Psychiatric not Psychic

Still waiting to hear on my redundancy so at the moment I’m going through the motions of the job. It does tickle me though that people seem to think that just because I’m a mental health nurse that I somehow have some deeper insights into the meanings and whyfores of the human psyche.

For example, yesterday I was asked about why a person would prefer a custard donut over a jam donut. I don’t recall Freud writing  his thesis on donuts…I’m sure he could have though, especially the ring ones!

People seem to think that I can provide answers for any disaster that befalls a person in their life or that I see hidden meaning in the most innocuous behaviour. Surely after reading this blog I would hope that you see I am a plonk and that the fact I’ve done my time in mental health means that I’m as crazy as the next man.

When I first qualified I went to a party and my father told the people there that if they weren’t careful I would ‘psychoanalyse’ them. I remember one girl who hid her face away from me. As though I had power to peer into her soul by seeing her nose.

It’s all nonsense. It really is.  I tend to chat and listen..thats all it is!

Lie to me

It’s a relief to know that soon I will not have to undertake the huge psychological game that is known as psychotherapy. Psychotherapy at best leads to mediocre change, at worst it simply reinforces the inflated ego of those participating (therapist and client).

This morning whilst running a mental health drop-in I met two people whom did nothing but tell me endless lies. How did I know they were lying? Well they couldn’t keep their stories straight and were evasive on questioning. Pretending to cry at one stage or over-dramatising their tales.

If I were an analyst then I might reflect on the transference that was occurring, but I’m not. I just felt utterly bored by the experience. My code of ethics prevents me from being judgemental but really I want to be, I would love to be free to be open and honest with my clients and blow them away!

“Mrs X, the reason your son is behaving the way he is, is frankly down not only to your lack of intellect, wit and parenting skills, but I do wonder how on Earth you managed to have sex in the first place, and what made you think you could manage to raise a healthy well adjusted child?”

“Mr Y. You are a deeply boring man, you too must realise this at your core. Your voice is anodyne and reflects you dead, empty soul. I suggest you cure this by taking vast amounts of cocaine and then degrading yourself at the feet of professional escorts. I suggest you travel Africa and become a photojournalist. As it is, your tedious and mediocre existence simply offends those who have to meet you”.

As it is, I am directing my drives to the characters in my novel.

I know nothing

The death knell is ringing on my career. I welcome it too. Mental health isn’t anywhere near as fun as it could be. Patients and nurses aren’t encouraged to have relationships that come close to friendship any more. Instead people are force fed CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) and medication and nurses are sent away to learn how to promote rationality.
I don’t know anything about life. I am particularly ignorant when it comes to the lives of others too. I can hear their stories, and wonder about them, I can see them in their homes or their workplace, and see their drug taking but really who knows anything?
I am still interested in personality and people and the work of change. I just think that encouraging rationality is a bit of a cop out. It lacks a certain imagination and creative flourish.
“Life is islands of ecstasy in an ocean of ennui; after 30 land is seldom seen.” said Luke Rhinehart in his book ‘The Dice Man’.
Who can honestly say, what is sane and what is in-sane? Who can really differentiate between rationality and irrationality?
Is a man sane because he wears a suit and works in an environment where the price of soyabeans is speculated upon? Is a man insane because he one day decides to wear a ginger wig and speak in a language he has made up that afternoon?
Is rationality so cherished that we do not tolerate the uncomfortable anymore?
I really don’t know. In fact I’m beginning to wake up to the fact I know nothing.

Top Trumps: Psychiatric style

Hee hee! I’ve been writing a lot recently (at work) about mental health/psychiatry/anti-psychiatry and so have been revisiting diagnostic manuals etc.
Today I met a really rather textbook psychotic gentleman. I noted his textbook mannerisms and language with the sort of relish that one would normally plop onto a hamburger.
I doubt much can be done to help him, but one wonders after a while wether or not it is invenitable that one plays ‘Top Trumps’ when meeting people.
Ok..my chap has ‘derailment’
“ooh that beats my Knights move thinking”.

I doubt there’s a market for such a thing though,

No sleep for the grumpy

I must be missing the stage. Actually I am missing the stage. When I’m not involved in a production then I have to face up the grim reality that my life isnt terribly fun at the moment.
I feel utterly fed up of my job, I really doubt if I can do this much longer. My heart is no longer in it. This makes being a mental health nurse difficult.
At least when involved in a production one can easily forget about the tedium of paid employment.
Christ…I need to cheer up.