Do you ever feel exhausted going to see your psychiatrist? I often feel a bit that way after, and take a few hours to just chill. It’s like there is stuff he will talk about, stuff I will talk about, probably some things I’ll disagree about or he’ll disagree about, end up in some sort of common agreement but it is somewhat exhausting. And that is me, who has only had two psychiatrists in 24 years and get on relatively well with. The people I feel for are people who are having to retell their story, quite extensively to new medical professionals and allied staff, potentially multiple numbers of people. That is surely exhausting and strewn with pitfalls.

One tip I have is for you to write down your story so you don’t have to dredge it up and remember it which is emotionally taxing. There is the taxing part of having to go back into our memory, which is naturally linked with emotions that go with that, that is why we remember what is important to us. Then there is the cognitive load of trying to put into order so the other person can understand what we are talking about. Then there is the worry of whether they actually believe, agree or are listening to what we are saying. In which case, if they aren’t we have the added psychological burden or reiterating, arguing or accepting we are fighting a lost cause, give up and shut up. Much easier and less effort to have stated and polished a document that covers the detail and to which we can speak. If there are points they want to argue, one way or the other, then they can. We just aren’t expending the same amount of effort a barrister would as if you were in a court of law like there is a judge and a jury and you are on trial. Which it is.

Just submit the evidence and see if they have the courtesy and the wherewithal to treat you with the respect you deserve, and get on with the goals you have in mind. It is like you have a resume, it is a record of pertinent stuff.

It doesn’t have to be long. It may be just bullet points but 2 or 3 pages of writing wouldn’t be out of order at all. Throw in some headings to break it up. It’s up to you. That is not too much to ask someone to read.

Emotions and memory are precious resources. Save them for when you need them. Conserve energy. There’s plenty you’ll need that for.

Talk soon,