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What I Want My First New Psychiatrist in 10 Years to Know

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

My struggles with depression and anxiety have been ongoing for almost 20 years. In that time, I’ve had only two psychiatrists.

After 10 years with my first one, who knew me inside and out, he moved to another state… and suddenly, I felt like I was starting over. How was I supposed to explain everything I had been through to a new psychiatrist, all the medications I had tried, the hopelessness of my treatment-resistant depression — everything. How was I supposed to start over? I was blessed beyond measure that my first psychiatrist recommended the person I should go see — the only psychiatrist he wanted me to see — and I trusted him.

There I sat in a new office, in tears. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t start over. Luckily, my new psychiatrist was exceptionally patient and understanding. It took time, but we developed a distinct rapport. He refused to give up on me, and I finally let down my guard and let him in to my world. It saved my life.

My psychiatrist is a man of talent and integrity. He is extremely knowledgeable about all forms of treatment, old and new. He is determined, and will not stop trying to help me no matter how frustrating it may be. He cares. He truly, honestly, genuinely cares. And that makes all the difference.

To my psychiatrist:

Thank you for never giving up on me, for always inspiring me to keep fighting, for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for never judging and always supporting me, for saving my life, every time we meet. You were under no obligation to care the way you do. You have in your heart a genuine desire to help people, and a God-given talent for doing so. In the depths of darkness, when I could see no light, you were there. You were the light in the darkness. You were the phone call at 3 a.m. with the suicide method in my hand. You were the lifeline when I didn’t want life to continue at all.

Thank you with all my heart. I’m still alive because you refuse to let me sink into the abyss. I’m not a lost cause in your eyes. I’m a challenge, yes, but you fight alongside me and you never stop caring. You mean more to me than you will ever know. And I’m grateful beyond words that you are my psychiatrist.

Thank you for being who you are, for saving my life, for everything.

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

Originally published: June 6, 2019
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