Dad’s Mate’s Mental Health

My dad just told me that he thinks his work friend might have OCD. My first reaction was one of exasperation, as in, “Dad, stop using that term to refer to Jimbo’s keen interest in fishing rod holsters.” But the more dad explained the situation, the more I started to wonder if he might be onto something.

Apparently, the friend in question has been increasingly engaging in repetitive behaviours that strike everyone else as bizarre, such as reversing his car back and forth over a particular mark in front of his driveway, even to the extent of holding up traffic. The guy has also been seeming uncharacteristically anxious – and not without reason, according to dad, seeing as he’s going through a divorce.

Dad brought it up because he wants advice on how to go about getting someone to see a psychologist without referral. Mornington has clinics, and I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to self-refer rather than going through a GP. I’m inclined to think, though, that his mate might cotton to the idea better if it was put forward by a medical doctor rather than by my dad. But who knows? I’m not a mental health professional, either.

It’s just that, if I know dad’s mates, none of them would take all that kindly to the suggestion that they’re anything other than absolutely normal. Then again, it’s more than likely that this guy is aware that something is up with him – if dad’s non-professional opinion is correct, that is.

Dad is currently on the internet searching for a psychiatric clinic on the Mornington Peninsula, apparently ‘just out of interest’. I’m guessing that he’s looking to pick up some terminology he can use in talking to his mate about his mental health without offending. I have to say, I do appreciate dad’s level of sensitivity around this.

The whole thing gives me uncommon pause for thought about the wellbeing of my various family members. It’s easy to assume that people have their stuff together when, in fact, they could well be struggling as much as the next person.