It’s Almost Winter: Time to Search for a Shrink

winter snowflakeNow about this time of year, I get a little panicky because in Northern Michigan, we enjoy less sunlight than the rest of you folks. Well, maybe not the folks reading this from the Arctic Circle.

Every year it occurs with increasing suddenness and ambushes me in an unprepared state: Hey, who turned the lights out? One day it’s summer and the next it’s just… dark.

To me this means six months of no sunlight, using Google’s Universal Search to find pictures of my favorite Caribbean beach and thinking: “Again… why do I live here?” However, I know that in the spring, when the sun comes back, I’ll remember the answer to that question. For now, I’ll occupy myself with snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

So, being “in” this weekend with a nasty flu that has been going ’round our office, I was feeling the effects of cabin fever and sunlessness. Now mind you, I’m not a lunatic. (Well, not really.) But just in case I need something soothing (or …pharmaceuticals) to carry me through the long dark winter, I thought I’d do a little search: Traverse City psychiatrists

Just in case, mind you.

Universal Search first turned up results for a few maps, one being a link to the site of Northern Lakes Community Mental Health. To me, this would be where you go when you a.) Do not have mental health insurance coverage, or b.) Want to sit down with a case worker who has 10,000 others and exactly 2.5 minutes to spare for your “issues.” They’re too busy and I do have coverage, so why take time from those who need it

Zoinks! Maybe our local Bay Area Psychiatric Clinic could use a little awareness of how to handle Online Crisis Management, especially when it isn’t your clinic undergoing a federal investigation. Indeed, if I was in a depressive fog, or just an inexperienced web searcher, and failed to notice the URL: www.californiahealthline.org? I might think something sinister was going on!

The next, Wedgewood, had faith on the menu with my Prozac, making me a little wary since I‘m not in the market for more religion than I already have.

The following results pertained to what we locals call “Building 50,” which is the former State Mental Hospital which happens to be located here in Traverse City. I could take some photographs or eat unbelievably good food at Trattoria Stella. But if I’m depressed, it won’t do me any good. (Actually, art, food and wine might do some good.)

A couple results from UCompare HealthCare actually require payment for “My Doctor Report,” before the doctor’s phone number can be divulged! Somehow this seems… wrong.

If what Google’s results tell me is true, there are a few disturbing conclusions to be made about the options for clinically depressed people in northern Michigan:

  1. This winter, if I need them, I’ll have few pharmaceutical options; somebody please check on me around late February.
  2. Psychiatrists in Northern Michigan need a friendlier web presence; if you’re a psychiatrist, you might think about relocating to Traverse City.
  3. My next search: SAD lamps full spectrum lighting