A psychiatrist friend of mine (we’ll call him “Dr. X”) treats urban patients who have substance abuse problems and often live in homeless shelters. Here are some recent conversations that had me scratching my head:
Mr. P: [recovering from crack cocaine, alchohol, and heroin abuse] Doc, I’ve been feeling really depressed lately and the therapy sessions aren’t helping.
Dr. X: I know that we’ve done all we can to manage your depression conservatively. You may want to consider trying a small dose of an anti-depressant medication. It could really help.
Mr. P: [Eyes bulging, jaw dropped] But, Dr. X, those anti-depressant medications might affect my MIND!
Dr. X: Ms. P, why aren’t you taking your prenatal vitamins?
Ms. P: [actively smoking crack while pregnant] I don’t trust that stuff. I think it could harm my baby.
Dr. X: Ms Y, I know you’ve been struggling with pain related to your broken leg. Why not let me prescribe some pain medications for you?
Ms. Y: Oh, no – I don’t want any prescription medicines. I don’t trust those.
Dr. X: Well how are you going to manage your pain, then?
Ms. Y: My sister has some pills that I take.
Dr. X: What pills?
Ms. Y: Darvocet and Vicodin.
***This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.