What happened is this. A few weeks ago Chris and his younger brother Taylor went to see our family doctor for a check-up. I don’t like this particular doctor, and the reason I don’t like him is because he believes in something called “schizophrenia,” and he believes that someone with schizophrenia should be on life-long meds. I don’t want this guy treating Chris like the lifelong patient the doctor feels he is, but out of general laziness I haven’t got around to finding another doctor for Chris. I no longer see this particular doctor myself, preferring to take my chances with kooky alternative healers and my company’s annual medical. So, Chris went to the appointment and the doctor asks Chris if he’s still on his meds, Chris says “no,” and the doctor asks, does your psychiatrist know? and Chris waffles and is evasive, and the doctor urges Chris to tell Dr. Stern about his “non-compliance.”
On Monday, my husband went to see our family doctor to pick up a prescription, and our family doctor squeals (yes, “squeals”) to him about Chris and throws Ian into a panic. I am 99% sure that the doctor painted a picture of Chris as one of those schizophrenics off his meds. Ian red flag messages Dr. Stern, copies me and Chris, and all hell breaks lose. There are some things that Ian either doesn’t know about or hasn’t bothered to ask about, and that’s one of them. Ian and I don’t agree on the necessity of medication, or, putting it another way, Ian is less skeptical than I am about antipyschotic medication. Being a loyal husband, he has come a long way in the direction of my opinion, but he’s not fully on board.
Thankfully, calmer heads prevailed, and one of them was Dr. Stern’s. She, of course, is fully aware that Chris has been off his medication for a number of months, and she’s fine with that. Here’s what she wrote back (in part):
In truth, I’ve had some doubt about the value of the medication for a while, because I find Chris to be more authentic, with deeper insight and progressing faster while off it, but at the same time also more anxious and insecure. This is why I told him two weeks ago to take up again this very small amount of medication, just during this actual period of fluctuating anxiety……My attitude has been until now – and probably will remain like this – to let Chris judge on his own, answer questions if he asks me, and intervene more actively only when my medical experience makes me believe that the situation becomes a bit risky. Just right now, I think that it would be preferable to take 1 mg of Abilfy for a little while, but I do not sense a big danger in case Chris doesn’t take it.
We could have avoided this latest drama if Chris had been more forthright with the family doctor and also told his father when asked exactly he was doing and making no apologies for it. But, Chris isn’t direct. He waffles, he assumes he’s guilty of something – in short, he’s a perfect victim. Hiding from himself like he does only leads to more complications. Chris is still is trying to establish a self, so I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on him. He’s getting there, slowly.