Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friends, Coffee, and of course, The New York Times Magazine



Happy New Year, everyone! As 2008 approaches, Roy, ClinkShrink and I will be meeting today (with the new & improved sound equipment) to record a podcast, and then I'm off to sip champagne on a warm and sunny beach. My friends, I trust, will hold the blog fort up.

So the other day, one of my kids asked me if I'd drive a bit and pick up one of their camp friends to spend the night. This child lives a fair distance and I've met only once, at a mall, when the two kids wanted to spend a little time together. This request was for me to pick the kid up, bring her home, and have her spend the night. A stranger to me, but a fellow camper to my child.

Some of my kids' friends see therapists and psychiatrists and take psychotropic medications. Some aren't so quiet it about it, I can be driving in a car and someone will pop out with "That's the building where my psychiatrist works!" Okay. But if they take medications while they're sleeping over my house, then I guess they do so quietly, no one's ever asked my assistance with any medication before. And a few, well, as they're jumping off my furniture in back flips, I just Know they must be taking Ritalin or something like it to get through the school day.

So I pick up the unknown camp kid and her mother hands me a bag of medications. I don't know mom, and I don't know the kid, and I don't imagine they know I'm a psychiatrist. "The instructions are on the bottles." Okay, I can do this.

The visit was uneventful, the child is lovely, patient with my kid who enlisted her help on an hours-long school project from Hell (don't ask, but if you're handy with a drill and have nothing better to do this afternoon, we could use your help here). As I handed the visitor her third mood stabilizer, I asked, "Do you feel differently if you don't take this?" "Not right away," she said.
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And from today's Sunday New York Times Magazine and the recap of this year's The Lives They Lived Issue and some thoughts on mental illness:

Thomas F. Eagleton: The Running Mate Who Wasn't. Once his history of mental illness was revealed, his vice-presidential bid was over.
Marian Radke-Yarrow: The Anthropological Psychologist who studied the long-term effects of maternal unipolar and bipolar depression on the children of the afflicted.

and finally,
Allen Wheelis: A Neurotic's Neurotic a psychoanalyst writer who explored both his work and his own psyche. I'll give Dr. Wheelis, pictured above, the Shrink Rap quote of the day:


"I have not found in psychoanalysis the meaning I sought. I function as a guide to the lost, but do not myself know the way."