Access denied

First thing’s first: the Therapist Project’s therapist database went live today.  If you suffer from mental health problems and want a therapist who you know will treat you with evidence-based therapy, now, hopefully you can get it.

Speaking of which, today I go see the new psychiatrist.  I’m nervous.  I barely slept last night.

Imagine you were sick with something that at multiple times threatened your life.  Imagine that same sickness caused you a fair amount of grief for years and that the best that can be done to fight it is a daily pill that makes you lethargic and slow-thinking…but it has the upshot of keeping you alive and somewhat functional.  It’s certainly a step up, for which you’re undoubtedly grateful.  A life with less shimmer is still a life, and it’s a better life than suffering through the disease otherwise.

But now imagine you’ve found another med that does better.  It makes you almost fully normal.  Taking the pill produces no sluggishness, and it gives you your brain back at its full power while removing any hint of disability.  It’s not a cure, but it’s a damn good fix for as long as you take it that reminds you of how life used to be a half dozen years ago, before you fell sick.  Every medical person you tell says the same, obvious thing: this is clearly the drug you need to be on.

And now imagine you can’t get it, because they don’t prescribe it to people with your sickness.

It’s hard to describe how it feels knowing that an almost perfectly normal brain is so close, and I just can’t get it.  Today I’m going to ask my new therapist to give me a drug I know he can’t.  Is there a chance it’ll work?  A small one, but yes, otherwise I wouldn’t bother.  But I’ll likely return to a life of stability that comes with cognitive fuzziness and uncomfortable lethargy. I’ll be no worse off than I presently am.  It’s a good life, a better one than it could be, but it shimmers a little less knowing it could be better.  Being normal is just such a wonderful thought now that I know it’s possible.

It just sucks knowing there’s better out there.  I know I should root around and find some perspective, and I’m sure I will, but right now it’s kind of tough.  I find virtue in strength, but sometimes you just need a damn hug.

Wish me luck.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.