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Re: 20 questions for Fred, Adam, Erin, Noa, Tom, Siri

Posted by allison on December 11, 1999, at 18:01:01

In reply to 20 questions for Fred, Adam, Erin, Noa, Tom, Siri, posted by Morose on December 10, 1999, at 16:52:55

Well, Morose, you can be as much of a smart ass as you like to me or anyone else, but where does it get you and what does it prove? You want answers. I'll play your game:

> 1. How do you know you have an unconscious mind? Are you conscious of it?
Because things go on in my mind that I notice only some of the time, and when I notice them I try to figure where they came from. Usually it's only traces of things that, when I start to notice them, disappear like cockroaches disappear when you turn on the kitchen light.

> 2. Did your shrink tell you have an unconscious mind?
Not directly. We have talked about dreams, but only started that in the second year.

> 3. Did you read it in a book?
I have read about it in several books.

> 4. How is talking to your shrink different from talking to a friend? Do you have any friends? Is your shrink your friend?
Friends have filters and motives that are not always in synch with mine. While often helpful, friends generally have less capacity, insight and focus to discuss situations as in-depth as conversations with my psychiatrist. However, I sometimes use my friends to bounce ideas off them, some of which I've gotten from my doctor. As you, I find most folks I know are screwed up in some way, but many of my friends are pretty normal. At times they are useful for insights into situations, however most haven't been through the crap I have and have trouble comprehending it, so I don't bring it up. Besides, it's depressing. If I talked about myself and my problems all the time to my friends, I wouldn't have many. Friends are better for lightening the load in other ways. My shrink knows more about me than anyone on this earth. We have a good relationship and a mutual respect, but I would not exactly define him as a friend.

> 5. How is talking to your shrink different from talking to your internist?
My internist is more interested in hearing about physical ailments. When I approached him for help with this depression, he referred me to my psychiatrist.

> 6. How is talking to your shrink different from reading books?
Books don't listen or give feedback or ask questions that make me think. Information in books usually is only partly relevant to any given situation. Conversation with my psychiatrist is much more personal and relevant.

> 7. Are you smarter than your shrink?
We each have intelligence in particular areas that is greater than the other's.

> 8. Are you smarter than your unconscious? Is your unconscious smarter than you?
I think there's a symbiotic relationship that I am only partly aware of. It has nothing to do with intelligence, really.

> 9. What book are you reading this week?
A Guided Tour of the Complete Works of CG Jung (author's name escapes me), Oblivion by Josephine Hart, Aspects of the Feminine by Hull, and a little bit of Shakespeare (King Lear). Before that it was Motherless Daughters by Edelman, Anima and Animus by Emma Jung, and Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I am about to begin The Feeling of What Happens by Damasio and Women's Ways of Knowing (several women wrote it), and The Power of Feelings by Chodrow (sp?).

> 10. What book is your shrink reading this week?
Not sure. A few weeks ago it was Care of the Psyche. A few months ago it was Eternal Echoes by John O'Donohue.

> 11. If you donít know what book your shrink is reading this week, why donít you know? Did you ask? Did your shrink refuse to answer?
I haven't asked. It wasn't relevant. He brings up books he's reading or has read if there's something that's relevant to our discussions.

> 12. Which evolved first, the conscious mind or the unconscious mind?
I suspect unconscious, but who cares? I'm stuck with them both.
> 13. Does your shrink prescribe drugs to you?

> 14. Has your shrink ever taken the drugs he or she prescribes?
There are so many out there, I doubt anyone could take them all. Besides, if one doesn't have the symptoms that a particular drug allegedly affects, why take it unnecessarily? Does an oncologist take chemotherapy if he/she doesn't have cancer? It's my psychiatrist's job to know how/why they work, how to use them, and how to measure their efficacy.

> 15. Letís assume your shrink knows everything about your finances, your career aspirations, your sex life, your upbringing, everything. What do you know about your shrink?
Enough that he's a person full of thought, compassion and insight who tries to help me figure out how to get through this life.

> 16. Would you like to go out for a beer with your shrink?

> 17. If you were out and about with a friend, and you ran into your shrink, would you say hello? Would you introduce your friend?
I would and I have.

> 18. How would your answer to 17 differ if you were with your spouse? One of your kids?

> 19. Do you think your shrink is afraid to grow old and die?

> 20. Are you afraid to grow old and die? If so, is that fear conscious, unconscious, or both?
I don't particularly like the idea of growing old because I'll most likely be stuck in a nursing home. I would welcome death. The only thing that I fear is the possible pain.

It's too bad that your experiences with therapists have been so negative, Morose. I often find the sessions with my psychiatrist more helpful than the drugs he prescribes. Unlike your doctors, I **would** define mine as a seeker, who encourages his patients to seek answers, take journeys, be curious. As for the drugs, I'd probably be dead without them. I don't like taking them; I tolerate them. They have not been a panacea by any means. They've never made me **happy.**




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