As long as it takes and it takes a long time

After a two year psychiatrist interruptis, I have scheduled a family meeting in late June with Dr. Stern, Chris’s psychiatrist. I have been blissfully happy during this time NOT retraumatizing myself through regular meetings like we used to have.  I booked this meeting by mistake, actually, thinking that it was Dr. Stern who wanted one, and it turns out I misunderstood something Chris said. Be that as it may, Ian and I will be there, and so will Chris’s occupational therapist. And, Chris, of course.

Reality check. Chris has received way more therapy than a lot of people get, and, at age 28, he’s still not in a position to live independently. It has only been in the past year that he has developed a proactive interest in vocal performance. Recently he has taken on some occasional part time work helping an entrepreneur with an Internet start-up. He’s doing the work from home and he is conscientious about doing a good job.

What does it take to fully reconstruct a personality? A lot of time as I have learned. I don’t think everybody needs to see a psychiatrist as much as Chris does, but I’m not against it as long as Chris feels he is getting something out of it. This year, apparently, he feels he is. It has taken many years to get to this point.

Psychiatry should not be the only tool – it should be one of many. I shouldn’t have to sneak around behind Dr. Stern’s back getting additional help for Chris, and that’s what I’ve had to do on several occasions. Psychiatry should not stand in the way of meditation, yoga, martial arts, hypnosis, sound therapy – or any other practice, discipline or therapy that helps a person to integrate the body with the mind. But, if my experience is typical of the experience of others, we are told that these kinds of activities may “destabilize” the person and this is the reason our requests are denied. This is the psychiatrist insisting on control. In my experience what does destabilize a person is high expressed emotion. “Constructive” criticism coming at the wrong time is still criticism. Conveying a sense of worry about the situation can be interpreted as a lack of hope, etc. There can be many reasons a person relapses, and it takes a while to sort it all out without jumping to the wrong conclusions.

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