Why black and white saved my brain

I just spent some time reading about stigma in the CrossCurrents magazine. Now that I’m in an emotionally heightened and shaky state, I just wanted to quickly say thank you to my doctors.

Thank you to my family doctor, for immediately accepting that if I had panic attacks, something must be done, and it would be best if I saw a psychiatrist, who knew more than he did.

Thank you to all who have assessed me in a kind way over the years.

Thank you most of all to my psychiatrist. He is largely my psycho-pharmacologist, meaning we most talk about medication and how that aspect can help or not help me. When I started cutting, and then continued, and then continued even more, he had the most helpful words of anyone.

was very shy of starting any medication. I still am not sure I approve, despite all that it has done to stabilize me, and allow me to live a normal life. But I was even more afraid of increasing my dose, which he suggested in response to my cutting.

What he said was brilliant, for me. “Normal people do not feel this much pain.”

It was black and white. It was framed as a fact. But while I was terrified of how I should feel, and moreover how I should cope, and how everyone else clearly just coped better than I did, he said straight out – you are facing more difficulty, you are in pain, you have options to help you feel better.

Thank you for intuiting that I needed that. Thank you.



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