Monday, August 18, 2008

Psychiatrists in August....

(ClinkShrink note: I'm posting this on behalf of our missing-in-action co-blogger, Dinah. Here's hoping she gets back quickly.)

It's been a bit quieter than usual here on Shrink Rap.

Oh, it's August, the month when psychiatrists traditionally go on vacation. If we were Manhattan psychoanalysts, then perhaps we'd all be in Wellfleet, sitting on the beach, talking about our unresolved complexes, or whatever. But we're not Manhattan psychoanalysts. We're Shrink Rappers.

Funny thing, though. We've all gone on vacation in August. This is for Phoebe who commented that we all suddenly disappeared.

Roy went to Acadia in Maine. ClinkShrink went to Acadia in Maine. Funny, she deemed this completely coincidental, but it's Roy's second year in a row and he sent back such beautiful photographs (--the guy has talent) from last year that I believe they tweaked at something deep inside of Clink and she, too, just had to be there. See, I could be a psychoanalyst. Of course, you can see Roy's vacation photos, including his flat tire on Day #1 [Roy: I took them down as they were meant to be temporary and not enduring psychiatric reading], or read about ClinkShrink's life-threatening mountain climbing, on posts from earlier this month right here on Shrink Rap.

I'm still on vacation. Actually, I live for vacation. I'm in sunny, gorgeous, Southern California, soaking in the sun, eating great food, getting a fair amount of exercise (sailing, biking, walking, jogging, visiting the gym, sightseeing). I'm pleased to report that we've done nothing to endanger our lives here.

So why do psychiatrists go on vacation in August? I want to venture a guess that psychiatrists vacation in August for the same reasons everyone else does. Personally, it's not my favorite time to be gone-- I like working when there's no traffic, fewer patients (they all go on vacation, too) and I'm not crazy about the heat (hence, Southern California). August, because the younger teen is back from camp and school hasn't started yet. When my kids are grown, I have every intention of vacationing in September, when the crowds are gone and the prices are cheaper.

It seems to me that in many professions, the world slows in August and December. It's a pace I prefer, and I often wonder why we can't just pretend that it's always August.

I found only one 1964 study looking at day hospital patients' reactions to August vacations.  Half felt better after the day hospital closed for a month for vacations and half felt worse.