After months of effectively compartmentalizing my personality in order to best manage my mental healthcare appointments – reserving the rambling, emotional monologues for my therapist while keeping things concise and business-like with my psychiatrist – I finally slipped up, accidentally using my therapy personality during my psychiatry session.
I’m still reeling from the uncomfortable aftermath of this mistake.
Dr. Vaughn had simply asked me how I’d been and instead of responding with my typical, “I’m doing well, how about you?” – I inadvertently gave her a candid response, mistakenly donning the “drama-serving, chit chat-starved, emotionally-overwrought burnout” personality that I had previously reserved only for my therapist, Dr. Briar.
You know that feeling you got when you’d accidentally call your elementary school teacher “mom” in front of the entire class? Yeah, this was like that, except it was me accidentally revealing I had feelings to my psychiatrist.
Talking about my feelings with my therapist is fine – good, even. Dr. Briar understands me – she’s cool and she hates my enemies (like, even more than I do) and she hasn’t said anything to this effect but I’m pretty sure she would go to battle for me? However, everyone knows discussing your feelings with your psychiatrist is a grave mistake.
While Dr. Briar is perfectly equipped to handle my unprovoked, tear-filled anecdotes about where it all went wrong in my childhood, Dr. Vaughn wasn’t even remotely prepared to discuss how losing the Science Fair in 4th grade permanently impacted my self-perception.
That session ended up being the longest 30 minutes of my life.
Not only did I have to re-explain the minutiae of my life – where I’m from, who I’m dating, what the “deal” with my parents is – to someone who would frequently interject with phrases like, “Oh, wow, okay, that’s uh…a lot” – I also ruined the slight repertoire we had begun to establish in recent months. We had literally just moved from the “wait, why is it weird right now?” stage of psychiatry to the “okay, this is still super awkward but at least we’re united behind the common goal of medication management” stage. And now it was all for nothing.
Ultimately, Dr. Vaughn did nothing wrong, and it was my fault for being so careless. However, I do have to find a new psychiatrist because, after that whole ordeal, there’s obviously no way I can show my face in that office ever again.