Showing posts from September, 2022

When you bet your life on therapy, how to have and keep the faith.

You’ve been down in the dumps lately, getting tired easily, not feeling rested in the morning, it’s difficult to look forward to things, the kids are bugging you and you are looking for a way to be left alone. Must be your partners fault, because why else would you feel this tired if they were pulling their weight? Then, after having thrown some passive aggressive (or just aggressive comments) your partners way, you feel guilty about all of the above and have to compensate for them, which in turn exhausts you further and then you are on the merry-go-round once again. Probably most people read this and think “sounds like any given Tuesday”. But sometimes life is too difficult to bear, usually when sleepless nights are involved. People undervalue the importance of sleep; sleep deprivation is after all an effective torture method.   Eventually, you take the advice given by many and “go see someone”. After having discussed whether or not to seek help ad nauseum, and having seen the GP fo

What's Your Label?

 It was the first year I was working at an outpatient clinic in Zürich, I was seeing a patient for the first time. I didn’t have much of an idea of what it was about, just that this 40-something year old woman, a mother, was going through a rough time. We were sitting opposite each other, and with my pleasant, but not too off-putting therapist smile, I was about to start my usual first-encounter questions. But she turned around and rummaged through her bag, pulling out a folder of papers and laid them out on the table. “I found these questionnaires online; they are very relevant to what I think I have and I’ve already filled them in for you”. This woman had diagnosed herself with light autism and ADHD before I’d asked her if she had managed to find our office easily enough. She continued: “you see, my daughter just got the Asperger diagnosis and since its hereditary, it probably also explains why I’m having issues.” I was baffled, I did not know which words to push from my mouth. But

Self-care, Self-love, Self-esteem and all the other Selfs

Fads/trends appear in every field of medicine, and will typically appear where research is scant or inconclusive, and disease and treatment poorly understood. Hence psychiatry is particularly prone to it, the diagnoses can’t be confirmed by biological markers or lab tests, rather it’s dependent on a therapist’s observation of signs and symptoms. We call psychiatric pathologies syndromes and disorders, not diseases after all. It’s easy to turn to Fads of treatment when we desperately want to help, and patients aren’t responding to standard therapy. But what are the current fads and what’s the problem? There is an argument to be made regarding the over-prescription of drugs in psychiatry – at least the prescriptions are monitored and recorded, however. But how patients are being supported and counseled in therapy rooms is not. Think about it - if even scientific researchers have been proven to be unable to see their research in an objective light, how can we think therapists go into sess