I haven’t mentioned our old friend Dr. No in over a year…but I thought it’d be fun to look back on our appointments one more time before I consign him to the memory bin (and seeing as how he thinks we can make thoughts disappear I’ll assume the same goes for memories). Our last official appointment was July 13, 2012, though you might recall me running into him at my former family doctor’s office a few months later. There, he practically begged me to make an appointment to come see him. Here are some more reasons why that didn’t happen:
break down thought; exactly what’s happening & how soon it’s repeated
Psychoanalysis. Got it. Totally doesn’t work for OCD – makes it worse, actually – but that’s a minor detail. Onward!
ID spot of anxiety
heart palpitations; link to a certain thought
focus on heart -> breathing/hand-on-heart; bring in colour
I’d forgot about that! The hand-on-heart thing! Dr. No believed I could neutralize my anxiety by putting a hand over my heart and breathing slowly. I guess he thought the slow-moving electrons would jump from one body part to another and pass their slow-moving energy along and turn me from Honey Bunny into Fonzie. What’s Fonzie like? Cool.
take a glass/cup/etc; fill w/water, pour out (TANGIBLE)
I can’t even. Next comes a graph resembling a mountain range; in one of the valleys I drew an arrow next to the words “respond; mindful.” I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. After that I wrote some stuff about turning the OCD theme – the “worry thought,” in Dr. No’s parlance – into something creative, an idea I actually endorse. And then…
write the rhythm down (G & D, A, Asus, E)
How should I put this?
Firstly, a registered psychologist actually had me write this. Secondly, in case it isn’t clear, Dr. No wanted me to attach my OCD to music (the G/D/Asus stuff’s an actual chord progression I came up with in his office). Thirdly, he wanted me to bring my guitar to our next appointment and play him the music. I believe this was when the magnet came out.
It’s clear that Dr. No shouldn’t treat OCD: his methods aren’t just ineffective, but counterproductive. He isn’t a bad doctor; in fact, he’s done lots of great work with veterans suffering from PTSD. But he and I shouldn’t have gotten as far as we did. Before I met Dr. No, my former psychologist – we’ll call him Mike; he couldn’t take me back because he’d become a father again – gave me a list of questions to ask him and said if Dr. No couldn’t answer any one of them to stand up, shake his hand, and walk out of his office. But I didn’t do it, because it never even occurred to me that a professional psychologist would choose not to adapt new, proven treatment methods. All told I spent just over two months with Dr. No. He didn’t cause irreparable harm – but he might have had I not done my homework. Getting out from under his thumb was one of the most important steps towards my recovery.