How Many Therapists Does it Take to Help a Depressed Girl?
I haven't had much luck with therapy. In fact, I've actually had some pretty awful experiences with therapy. I'm determined to get help, though, (or I'm a glutton for pain) so I'm back at it.
I've struggled with depression for more than ten years now. Therapy never worked, but medication did. When I started taking anti-depressants it felt like I got my life back. They worked for a year or so, but then I started having some problems again. My doctor upped the dosage of my meds, which helped, but I still didn't feel quite right. As scared as I was to see another therapist, I decided it was time. Finding a new therapist was giving me a bit of anxiety, so my dad helped me out. Then I called and made an appointment.
I was late to my first appointment. I got lost. (Thanks, Google Maps.) It wasn't too bad, but then again we didn't get into a whole lot during that first session.
I wrote down the wrong time for my second session. It was an hour earlier than I thought. The patient my doctor had during the time I had written down cancelled though, so I had my session. It was awful. We weren't even talking about deep stuff, just my problem with procrastination. Maybe it's my stubbornness and inability to let other people tell me how they think I should live my life (yes, I do know that's what therapy is all about), maybe it's the fact that I don't entirely want to change. I don't know. Whatever the reason, I left my appointment and cried in my car for a bit. I felt angry and sad and tired. This wasn't going to work.
A couple days after my second session I calmed down a bit. I looked at what my therapist said objectively instead of emotionally, and I tried to do what he suggested. You know what? It helped. My stubbornness prevented me from feeling too happy about making a breakthrough, but I felt hopeful, at least.
I had my third session earlier this week. It went well. I tried to separate my emotions a bit from what my doctor and I talked about. Sometimes my emotions can be so overwhelming that I can't really see a situation for what it is, and I didn't want that to ruin a potentially helpful relationship with this therapist. In the past I've had therapists tell me things I already knew but couldn't or wouldn't take into consideration for whatever reason. In this last session, though, my therapist helped me see some things in a totally different way, and I felt even more hopeful.
After that second session, my mom told me that in her experience with therapy, if you didn't feel crappy after a session you weren't doing it right. I get that. It's hard to change things about ourselves that are fundamentally a part of who we are. I'm trying, though, for my own sake. I don't know if I'll ever be able to fully rid myself of my depression, but I'm doing my best to at least manage it. It's a mental health disorder, yes, but a disorder nonetheless. I take medication and see a doctor to help manage my condition, just like my grandmother takes insulin and sees a doctor to help manage her diabetes. The road to better mental health is long, winding, and sometimes rocky. It may in fact be a road that never ends. Wherever this journey takes me, though, I'm going to be more active along the way. Depression is not something that will go away on it's own. I have to work at it, and that's what I intend to do from now on.