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Sincerely, Your Patient with Bipolar

In a former life, when my children were young and I had more brain cells, I wrote a blog. For six years I wrote about family life, random musings, and stories that I wanted to immortalize.

Later years included monthly posts of letters. I wrote letters to the random lady who yelled at me at the grocery store, to the angels at church who helped me, and to other strangers and inanimate objects. Writing letters helped me process emotions and find humor in crazy situations.

I think this blog needs letters. Mental illness letters. I will start, and then you can write your own in the comments. Are you in?


Dear Dr. McClure,

Do you remember the time that my babysitter canceled and I had to bring my toddler and baby to my psychiatry appointment? They weren't very cooperative and I was scattered and emotional. Then the preschool called because my other kid had a fever, and then the middle school called because the ride I had arranged for my other kid didn't show up. (Thankfully, my OTHER kid had everything he needed during those 30 minutes of the day.)

While my three-year-old did the pee-pee dance in the corner, I sat on your fancy leather couch and took in the view from your corner office on the 10th floor and felt like I was being punked.

You thought my plight was funny. I did not. My littles and I got ice cream on the way home (at 10 a.m.).

The frazzled mom


Dear Psychiatry practice on Tutt Boulevard,

After my excellent first psychiatrist retired (how dare he!), my search for a new shrink started with my insurance provider list and a map. I chose the closest option, since my original guy was far away and didn't take insurance. I figured I'd be willing to put up with a lot for a small co-pay and a ten-minute drive.

Little did I know what "a lot" could entail.

After the treatment I received over many months - negligence, incompetence, and terrible social skills from the intake staff; complete indifference from the treating physicians; failure to listen to my concerns or account for my extensive psychiatric history; and one psychiatrist TAKING A PHONE CALL (hello, HIPAA violation!) during my appointment - I am surprised you are still in business.

Maybe you're counting on your psych patients being too weary and overwhelmed to change providers. It did take me a year, but when I finally broke free, I left you a scathing review.

With contempt,

Your patient with bipolar


Dear Dan Aykroyd,

Did you know that you have a doppelganger? He resides in Colorado and practices psychiatry (he's not very good at it yet). When I talked to him about my deepest concerns, he would focus only on his computer keyboard. Then, he would whip up his head, stare at me wide-eyed, and ask a probing question. He stayed frozen in that posture, unblinking, until I responded, and then he returned to his keyboard with the passion of a mad scientist.

I recently saw you in the old movie, Sneakers, and laughed out loud at the memory of that crazy doctor (pun intended; I'm sure he was on psych meds, too). It wasn't super funny then.

How do you like your Winnebago?


A former Latuda experimenter


Dear Barbara,

Our therapy sessions occurred during a rather tumultuous time in my life. One of the things I faced back then was complete overwhelm about refilling my pill containers. It seems so silly now, but that chore felt enormous and left me feeling sad and broken every time.

You suggested that I buy cute containers instead of using geriatric pill cases. I found these.

That tiny shift made a huge difference. I still love them, many years later.

With gratitude,



Dear readers,

Do you see how this goes? I'd love to read your mental health letters in the comments. Try it! It's very therapeutic.



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