Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Little strikes, not deal breakers

My default setting is negative. This isn’t to say that I’m always negative, just that I think of things in terms of the negative aspects, and then process the information from there, sometimes in a positive manner. I’m much better at listing movies I hate than movies I love. I’m much better at listing traits in a potential date that will eliminate them as a prospect than listing the qualities that I want.

All kinds of things are strikes for me. Strike probably isn’t the right word, as it takes many more than three strikes for me to eliminate a girl. Some are simple matters of preference: being blonde is a strike. Some are petty and unfair: lactose intolerant is a strike. Some are downright wrong: never watches R movies is a strike. These are all little strikes. Bigger strikes include stupidity, insanity, history of spousal abuse etc. A big strike can eliminate you, again making strike probably the wrong word.

Anti-depressant use: little strike. I have talked to a couple people recently that felt in no uncertain terms that anti-depressant use was a deal breaker. It was a sad statement to me.

Now I’ve had numerous girls tell me that they used anti-depressants. Certainly, this doesn’t make them more attractive, but it was no big deal. Another couple have told me about their anti-depressant use on a date. That was a bigger deal. I have more issues with the fact that you think your medication use is good first date chit-chat than the fact that you’re on them. Ladies, a good rule of thumb is to keep your crazy to yourself until the 4th date. Keep that in mind.

But to say that anti-depressant use is a deal breaker, well that shows a lack of something. Empathy, understanding, tact, something. One of these girls was not at all familiar with mental health, and so her statement of “run far away from that” is more understandable. The other girl was well acquainted with mental health, which made the statement worse to me.

Do I want to date sad girls? No. Do I want to date people with any chronic illness? Not particularly. Do I want to date someone that refuses to try therapy as an alternative/adjunct to their medication use? No. But using anti-depressants is a little strike. I feel like having it as a deal breaker would devalue my work as a psychiatrist. How could I say that I want to help people when I say that the depressed are entirely undatable.

And no, this diatribe is not my justification for dating patients. I promise.

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