The Psychiatrist


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.

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Remember this fellow from “The Problem Develops”?

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?”
Him: “Anti-psychotics.”

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.

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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
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