Thank You for the Somatoform Disorder Diagnosis (or Psychiatry Needs Therapy) by Anonymous

The psychiatrist sits across the room

While asking me questions about how the

Medication is going

Seldom looking over at me

As she types my responses at her laptop

I guess this is how they do it now

Despite all the talk about improving mental health

Their minds already made up

About how this appointment will go

It was already predetermined

With little space for dialogue

And she needs to document every single word it appears

Perhaps my questions to her have changed

The exchange and the power dynamics

As I want to understand why labs are never done

In advance of prescribing psychoactive medications

Like how about vitamin D or B12 status or magnesium

Or omega 3 and insulin and blood glucose stability

What about those I ask

But there is no good answer

Despite the fact that those are but a few things that

Can affect depression and anxiety

I don’t remember hearing a response at all

So she will probably write down I am resistant to a dosage increase

And type that the side effect sensations I have been feeling are

Due to a new diagnosis she is giving me

Somatoform Disorder

Which is basically pathologizing the fact

That our minds and bodies are completely connected

And so I will leave here more wounded than when I entered

When in fact I am more whole

And normal than this broken system could possibly know.


Return to Poetry


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


Mad in America has made some changes to the commenting process. You no longer need to login or create an account on our site to comment. The only information needed is your name, email and comment text. Comments made with an account prior to this change will remain visible on the site.