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Has anyone been to a shrink?

  1. Jul 7, 2008 #1
    Here are my experiences. Please share yours.

    When I was in kid, my parents used to take me to psychologists or psychiatrists or "shrinks" or whatever their official title is for reasons that are beyond me. In hindsight I think they are a total scam. I only went because my parents literally bribed me to go with gas money or sweets or toys.

    When, I was really young (like less than 8), I used to visit one "doctor" with really expensive cushiony chairs, really expensive artwork all around the office, and most importantly for me, lots of toys. I would go there every week and here is basically what happened every time. He (the "doctor") would welcome me and my mother who brought me and then she would leave us in his office and he would tell me to take a seat (with emphasis on the choice of which luxurious chairs that I had) and then we would chat about my week for a little bit. He would ask me questions about my social life and my relationship with my parents and then he would compliment me on my "improvement" and give me advice. I don't remember what these "improvements" or what the "advice" was or really what the issues we talked about were but I do vaguely remember NOT his words not having any effect on me and also really NOT liking him.

    That usually took about ten-fifteen minutes. After that, he would ask me what game I wanted to play (with emphasis on the large number of good choices I had). So I would select a board game or a card game or something like that. Then we would go on the floor and play that game for the remaining twenty-twenty five minutes. Finally, he would tell me that our time was up and I would go find my mother in the waiting room. Then, she would walk over to the "doctor" and hand him a check for the service he had done to me. I don't remember how much the check was for, but I have a sense that it was 25-50 dollars.

    When I was older, around 12-13, my parents decided that I was again refractory and they took me to a shrink who supposedly specialized in adolescents. I would see him before school usually and I went for exactly two reasons: 1) because I got to miss the first two periods of school on those days, and 2) because my parent would take me out for a nice breakfast that included Starbucks hot chocolate on those days. This "doctor" had an office that was a bit less lush and extravagant than his predecessor's but it was similar in that it contained many many games.

    On these visits, the first part consisted of my parent, the "doctor", and me together in his office. Basically, my parent would list their grievances against me and after each one ask me "is that fair?" and of course I would say something like "I guess" or correct my parent on a trivial detail or something to avoid the issue and avoid talking about my emotions. All I cared about was the cup of hot chocolate I would receive when we left.

    Then my parent would leave me and the "doctor" alone. I him first trying to just "shoot the breeze" by asking me what I thought about politics, telling me a story about his kids, or asking me what I was learning in history class, or something similar. Then he would attempt to have a more in depth with me about the grievances that he had heard from my mom or dad. Again I don't remember much of these conversations but I think they went something like this. At the first few visits, he would reason with me about why the things I had done were wrong and try to make me agree to a plan to have me change them. I would probably make childish excuses or give him the silent treatment or mutter something incomprehensible in response. I remember how he would sometimes get angry at this and then I would just say OK to get out of the awkward situation.

    I remember quite clearly how these conversations had absolutely no effect on my mindset and that the continued occurrence of the two benefits I listed above was my only concern during those visits. After the first few visits, these discussions would be more like him asking "Why didn't you do any of the things in the plan we made up last week?" I remember he would eventually really angry and frustrated and sometimes would yell at me.

    Anyway, like the visits to the first guy, those visits would also end with a game of my choice. The difference was that now the "doctor" would try to continue the discussions during those games. Of course then it was easy to just make a move in the board-game and avoid his questions altogether which he didn't seem to mind. Finally I would find my parent who would give the shrink a check that I think was fatter than previously (~50-75 dollars). My parent would then drive me to Starbucks where I would order a grande hot cocoa with whipped cream. I would sip this enormous creamy beverage in pure bliss while my parent sat and watched me with the satisfaction of knowing that I had just learned valuable ways to improve my interpersonal skill and fight my depression.

    OK. There is in fact a third shrink that comes next. I will write about him and then provide my analysis after I get some sleep.

    BTW I wrote all of this in response to the "neural psychologist?" thread after reading the question "Has anyone been to such a psychologist?" and not seeing that word "such". LOL
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2008 #2
    I think you need to go back and talk to one, seriously.
  4. Jul 8, 2008 #3
    So, I am assuming you are the ones that marked it "complaining". The other two threads I agree are complaining. But this is not really complaining if you actually read it...its just a story IMO.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  5. Jul 8, 2008 #4
    Do you realize that all this 'story telling' you do here is what you should be talking to your shrink about?

    In all seriousness, find a good shrink you can relate to and talk to him/her. You have major issues with your parents and you need to talk to a shrink about this.
  6. Jul 8, 2008 #5
    Yeah, I went to a child psychologist, who "diagnosed" me with PDD, which is effectively complete bull sh**. I think what I hate most is there way of being able to sit back and point out your flaws, and classify you.
  7. Jul 8, 2008 #6
    Your parents must have taken you for a reason. Did you have any problems during your childhood? If not, maybe your parents are a little out of it. (no offense of course)
  8. Jul 8, 2008 #7


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    OK. I'm not necessarily defending psycologists here. Personally I think there are some psychological diseases that are real and need attention from a professional. Then, there are others that I believe are over hyped, but since psychology isn't my field, I won't comment on which are which.

    If you want my opinion ehrenfest, it doesn't seem to me that this treatment not working is the psychologist's fault. To quickly summarize your story:

    My parents took me to a psychologist because they thought I had some problem. I refused to listen to the psychologist or take anything he said seriously. The treatment didn't work.

    Now, if you went to a physician who prescribed you some medication, would the medication work if you never took the pills?

    The psychologist's treatment may have been bull or it may actually work, but you do not know, since you did not actually undergo the treatment. You pretended to do the treatment, but you never took it seriously.

    Do you notice that so many of your posts in GD follow the same pattern? You complain that your parents didn't prepare you enough to be a scientist. You complain that your psychologists didn't actually help you get better. It seems to me that you want to hide from the fact that you need to take responsibility for your life success and happiness. No one else is going to do things for you, nor are they required to do so. No one is going to do the work to make you a scientist. The psychologist can only try to teach you what he thinks will help. If you don't actually try what he told you, then of course the treatment won't work.

    If you want my psychological analysis (if you didn't you shouldn't post this stuff on a public web forum), you are in denial about the fact that you need to take responsibility for your own life.

    I also agree with Cyrus. You should talk about these issues regarding your parents and adolescence with a professional and take his advice seriously this time. Don't make the same mistake you did when you were a kid. You can't be blamed for not taking the treatment seriously as a kid, but not taking it seriously as an adult is a different story.
  9. Jul 8, 2008 #8


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    Why do you insist on putting quotation marks around the word doctor? Psychiatrists are MDs who specialise in mental illness and, as such, are as much of a doctor as your GP. You know, it's ok to admit that someone knows more than you about something, and in such a case a psychiatrist will know a lot more about mental illnesses than you do. Thus, it will be beneficial for you to listen to them, rather than complain. Perhaps you should go and see one now you have grown up and are no longer a child.
  10. Jul 8, 2008 #9
    In response to Cyrus, G01, and cristo, you might want to wait until I finish before you label this as complaining and reprimand me for not being mature. I was going to say some of the same things you were at the end.
  11. Jul 8, 2008 #10


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    OK. Fair enough. Finish the story then. (But you have to expect people to post in the meantime between when you begin and end. It is a forum after all!:rolleyes:)
  12. Jul 8, 2008 #11
    My parents took to me to a shrink when I was seven or eight because of poor performance in school. I didn't want to go but they bribed me as well. At the shrink I was subjected to all kinds of tests, puzzles and games. They determined I had dyslexia. After that I've never been to a shrink. Now that I think about it I wonder if they missed something, I suspect I might have ADD. It would be interesting to get tested for it.
  13. Jul 8, 2008 #12


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    Yeah I am in agreement with the notion that a lot of times when children don't grow up the way their parents think they should, they often end up labeling the child, taking them to a "shrink" (whatever that really means) who then ends up misdiagnosing the child and indoctrinating the belief that there is really something inherent wrong with him. The act of labeling effectively retards child development and hinders self-confidence.
  14. Jul 8, 2008 #13


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    Finishing the story is not necessary.

    I agree with Cyrus.
  15. Jul 8, 2008 #14
    I think your parents are good and thoughtful parents.
    If my parents took me to psychologists when I was a child, I probably would not be mentally ill now. I have been on psychiatric meds for more than 15 years.
  16. Jul 8, 2008 #15


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    So, let's see, first you start a thread telling us your parents did nothing to help you as a child, nothing to help motivate you, nothing to help you get over whatever problems or issues hindered your progress, and now you're telling us they did, you just refused to accept the help offered by not taking it seriously.

    There is also a difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist. If you went to a psychiatrist, they are fully trained, licensed physicians. But they can't do much to help someone who refuses to take them seriously.
  17. Jul 8, 2008 #16
    Re: has anyone been to a shrink?

    I've been in cold swimming pools before
  18. Jul 8, 2008 #17
  19. Jul 8, 2008 #18
    I once had to visit a shrink because I had anxiety attacks. I was thinking for a while whether I should tell you, it's not exactly something one can brag about, especially if you are a guy. But its more than 10 years ago, so who cares.

    Anyway, I was treated with a tricyclic antidepressant (Anafranil) which improved my situation quickly. Nethertheless, I continued taking it for some years, although using the smallest possible dose, and went to my "shrink" several times a year.

    Based on this experience, I have to say that I see "shrinks" in a total different light than ehrenfest. I feel the same thankfullness and respect for my shrink as, say, one might have for a heart surgeon. I can understand why ehrenfest sees them as pretty useless people who make easy money by watching children play games - he was made to visit one without seeing the need to do so. But I would advise anybody who feels that he is mentally suffering (I'm not talking about feeling sad for a few days, but, say, if you feel depressed for several weeks) to look for a good shrink. There is nothing "weird" about them. As has already been said here, they are professionals who care for their patients just the same as any other doctor would do.
  20. Jul 8, 2008 #19
    yet,...................you didnt.
  21. Jul 8, 2008 #20
    Panic attacks (anxiety disorder) seem to be very common.

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