems. Only you.”
So now I was stuck with the diagnosis from hell
Read on to continue the story...