Dr Hindley’s Bookcase part 6
Memoirs of a consultant psychologist.
The proposed treatment and medication given to each patient must be arrived at only after careful consideration. Even when two patients are suffering from the same illness it does not necessarily mean that the treatment will be the same, it has to be tailored to the individual. As an example I once had two patients, both middle-aged men and both suffering from Male Erectile Dysfunction (MED) that were treated in totally different ways.
MED is by its nature both psychological and physical. The patient’s sexual drive declines with age and the patient realises that he no longer has the same libido and worries that something is wrong thus causing stress and exacerbating the condition. His partner notices and expresses concern which makes things even worse, thus the patient finds that he becomes trapped in a vicious downward spiral. Mr McTell was in just this situation, despite having a very attractive and somewhat athletic, albeit dim, wife when he was referred to me.
I always treat cases of MED by first interviewing both the patient and his partner together, as mental health issues always affect not only those that are afflicted but also people that are in close contact with them – or are unable to be in close contact with them in the case of ‘limp knob disease’ as I routinely call it.
I instructed McTell to explain fully the problems he was having and insisted that he tell me just how embarrassed, small, insignificant and useless he felt – I always found it much, much easier to build up someone’s self-esteem if I’d reduced them to a miserable, self-loathing wretch beforehand. Thus he told me everything, including all of the little moves that his wife had used to try to get him to perform (two of which I hadn’t come across before).
Well, what to do? After giving it some serious thought I decided that the best way to break the circle of stress would be if his wife could relax her need for physical contact from him for a while thus no longer inducing in her husband the stress resulting from the need to perform.I therefore sent him off with some mild anti-depressants and for the next month gave a session of treatments twice a week to his wife in my consulting rooms and also a couple of times in a cheap hotel near Earl’s Court. Quite vigorous they were too, but I’m nothing if not dedicated to my charges. It must have worked too as within three months McTell had run away with a Romanian barmaid from New Maldon.
Mr Rolph had exactly the same problem, although when first confronted with him and his wife I wondered how they had ever managed to play the ‘beast with two backs’ in the first place. Rolph himself was a small rotund man with bad skin and a facial twitch, while his wife was a heavily-built, muscular woman with a face like a smacked arse. Copulation must have been akin to 2 rutting rhinos going at it full pelt albeit with much less eroticism. I must admit that the thought of them hammering away was something that I tried not to dwell on (although I later used it as a self-cure for premature ejaculation).
Anyway, I bunged them a prescription for Viagra and told them to report back after a month which they duly did, describing in stomach-churning detail the full range of their subsequent nocturnal, gynaecological adventures.
In the end we had to kill them of course.
Gary Moore “Churchmouse”