Thursday, December 01, 2005

hot shrink

Two nights ago, I finally did something I've been meaning to do for 12 years. (In case there were any doubts that I am, in fact, the World Champion of Procrastination.) I paid $125 in cash to sit on a couch next to a box of Kleenex for 30 minutes while a stranger asked me invasive personal questions. It was great.

Even though I studied psychology in college, I am very very skeptical of professional therapists, mainly because they're mostly somewhat insane. But after getting quite literally nowhere after 2.5 years, I figured I needed some sort of kick in the pants. (And also there was that pesky crying every day and irrational desire to die part.) Anyway, the process of finding a therapist, especially in New York where there are approximately 2,390,487 from which to choose, is an enormous pain. Given that I'd (okay, my parents'd) be paying this person to rearrange my neurochemicals either by natural or artificial means, I was a little picky. Your Psychology Today profile mentions psychoanalysis hooey? No. You are old? Nuh uh. I don't like the sound of your name? Buh bye. A Google search reveals you currently do research on Electroconvulsive Therapy? Next! Eventually I called the 800 number of the New York hospital that had the prettiest mental health website. The doctor who answered informed me that no one there would take my insurance, so he referred me to his friend, who also couldn't take my insurance. But Friend sounded, well, normal, and he had a last minute cancelation. I found myself in his Upper East Side office several hours later not even knowing if he was an -ologist ("tell me about your mother") or an -iatrist ("here's a prescription, see ya later"). Minor detail.

It turned out we'd be talking about my mother. And my father. And my sister. And my job and my friends and my childhood and my relationships and my hobbies and pretty much every other thing that you learn about people after being friends with them for at least three years. Since it was a consultation, there was no actual therapy involved, just (question + pleasant non-judgmental smile + almost but not quite awkwardly long pause) x 25. After the "what do you do in your free time" question, we shared a nice laugh about the drinking habits of kids these days.

"But it's what everybody does."
"I know! But I don't get it. You guys could, you know, just go to a bar and have, say, two light beers."

So the plan is to start with just the talking stuff and add medication only if absolutely necessary, which sounds like a swell idea to me. And also maybe to not drink as much and to exercise every day. Mental stability is so not fun. Oh, and I should mention here that Mr. Psychologist was only about 35. And tall. And funny. And not at all unattractive. So it's probably a good thing he's sending me to his colleague in my neighborhood. We all know what happens with me and attractive male service providers.


Anonymous said...

wait wait what did you say about me?

Gina said...

that you're a total narcissist.

Fat Asian Baby said...

oh good.
though how amazing would you have been if you'd nailed your therapist. i mean really.