Sunday, October 04, 2009

Demystify Me!

We have a blog, we have a podcast, ShrinkRapRoy does some tech/med/psych twittering, and now we're writing a book. We've given one talk together, and once we're finished writing the book, we'll plan to do more as part of marketing the book (and the blog, and the to-be-resumed podcast) There's nothing to say we won't find more projects that compel us as time and technology move on. It's got me thinking that we need some umbrella organization to encompass all the different aspects of our work. I had a quickly-thought-of name; Clink says she can do better. Roy asked what our purpose would be and I assured him we'd have a mission statement, something to do with promoting dialogue, demytifying psychiatry, and decreasing stigma for mental illness. Roy added that we'd want to promote the destigmatization of both psychiatrists and the treatment of mental illness.

It got me thinking about what we do, and the issue of demystifying psychiatry. Do people want their psychiatrists/therapists demystified? Is there something about having that element...that distance, that assumption that the therapist is a little bit mysterious, unreachable, or somehow special in a way that regular people aren't, that is helpful (even if it's just not true)? Sometimes my patients ask questions about my life, or express surprise that I'd like, or do, something that isn't in keeping with the image they hold of me. What might be uncovered? Maybe that doc eagerly taking notes is actually writing a letter to his mistress (I hope not!) or behind the wise therapist fascade is an ordinary person stressing about bills, or a sick parent, or an ornery child, or their own irritable bowel. So demystify or leave it all alone?

On a totally different note: Roy got a New Puppy today. Oh my, is it precious. I went over to bond and the little guy (and he is little) curled up and slept on me.