question for the married psychiatrists

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Hurricane, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Hurricane

    Hurricane Senior Member
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    The Mr and I are going through some problems. And during a few of our discussions, he said something along the lines of "stop using psychiatrist talk on me." It's not like I'm using technical terms or anything, and I'm only an intern, so it's not like I have anything more profound to say than any other untrained but introspective person would. But I guess it sounds like "psychiatrist talk" rather than "pop psychology/Dr. Phil talk" because of the context. Any tips on dealing with relationship problems without making your partner feel like you're analyzing them or whatever.

    We have an appt with a couples counselor in a week, and I made a point to find a psychologist who's not affiliated with the residency program, so he won't feel ganged up on by psychiatry, so I hope that helps.
     
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  3. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    Many of the skills learned as a clinician are important for interpersonal relationships. I think what is important is to use the listening skills, non-verbal cues, etc....and try and leave the analysis at the door of your home.

    I think being open with your spouse about their concerns is the obvious first step. They may always hang on to some fears, but maybe with the help of a 3rd party, you can talk about your concerns as a couple, and how you can work through them as a couple.

    *edit- Keeping it simple*

    -t
     
  4. Dartos Vader

    Dartos Vader Illegal in 47 states
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    Interesting conundrum. I have no idea what you should do, but I wish you luck. I'll ask my wife to read your post and see if she can offer some info from the spouse perspective.
     
  5. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    I get the same thing from my oppositional & defiant teenaged son, so you're not alone. :rolleyes:

    Try to catch yourself "getting psychiatric", admit it, and apologize. Somehow, without killing your "normal introspection" try to just be you--human, loving, honest.
    Try to listen actively, express your feelings openly. When you talk about emotions, make sure you're talking about your own feelings, and not telling him what his are!
    Be patient with him, because he's a guy, and testosterone is a known neurotoxin, and there are probably times when any talk about emotions & feelings is going to sound like alien psychobabble to him.
    Patience, affection, and humor will go a long way.

    My wife would probably tell you that I still have a ways to go, too.
    "Physician, heal thyself..."
     
  6. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson gamma irradiated
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    I addressed this one by marrying another psychiatrist, that way we can speak about each others primitive defences and cluster B traits without sounding too jargony. ;)

    We know, we know... our kids are gonna be completely [email protected]$ked.
     
  7. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    :laugh:

    -t
     
  8. Trophy Wife

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    From an untrained spouse's perspective...

    Sometimes things that anyone would normally say take more effect and hurt/fustrate more if you know the person saying them should know what they're talking about. I don't know what was being discussed when he said that, but remember that everyone is alowed to act slightly crazy/irrational sometimes. If you're not using technical terms, you might be doing something that you don't notice like using a "tone" that you would normally use with patients or when you talk about them to him. Being analyzed or feeling like your being analyzed at any moment can feel like you're in a pressure cooker.
     
  9. MBK2003

    MBK2003 Senior Member
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    I know that in my situation, offering up my interpretation about why he was acting a certain way was certainly NOT the way to handle the situation. The things that I found effective were:
    1) acknowledging to him that I might not respond immediately in the midst of an argument/discussion because I'm measuring my own internal state
    2) reiterating that my training is helpful because I could be more self-aware of what's driving my own behaviors in the situations
    3) limited use of asking for clarification, so that I could really understand what he was upset about

    I very quickly learned to tread nowhere near the domains of confrontation and interpretation, and to not address his underlying schemas or cognitive distortions. Good luck!

    MBK2003
     
  10. MDhasbeen

    MDhasbeen shrinkie dink
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    Well, at least you found someone. On behalf of the singles here, I'd have to say I strongly suspect that the shrink stigma scares away quite a few potential suitors. Ha!

    Also (and not to hint at the OP's personal situation at all), I just remembered that, according to one survey, psychiatrists have the highest divorce rate amongst all the medical specialties. Scary.
     
  11. jjbmsiv

    jjbmsiv INTJ
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    So much for Physician, heal thyself. Hmmm.
     
  12. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    That's only b/c all the neurosurgeons get divorced in residency.:smuggrin:
     
  13. whopper

    whopper Former jolly good fellow
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    The only times my wife & I got into a fight and psychiatry was brought up, it was me, not my wife that brought it up and she's not a psychiatrist.

    A few times we got into an argument and I pointed out something to her that was what I felt was a maladaptive response, something on the order of an Axis II: Cluster B response. I would basically tell her something to the effect that, "I don't want to be your therapist", or "I can't be your therapist on this and be your husband at the same time".

    Only happened a few times. Hasn't happened in months. I don't see it happening again. When I said it, it really set a boundary between her & I---one where none of us should ever even think of acting in an Axis II-Cluster B manner.

    We had kinda an opposite problem that Hurricane has.

    Don't know what to tell you Hurricane. When spouses argue, you really have to see a lot going on between the 2 to really understand what's going on.
     
  14. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    Say, Hurricane, thanks for putting this thread up--as you can see, you're not by any means alone in this.
     
  15. OldPsychDoc

    OldPsychDoc Senior Curmudgeon
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    We'll just have you change your user name to Frasier, and hers to Lilith...
    :laugh:
     
  16. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson gamma irradiated
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    You are not the first to make that particular joke, my friend. I've never minded it, but my wife has NEVER responded well to it (perhaps the comparison to a tightly-wound heartless shrew isn't that flattering). ;)
     
  17. Milo

    Milo Senior Member
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    Dude, Lilith was a smokin' hottie. :thumbup:
     
  18. Hurricane

    Hurricane Senior Member
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    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses.
     
  19. Big Lebowski

    Big Lebowski Senior Member
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    This is a tough one, because it starts to feel so natural to "interpret" people's defense mechanisms and the like in personal/social interactions. I just purposely avoided using any psychobabble with my wife at all times. Though we get along very well and I guess I have not had to do this. However, it has not stopped me from "diagnosing" everyone else on both sides of the family.....great fun!
     
  20. halflife

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    As a psychiatrist that is an easy target in the marriage argument wars. A good psychologist will be able to sort this out for you both. Remember, non-psych partners really have no idea what "psychiatry-talk" sounds like. DocSampson, I really feel sorry for you. I will make an offer to the Gods for your soul. We all know a woman psychiatrist is a powerful force of nature.
     
  21. Doc Samson

    Doc Samson gamma irradiated
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    No offers needed. I knew what I was getting myself into. If I didn't want a powerful force of nature, I would've married a pediatrician. ;)
     
  22. psychgeek

    psychgeek Senior Member
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    Unfortunately I think problems like yours are quite common among psychiatrists and psychologists. I find myself in a position that sounds pretty similar to yours. My marriage was largely fine until I began my internship; now it’s not-so-fine to say the least. Avoiding psych talk helps a little, but I think that the language we use is beside the point. I doubt my wife would prefer to be called arrogant than narcissistic; it is the sentiment that seems to count, and somehow taking a position in psych seems to create a lot of difficult sentiments.

    In talking to my psychologist friends it seems like a lot of them are having problems with their partners as well. I’m sure you aren’t alone. If you can find the courage to let your friends in the biz know about your problems, I have no doubt that you’ll find many have been through the same thing before or are going through it now.

    Hang in there
     
  23. maranatha

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    How so for psych specifically? I would think just being an intern in any specialty would create a lot of difficult sentiments by number of work hours alone. Maybe you've heard the saying "medicine is a jealous lover?"
     
  24. lusyd

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    My thought is that it has to do with perceptions of mental health types by non-mental health lay people. There is a general level of fear and the belief that we believe we REALLY understand others and their true motivations and desires. From the perspective of a lay-person partner in a relationship this projection gets played out when you (the psychiatrist) say something like, "honey, I think you really want me to be more more available". They hear, "I have you figured out because I am Dr. know-it-all".

    L
     
  25. psychgeek

    psychgeek Senior Member
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    I don’t think the long hours are very much of the problem at all. As you point out, there are a lot of jobs both within and outside of medicine that involve a lot of hours, and psych doesn’t have as bad of hours as most residencies. However, psych brings about a specific sort of view of relationships, people, and emotion that cannot be turned off when you get home. It changes who you are, not just what you do. Some people have a hard time adjusting to this change. It isn’t a matter of using clinical jargon when you fight; it is a matter of using a clinical perspective when you relate to those you love.
     
  26. musm2008

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    what does "medicine is a jealous lover" mean?
    This is a really good thread. Sometimes being "Dr-know-it all" or "student-know-it-all" in my case makes me feel like I have a skill. Understanding why people do the things they do from an educated perspective is really a good skill. It helps me not to get so mad at people when they do things that would ordinarily make me angry. I use it as a an opportunity to understand why I am feeling the way I do about a certain situation. Why am I mad that my husband/friend did this certain thing? Does it have more to do with them or me? That way I am using my skill to figure something out, thus improving my self esteem, and thinking through a situation. My husband kind of ignores me when I do this, which is probably a good thing. What he doesn't like is when I try to tell him what I think he should think. DOn't do that.
     

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