Not being crazy enough to start commuting into Portland to do anything, let alone talk about my fears, commuting being one of them, I narrowed my search and Googled "psychiatry Freeport." Quite a few names surfaced and I settled on the two closest, one even within walking distance in case I'm feeling really nutty but my car won't start, which is stupid I know because in six years I have never had a lick of car trouble, not counting the time my son crashed my husband's SUV into my parked Saab in our very own driveway, but that's water under the bridge. Anyway, I left messages with both doctors saying I was in need. I'm pretty sure I sounded plaintive. I then had the following experiences:
Doctor A (not his real name) called me back within a few hours. He was warm and sympathetic, and asked immediately if I could summarize my issues. He asked if I had any suicidal thoughts or tendencies. He prodded me to say more about myself and my family. He was kind. I liked him. After about 15 minutes, he said apologetically that he could not fit me into his schedule for four to six weeks, and if I needed help sooner he would help me find someone else. I said I had a few other names to try, he said he would call me when he could work me into his schedule. There was no mention of money. I felt better just for having spoken with him for those few minutes.
Doctor B (not his real name) called back within half an hour. His tone was gruff. I said I was having a lot of anxiety that was causing health problems. His response was, "Do you have insurance?" I said yes. He said, "Do you want an appointment?" I said yes. He said what kind of insurance do you have, I don't take this kind or that kind but I take this kind and that kind, and it will cost this much and you'll have to pay out of pocket and then put it into your insurance yourself. I asked if he wanted to know the nature of my problems, and he said that would be the subject of our first meeting and of course he would have to charge me for that, and he could see me this Thursday afternoon or this Friday morning. I hated him.
So I'll wait. Funny they don't teach this stuff in med school.