Updated: Jan 20
This entry regards the fascinating experience of my first visit to a psychiatrist. If you feel triggered or attacked please share your views with me. I hope not to offend or humiliate anyone. The purpose of my writing, in this case, is to inform, share, and encourage hopefully through a more light, humorous tone. I’d like to also note that mental health is important and it’s a real issue, especially when you’re in a strange country with a language barrier and an enormous amount of anxiety.
So, yes, I started seeing a psychiatrist recently. Long overdue, indeed, but interesting nonetheless. He suggested I start a blog because apparently I’m not very verbal. Which is the first time anybody has ever insulted me like that. Ha! If you know me you’re deeply aware of the fact that I never stop talking. But I've quite enjoyed writing again, and it was excellent advice.
So, let’s start with the actual location of the building. It’s was in a 7/11. And I’m not even joking. Well, kind of. You have to walk through the 7/11 to get there. But it was just an hilarious first impression, which I desperately needed at the time, because I was extremely nervous and sure that in about a few minutes they would tell me that I was completely insane and was under no circumstances mentally stable enough to leave and that I’d have to spent my whole life in a 7/11.
Thinking about it now I guess there are worse places to spend your eternal mental breakdown. At least I’d be surrounded by boiled eggs and sticky sweet potatoes with an odor of one hundred newborn calfs stuck in a closet. (Well, thats what a 7/11 in Taiwan smells like to me, you might differ).
Walking up the stairs, I was obviously giving off the impression of a mentally insane adult that’s having a midlife crisis because people kept pointing to where I needed to go, without any queries or even knowing the purpose for my visit to the 7/11 Psychiatric Hospital. (Side note: I’m 25 people, this is the apparent age of experiencing a mid life crisis in these polluted, politically unstable, short, busy days).
Now, what happened behind the locked (or at least partially closed) door of the psychiatrist’s office, I’m not at liberty to discuss. Basically because not much happened. I sat quietly staring at the little room with a little bed, a container of tissues and a doctor just constantly typing whatever he observed.
With me not talking and him asking strange, half-English questions, we settled on an agreement that I was able to leave with a few pills in hand. (By that I obviously mean little sachets of carefully selected medication labeled “with breakfast,” “with lunch,” “with dinner,” and “at bed time.)”
For those of you who are not aware of the medical systems in Taiwan, I'd like to proudly point out that it is quite exquisite, inexpensive and advanced. Nothing like what I’ve ever experienced in South Africa.
Anyway, I walked out with a brand new bathroom cabinet fully stocked, having to return every week in order to get my prescription re-filled. In all seriousness, these little packets of “drink me nows” have brought tremendous change to my everyday life and I’m so grateful for the courage that led me to the 7/11 in the first place. If ever you’re restless, uncomfortable, or scared, remember that there was even a first time that you had to brush your own teeth, and that now you (hopefully) do it three times a day without even having to open your eyes, or being fully awake. Ha! (No judgement here, who has time these days to brush 3 times a day anyway?)
So, if you’ve got a feeling in your gut, that screams at you to go “see someone” as they might say, please do. I hope my experience can be seen as a roadmap, or just a humorous babble about how mentally distressed I am. Either way, I hope you’ve learned something.