Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shrinking Violet-- Salu Digby!!

Six years ago-- SIX!!!—everyone has somehow tapped into some weird crazy mutant weltenschauung (sp?) and had the infernal collective thought to invoke something called BRP, ie, brief reactive psychosis, ie, to instantly transform from a perfectly sane person into a total loon who would run from the wards and abandon his dutymates, the unpushed meds on the nurses' station, the unfilled blood vials, and such. “Ay, nag-BBRP sya,” says your perplexed and rather infuriated dutymate as he watches you while you tear out your own hair and eat your own hair and eventually crap out your own fucking hair, if you don’t choke on it first. Sometimes you can forgo with all the dramatics, you can just opt not to appear one day, turn your phone off, and play all mysterious and dead. It is still advisable, however, to give some form of notice, as your absence might not be noted at all which would sort of make you tampo. Of course in the final analysis BRP could all just be a total inarte, because truly we are yet to see someone get dragged to the local psychiatrist. I did go to our local psychiatrist one day in med school, though, and that was totally voluntary, with no dramatics, no histrionics, and such—I just walked in and gave all sorts of excuses to be prescribed some meds.

I’m not very lucky with shrinks. I can still remember vividly that my parents had brought me to some psychologist’s house in some posh village when I was 7, after having experienced something which would later be diagnosed merely as some pedestrian night terrors. It was December then, and as she asked me to draw some stuff (a person, a tree, a bird, the usual crap) on her dining table I could not concentrate as I eyed all the extravagant Christmas gifts and shiny stuff she received from her other patients on the table. Maybe part of the therapy is she would give me some chocolate after the session, I thought, some form of reinforcement crap. I wish I were kidding but after the entire exercise she gave me a piece of Storck. It was the 1980’s, and my parents yelped as they received a check of P800/hr. “Hindi na tayo babalik dyan!!!” my mother pumped her fists to the skies as we boarded our run-down army-type jeepney and drove back to the province.

Then let’s see, I had a psychiatrist when I was ten (the night terrors were very recurrent) with whom I was able to follow up for quite a number of years until high school. In med school almost a decade later she became one of our lecturers, and her hair was dyed sparkling gold. This depressed the crap out of me. Eventually I got lucky with the local shrink and I knew he was genuinely smart—he figured out I was semi-malingering (semi, not fully malingering) after one session. Instead of another prescription he just offered me a ride home.