Our son’s reflexes were slos due to the medication he was taking, so the thought of him sitting behind the wheel was disturbing, to say the very least. During my next appointment with his psychiatrist, I asked his opinion on this sensitive subject and his reply surprised me. ‘It’s up to you and your husband to take that decision,’ he stated.
‘B … but, the medication isn’t it? Doesn’t it? I mean. Is he sufficiently alert?’
“Each case is different. Many people drive while on medication, you know. It depends. Besides, we haven’t informed the traffic authorities.’
‘Because your son might never pass a driving test again.’
‘But, how can we take such an onerous decision We aren’t trained professionals, you know?’
‘I’m sorry, but I cannot be of any help to you on this point,’ he said, ending our session and I never got to ask him the other questions I had listed.’ I drove home and found the following; Statistics show that psychiatric patients cause fewer traffic accidents than ‘normal’ people. Now this came as a surprise to me. First, it prompted me to look up NORMAL in the Random House College Dictionary; normal: conforming to the standard or common type, not abnormal, regular, natural. Not much help there. Even though we’d read that psychiatric patients cause fewer traffic accidents than so-called normal people, we decided to forgo statistics because I was unable to live in peace knowing that my son was driving in his present condition. My husband agreed and that problem was shelved for a short while. A few months later our son’s new psychiatrist told him that he could drive!