I started a new job recently, which means new health insurance. And new health insurance means a new shrink. Yay for me.

I called the shrink’s office today to set up an appointment. The good thing about the new health insurance company I am forced to use is that it actually provides a booklet with pictures and profiles of the people who will be providing me with care. Each profile includes some wonderful blurb like: I am committed to providing quality care to all persons, and will do so with a smile while my finger is shoved up your ass. John Smith, MD, Center for Proctological Excellence.

I chose a shrink who had some inane blurb and a nice face who I figured wouldn’t fuck up my meds too badly. She comes with sound reviews from friends, to boot. I am satisfied with my choice, and am ready to meet her and ask for my three-month supply of chemicals that will make my brain function properly. I have been on the same meds now for a long time. The last med change I went through was 2 years ago. One medication I have been swallowing for going on 6 years. I believe in medication monogamy. I will not break up with them. We are in it for the Long Haul.

I am uninterested in what some professional has to say about my medications. I read the same studies they do about the illness I have. I am aware of the drug interactions and contraindications and class action lawsuits against Big Pharma for meds I am on. I don’t care. Med changes are hell, and I am relatively stable, except for that part about being a Human, which lends itself to the instability that is so much a part of our natural condition, and is unmedicateable. The professionals went to school located in some building to learn about what I have. I went to school in my body and live with what I have. They get fewer votes than me when it comes to what I put in my body to treat what I have.

So I call over to the clinic, and a cheerful voice answers. She’s cheerful because her health insurance is free and she enjoys fingers up her ass, likely. I let her know I need to make an appointment with the shrink of my choice, and cheerfully, she tells me she will have an intake coordinator get back to me. He will determine if the shrink is “the best fit for me.”

I guess I am wondering what the point is of the profiles and pictures and pretend focus on patient empowerment if the HMO is simply going to hire a middleman to tell me, after a few short questions, whether or not the person I chose will choose me back. I am not at all pleased with this arranged marriage of mental health care. This does not happen in the world of medical care. You don’t call a family physician for an appointment and then wait to find out if your urinary tract infection is a good enough fit for their skill set, all the while pissing razor blades every five minutes. What questions is this person going to ask me? Are you crazy? Yes. Do you need medications? Yes. Do you hear voices? Yes, yours. Are you homicidal? Yes, the prospect of being interviewed to hire a shrink does, indeed, make me homicidal.

I am still waiting for the phone to ring. I am considering telling this Intake Coordinator my feelings on this system, but I worry sharing my opinions may land me on the fast track to hospitalization. Compliance is the only acceptable manner of dealing with the mental health people. I have learned over the years they don’t very much care for rabble rousers. I’m not sure I care much.


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