I have to laugh. If a Walmart worker sleeps on the job, he/she will be fired very quickly. Yet people who work with mental patients sleep on the job, or, cannot seem to stay awake. Have I ever seen one fired for this?
I have reported night shift workers at McLean who deliberately slept for the entire shift. I am not the only one who was aware of this. In fact, any patient who was still up when night shift came on saw their preparation for the night’s snooze.
One even brought pillows and blankets so she would be more cozy in the chairs she used. Her usual way of “working” was to line up two chairs, then, arrange the pillows and sleep all night.
The others didn’t sleep the whole night, but I caught them sleeping a number of times.
The one in charge, who wasn’t that same female worker who slept deliberately, ruled with an iron hand. “No leaving your room.” He shooed us back into our rooms as soon as he saw us. I finally explained I had to go to the bathroom and he let me. Then, I ran out of drinking water in my sip bottle and went to get more. He said I wasn’t allowed to get water. “Not until 6.” I filed a human rights complaint and believe it or not they agreed with me and said they’d talk to the head nurse.
He was nicer after that, but they still slept, and that same woman slept the same way as usual.
But….I was delusional that all this happened, right? Believe it or not, although this is commonly known among US, I was told by my psychiatrist later that “this isn’t possible.” Being discredited like that was common back in those days. Denying anything I say was the norm. Unfortunately I still hear that from a few people. They use my past dx to deny anything I say. By default. Couldn’t be. Overreacting. Alarmist. “Maybe you are just under stress.” Aren’t these words really saying the same thing? “You’re nuts and I don’t believe you.”
Why does a MH worker get away with sleeping and a Walmart worker surely won’t. Okay, on your break take a cat nap but these McLean workers had their break all night long. Who witnessed? Crazy people.
It gets worse. In my long history I had two therapists who couldn’t seem to stay awake during our sessions. I didn’t get much done with either, I admit. Both fell asleep in every session, not just once. Elsa Ronningstam slept for a good ten minutes at a time and I was too polite to wake her. I felt extreme embarrassment over this and I didn’t dare tell anyone. Finally, I shyly admitted it to a social worker AND a doctor who both believed me and I was off the hook with the Great Elsa and handed a new one.
The second was years later. I haven’t talked about this one much because I don’t know what to think honestly. I really liked her as a person but as a therapist she truly bombed out. And she was kinda famous locally. But it’s true, she slept. She would wake up and apologize and I’d say, “Get yourself some coffee.” She would but it never kept her awake. Given her tendency to nod off so frequently, I assume I am not the only patient to have observed this. I felt she should have just done her day job and not taken on private patients in the evening.
I can tell you my psychiatrist, Dr. Kimberly Pearson, whom I do not hesitate to name, was more than pissed when I fired that therapist. Pearson tended to rely on reputation and since this one had all the reputation in the world, more than she deserved, Pearson deferred to her and said my firing of her was a “symptom.” Yep.
There were other offenses. Our sessions consisted of her talking about herself mostly. Pearson didn’t believe that, either. She talked nonstop about her nieces till I was truly sick of it. I felt like I was her therapist. She also talked about her other patients to me, using me as her supervisor I suppose. The tip of the iceberg came when she cried in my presence, cried over one of her patients. Was this truly necessary? I was disgusted when I left and ashamed to have stayed with her as long as I had.
Pearson chewed me out for firing her and insisted my meds must be wrong. It’s a symptom. No it’s not.
I liked the next two, who both acted ethically at least. My time with both was short-lived. The next was Maria. Pearson loved Maria and when I fired her she again claimed I was manic.
This could become big business for therapists if Pearson is psychiatrist. They can abuse all they want, then, get Pearson, as ultimate authority, to claim it never happened. Abuse, or act unprofessionally? Who cares. It is so easy to make sure the patient is called Crazy. What a great way to do business! Take a vacation in the Alps, buy another home with pocket cash. And life goes on.