Freedom! Freedom! Letting go of psychiatry US style

Today’s vignette is not about the way letting go of psychiatry is supposed to work. Let me explain. Normally when people write about how they ended their relationship with psychiatry, they talk about how they made a conscious decision to just stop going to their appointments, maybe because they felt they no longer needed them or perhaps because they didn’t feel they were serving any useful function.

Chris has seen Jesus de N. (his psychiatrist) ONCE since we moved to Florida in August. Today he attempted a third try only to be told that the doctor had a problem with his car and would be late. Chris was prepared to wait until the doctor got there, but was told that he’d have to make a new appointment because the doctor would not be arriving any time soon. (This was the second time in a row that the doctor has cancelled.)

So, the question is, does Chris actually have a psychiatrist? I think not. He has a psychiatrist on paper, someone whose office he can phone to get a referral, someone who can satisfy our insurance company to continue to cover him, but this person is not someone he actually sees. He is free to do what he wants, unencumbered by psychiatry. This is brilliant! I’m surprised that more people who want to escape psychiatry’s clutches aren’t praising the system here in the United States. (Dr. Stern, Chris’s psychiatrist in Switzerland used to phone him if he missed an appointment or was late. She rescheduled any missed appointments for the same week. Not the case here. Here, it’s like the psychiatrist doesn’t think he needs to see his patients.)

Hallelujah brothers and sisters. Free at last!

10 thoughts on “Freedom! Freedom! Letting go of psychiatry US style”

  1. Hi Rossa

    In my practice as a psychologist in the US I have one client that has schizophrenia and would never think of missing my appointment with them or any of my other clients. For me, it is my mission in life to serve people in my counseling profession. Sometimes they miss or cancel and I understand but I never think of canceling on them for I am here to serve my clients. That is why I choose to do what I do and embrace the gift that I have the skills to do what I do for the clients I serve.

    1. Hi, Frank,
      Apologies for being late approving this comment. I didn’t see it until just now. Psychologists in general have a better reputation for considering the whole person, and your comment backs this up nicely. Chris continues to see a psychologist who I lined up after I began to see the writing on the wall with with the behavioral health clinic here. I haven’t written about Dr. “L”, but he’s the guy that I contacted so that Chris could have someone to talk to as he transitions to Florida.

  2. Rossa – I’m not saying it’s for everybody, but I consider not going back to a psychiatrist the single most intelligent and important decision I made in my entire life (and I’ve lived a looong time). You and Chris keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for your words of wisdom, Mary. I have found moving to Florida rather liberating. Despite all the criticism of psychiatry that I hear about in the US, the silver lining is that they really haven’t got time for their patients. This is a godsend!

    1. We lived in Switzerland which has one of the highest rates of psychiatrists per capita in the world. Lots of private psychiatrists offering a range of theraputic approaches. In the case of schizophrenia, most, if not all, take a dim view of being off psychiatric drugs (in the case of schizophrenia). The downside of this is that the psychiatrist can assume a much more controlling presence in your life because of the closeness of the bond and the generosity of insurance coverage. Chris saw “Dr. Stern” once a week, then, after he was hospitalized, twice a week for many years.

      1. Dr. Stern, like most “contractual” psychiatrists (Thomas Szasz), spent 50 minutes with her patients and it wasn’t a med check. She was more interested in the therapeutic relationship. There are pluses and minuses to this intense relationship. On the one hand, it creates dependency and control; on the other hand, it offers someone who has trouble communicating with others a skilled listener who can help them express themselves better.

  3. Hi Rosa,
    I have two sons that have been diagnosed. One 9 years ago and one two years ago at the age of 25. I live in Florida (0n the west coast) and most of our experiences with psychiatrists and the system here have not been very positive. I have found that if you are paying out of pocket you may have better luck finding someone who will listen ( We found one, Dr Tumarkin that spent 45 minutes with my son) and I paid 120 dollars for the visit. Most of them spent 15 minutes with him.

    1. Greetings, Toula. Thanks for commenting. There seem to be a lot of doctors in Florida who have opted out of the insurance system, as they find the paperwork too much work (excessively complicated) for very little gain. If we need one in future, we will probably do what you did. Thanks again, and welcome.

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