You’ve been to therapy. (You have, right? If not, go find a therapist before going on. Trust me. No, seriously, trust me. Off with you!) They’re helping, but things are looking a little chemical in your brain. Your therapist thinks you should talk to a psychiatrist. Great, you think, now I need another doctor.
But, wait. How the heck do you find a psychiatrist? Maybe you’re lucky and your therapist has a go-to M.D.. If not, if you’re like me, maybe they have a list of people nearby. It’s possible your friends have a recommendation; again, if you’re like me, they’re all getting their meds from their PCP (and I’m definitely a See The Right Specialist kind of guy). Now what? Now comes the random web searches and desperate phone calls. Good luck. This part sucks. Here are a few things I learned.
- You know those sales jobs? The ones where you have to cold call people? That’s basically what you’re doing, only you’re selling Crazy to overworked receptionists. Steel yourself.
- You don’t expect to be rejected by a doctor, do you? I mean, you’re crazy and you want to pay someone. They aren’t going to reject you, right? Well…they are. Usually because they don’t have any room.
- There are doctor review sites online. Most doctors had no reviews. The rest had only one. One review is basically worthless. You have a better chance of finding a good book reading Amazon reviews.
- Clinics don’t want anything to do with you unless you’re getting therapy and psychiatric help from them. It’s an insurance thing.
- The first clinic I called told me to screw off. Only less politely. The second at least explained why they couldn’t help me and sent me a list of private doctors.
- If you have a list of random, private doctors, come up with some arbitrary rules to weed people out. Only women, no people in office parks, names beginning in ‘R’. Make it easy on yourself to choose.
- If a psychiatrist can’t schedule you in less than a month, keep calling. You might be desperate enough to take it, but don’t. Find something sooner. I learned this the hard way.
- Be brave, be vigilant and be persistant. It took rejection. It took time. It took humiliation. In the end, I found a doctor to help me. You will, too.