A Better Voicemail Message! (warning, humor!)

Are you tired of all those multiple choice voicemail menus? Press infinity if you’d like more options. I saw this on the web, and had a giggle. Maybe I’ll change my voicemail message to it. (Kidding!)

Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.

  • If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
  • If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
  • If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.
  • If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.
  • If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.If you are depressed, it doesn’t matter which number you press. No one will answer.
  • If you are delusional and occasionally hallucinate, please be aware that the thing you are holding on the side of your head is alive and about to bite off your ear.
  • If you have an anger management problem, please throw the phone against the wall to select an option.

Anyway, I thought it was funny, and hope I haven’t offended anyone by posting it.

In all seriousness, the real messages that many psychiatrists have are almost as funny. You know, the one that says, “If you have a ‘true’ emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.” I’ve always thought this is a stupid message, that is insensitive and uncaring. Like patients don’t know about 911 or the emergency room. I believe a better message is to offer a pager number or cell phone number where a patient can reach me, their psychologist, rather than an impersonal 911 operator. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I can usually help the client through crisis quickly and effectively.

Copyright © 2009 Andrew Gottlieb, Ph.D. /The Psychology Lounge/TPL Productions


Dr. Andrew Gottlieb is a clinical psychologist in Palo Alto, California. His practice serves the greater Silicon Valley area, including the towns of San Jose, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Menlo Park, San Carlos, Redwood City, Belmont, and San Mateo. Dr. Gottlieb specializes in treating anxiety, depression, relationship problems, OCD, and other difficulties using evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a modern no-drug therapy approach that is targeted, skill-based, and proven effective by many research studies. Visit his website at CambridgeTherapy.com or watch Dr. Gottlieb on YouTube. He can be reached by phone at (650) 324-2666 and email at: Dr. Gottlieb Email.

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