FAQ gone wrong
A patient recently tempted us with eight horrible words, “Your website needs a FAQ section.”
Psychiatrists love questions, especially Frequently Asked Questions, and by the end of the day our FAQ section had grown exponentially. “How are you feeling?” “What was that like for you?” “Tell me more?” Then we got distracted. YOU are so very interesting. Now our FAQ section is about you, not us.
So we’re good at asking questions. We’re supposed to be good at finding answers too. Those answers are about your childhood, thought patterns, and how you deal with dumb questions. Typically we’re wrong, but we try. So we need your help. For each question or statement, choose an option. We’ll base our answers on your answers.
FAQ 1. “How are you today?”
How would you respond if a psychiatrist asked you this? Choose your answer.
(a) “Fine, thank you.”
(b) “Fine, thank you. And you?”
(c) “Fine, thank you. And you? I mean, is it okay for me to ask a psychiatrist that?”
(d) “How do you think I’m doing? You’re the psychiatrist. You tell me. What do you think I’m paying you for?”
How’d it go?
→ In most studies, 33%, 33%, and 33% of patients chose (a), (b), and (c), respectively. These are super answers. If you chose any of these three, you’re a stunning picture of mental health. We admire your progress in life. (And we’re doing fine too. Thanks for asking.)
→ Did you choose (d)? If so, you might require extensive psychodynamic existential psychosurgical rejuvenation therapy (EPEPRT, a treatment that doesn’t exist) to determine whether you’re fine or not. Either that or you need a puppy. We’ll see you tomorrow morning at 10AM.
→ If you chose (e), our response is 55h4&^#*%*4__Glad to hear it.
FAQ 2. “What have you been doing lately?”
Which of the following options sounds best?
(a) “Doctor, those little cash registers are pink and blue, you know, the ones that fly around and hide behind the fridge. They read my mind and send messages to the government.”
(b) “I was out partying last night when I realized I’d broken curfew. I ran so fast I lost my shoe. Then my carriage turned into a pumpkin.”
(c) “I made a pumpkin pie. It tasted like a carriage but, hell, it was worth it. The Fairy Godmother was pissed.”
(d) “Last night? I spent the night researching my psychiatrist’s home address and social security number, why?”
(e) “&^#H&&%#__Maybe but not sure?”
Here are our answers to your answers.
→ If you answered (a), then please get rid of the cash registers as soon as possible. They’re scary.
→(b) Cinderella, is that you?
→(c) If life gives you pumpkins, make pumpkin pie? We like that.
→(d) Researching our address and social security number? While you were there, did you find anything about flying cash registers? We hear they’re sending messages to the government.
→(e) &^#H&&%#, absolutely not. As I said before, we’re not allowed to treat that sort of thing.
FAQ 3. “Do you ever think you have special powers?”
Choose your answer:
(a) “God tells me I’m here to save the world. It’s got something to do with flying cash registers and stupid quizzes.”
(b) “I live life through a series of multiple choice questions.”
(c) “Sometimes I think I can heal people’s mental problems by looking at them in a smart way and asking ridiculous questions.”
(d) “Seriously, doctor, these FAQ questions are getting annoying.”
Which option did you choose? If you answered:
→(a) Please no more flying cash register jokes. We can’t take anymore. But… did you say a stupid quiz?
→(b) You live life through a series of multiple choice questions… And how do you feel about multiple choice questions? Choose one of the following: (1) sad, (2) angry, (3) super happy, or (4) like I know everything, which means I choose from the following: (4a) it stems from my childhood, (4b) it’s based on cognitive distortions, (4c) oh, never mind.
→(c) We’ve got the perfect fix. We’re going to look at you in smart way, ask stupid questions, and expect you to understand it all. You should feel better by morning.
→(d) See question #4 about enhancing frustration-tolerance.
FAQ 4. How do you deal with annoying people?
Choose from the following options.
(a) “I have a large assortment of coping skills. In fact, I’ve been told I exhibit superior frustration-tolerance abilities. Conflict management is my middle name.”
(b) “My thoughts are very violent, so I avoid the world and surf the web looking for FAQ articles. It’s the only relief I get.”
(c) “I stalk people who are annoying. I take hundreds of pictures of them, take notes on their every movement, eavesdrop on their every conversation. For example, Doc, this is a photo I took of you at 2 this morning…”
Regardless of your choice, this is our answer:
Did you choose (a), (b) or (c)? Hmn, we’re sensing discomfort in the room. Why don’t we bring the session to a close and try again next week? Let’s bill your insurance the 550 for the session. [Wait, there’s more: please move onto FAQ#5).
FAQ 5. [Doctor sighs and shivers.] “I’m terribly sorry to inform you but your health insurance has declined coverage. They don’t pay for FAQ-laden treatment. That’ll be 550 dollars. Credit card or check?”
Choose from the following:
(a) “I’ll pay with credit card.”
(b) “I’ll pay with check.”
(c) “You’ve got to be kidding me. It was better when the flying cash registers were still around.”
(d) “What? My insurance won’t pay? Well, just tell them that if they don’t pay I’m heading over to the insurance headquarters, and I’m in a terrible mood. I’m not faking it, I’ve done it all before.”
If you chose:
→ (a) and (b). Great. Please send 550 dollars to your favorite charity. Personally, we recommend the American Association of FAQ victims, but the choice is up to you. Thanks.
→( c) No, not the cash registers again. That’s it. We can’t take it anymore.
→BTW, if you chose (d) there’s no charge. Ever. Just don’t hurt us.
That’s enough FAQ’s for now. Thanks for joining us, and make sure to visit again. Until next time.