Therapy, let's talk about it!

posted 2 weeks ago in Wellness
Post # 2
Member
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

My friend does therapy and she says she recommends it for everyone. I’m considering therapy to address the mental aspects of my weight loss struggle but am being a bit lazy. Good for you for taking the first step!  Return that call! Therapy is trendy these days. 

Post # 3
Member
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I was informally diagnosed with high-functioning depression while in college. It’s not a very common issue, and it’s certainly not talked about enough, in my opinion. My therapist wasn’t a psychiatrist so I couldn’t get a real, solid diagnosis, and I never received any medication, but she said that I showed all the symptoms for it and gave me advice on how to move forward with such a thing, and if it made a positive impact, then we were in the right direction. 

High-functioning depression is basically when you work REALLY hard in life – you have college degrees, you are successful – but you only work really hard in life to prove to the world, and to yourself, that you aren’t a piece of shit. My self-esteem was so low that instead of digging myself into a hole and crying every night, I fed on the negative energy to graduate college (with honors) with two whole degrees that I didn’t really want in the first place. But the degrees look good. 

On top of this, I often had anxiety attacks. For the first several therapy sessions, I just cried a lot. 

After graduating, I stopped going to therapy, and yeah, I continue to sporadically have anxiety attacks (wedding planning and being pregnant exacerbate it a bit), but my high-functioning depression I believe is fully contained. I no longer feel depressed, and it is such a weight off my shoulders, to finally believe in myself and in the world. 

I cannot begin to tell you how beneficial my therapist was. Granted, it was a free therapist through the school for students. It was not fancy, but she was a blessing, and was so kind and gentle. She helped me to realize that I’m NOT a piece of shit, and that I am loved and deserving of love, and the fact I work so hard, and actually SUCCEED in what I do, only shows how much I want to believe in myself. 

This is coming from a girl who didn’t believe that her problems were worth therapy. After all, I was successful! The alcoholics and the drug addicts need therapy more than I do – how can I waste this therapist’s time? But let me tell you, your problems are valid, and if you desire help, you deserve to receive it. 

Post # 4
Member
1479 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

It’s literally the best thing I ever did for myself.  And if you go, that doesn’t mean you have to tell people that you have a therapist.  But personally I find it so, so, so valuable.

Post # 5
Member
389 posts
Helper bee

Yeah, I remember having “therapy is self-indulgent” thoughts throughout seeking help for anxiety, which were totally linked to my upbringing as well (focussing on yourself is tanatmount to murder—I come from a long line of ministers and missionaries!). They are totally normal and generally just the squawking of your ego not wanting to focus on a painful thing. It took me a really long time to even be completely honest with my therapist, I was that much of a people-pleaser.

What I can tell you is that cracking through that protective layer of excuses (I’m too “happy” for this, I’m too “normal”, I should be happier, only sick people need therapy, etc.) and really commit to getting in touch with what you are feeling, is SO worth it. Something in your mind is telling you that it needs attention, otherwise you wouldn’t feel moved to seek change in the first place. Therapy is just a way of learning to use pscyhological tools to cope with and resolve problems. Think of it like going to a physical therapist to heal an injury. Can you limp along without it? Sure, but the pain will gradually get worse and your life will be so much easier if you put the work in now as opposed to down the line when the damage becomes harder to reverse. Every part of the body needs maintenance to keep it healthy, the mind included.

Post # 6
Member
2488 posts
Buzzing bee

I just read a great book you might find useful: “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottleib. It’s about therapy both from the perspective of a patient and the perspective of a therapist, and I think it could be useful in dispelling some myths and giving you an idea of what it’s like to be in therapy. 

I personally was kind of the “advice asshole” you proclaim yourself until earlier this year, when some upsetting events led me to seek therapy to work through a difficult family relationship. But I’ve realized it’s about so much more than what I came in for. I’m realizing a lot of ways I wasn’t truly happy or I was using distractions (like, um, this site) to numb feelings I didn’t want to deal with. It’s only been 6 months now, but I feel myself making some really healthy changes and feeling more in tune with my emotions and better able to cope with them.

It hasn’t been pretty along the way, and I think it’s common to resist going to therapy when we aren’t ready to deal with our feelings yet for that reason. It usually involves going in and stirring things up, thinking about stuff we don’t like thinking about, and dealing with discomfort and pain before we can come out the other side and put things back together again in a healthier way. It also invovles bearing your soul to another person, and all the fears attendant to that, so it’s scary.

I was terrified and felt so vulnerable going in for my first session. But it’s gotten a lot better. I’m by no means at the end of my journey, but I feel like I’ve already started to shift the stories I used to tell myself, and acknowledge past traumas I never really dealt with (and I believe we all have them, even if some of us have them worse than others). I’ve developed some healthier habits. It’s been painful, but I truly think I’ll emerge a healthier, happier person. I’m now firmly in the camp that everyone should go therapy. We all have things we could work on in ourselves, relationships we could improve, things we are struggling to accept, patterns that we need someone to help us see. 

I know it’s not easy to schedule an appointment. I was terrified to do so. But I think if you take the plunge to schedule, you’ll get a lot out of it. Just don’t expect immediate results, and be prepared for things to get a little hairy before you start seeing/feeling changes in yourself. 

Post # 7
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I am treated for anxiety and mood disorders and honestly, therapy is JUST as important, if not more so than my psych meds in the management of those things. I truly believe every person deserves a therapist- someone completely objective to hold space for you and help you sort your thoughts and develop tools to help you live your best and most peaceful life. I actually look forward to therapy every week. It is radical self care and I highlly recommend it! 

Post # 8
Member
382 posts
Helper bee

I went to therapy a few times in college through our health center. I originally went in because I wanted birth control but because I checked off that I’ve experienced anxiety on my health form they wanted me to see a therapist before prescribing it to me…?

Anyway, I found it to be pretty helpful in terms of dealing with my social anxiety and I’ve been meaning to get back into it since I only went about 5 times before the school no longer gave me free sessions. I have an appointment with my GP at the end of the month and I’m going to ask him if he has any recommendations. 

Mental health is just as important as physical health 🙂

Post # 9
Member
470 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

jemmlove12 :  

Bear with me if this is long, I tend to over-type. Its ironic you bring up this post because I just started therapy. I had my second appointment today and well, its been impactful so far. Like you, I had the mindset that therapy should be for individuals who have only gone through some sort of trauma or have very serious mental health issues and need professional help but coming to the bee and doing my own research made me realize how ridiculous that was.

So, while I had a similar mindset as you, what really made me finally dive in and go was because Darling Husband and I were arguing non-stop and my own thoughts were consuming my own head. I realized I was the cause for a lot of our arguments, and I tried to explain to Darling Husband that sometimes I can’t control what I think and my anxiety just goes through the roof. He truly tried to be understanding (and he is) but I knew he got frustrated because no matter what he said, or did it just wasn’t helpful.

Cue when I realized that maybe I needed a neutral third party to go to to just talk to and work through some things to learn how to handle my anxiety.

I’m going to admit it has been hard to pay for therapy (my insurance deductible is SO high so unfortunately, I must pay out of pocket until I hit that) BUT I realize its an investment in myself. Also, I feel comfortable saying that even though I’ve only had 2 appointments it feels life changing. My therapist is so wonderful and has already given me really good tips and tricks and even a “homework” assignment and holy cow I can tell the difference in myself since I’ve started going.

My advice? GO.

I also advise maybe emailing your counselor to set up your appt. Calling and making an appt made me super anxious and nervous and scared, so I emailed her and felt safer. We did everything before the initial appointment over email and the first time I talked to her was at my first appt. Then, that first appointment was info gathering and set some goals and my second one today honestly felt like we just chatted, then she did an exercise with me and sent me home with my homework. I feel like I have an awesome counselor and lucked out (which is huge to make sure you click and are getting the most out of your sessions) and instead of being anxious or nervous about appointments, I’m excited and look forward to them!

Good luck bee! Here if you have any questions or need to talk!

ETA: Also… all this time I thought I should go to help deal with my anxiety and today we had a mini-breakthrough and my therapist realized I may deal with OCD a little bit, which triggers my anxiety. I was like “Wow…. here I was convincing myself I had anxiety and I may not. Thanks for helping me figure that out!” 

Post # 10
Member
6540 posts
Bee Keeper

At different points in my life therapy has helped me to deal with the loss of a parent, end of a marriage, my difficulty prioritizing my own happiness, parenting a special needs child, the anxiety that comes with trying to balance a life with a multiple children including one with special needs, a nasty ex-husband, a changing career and a new relationship including step-children…

Therapists don’t fix things for you. Therapy is a tool that you use to to make better decisions about how to address things in your own life. You still have to do the work. So you can buck up, buttercup with some guidance or try to do it alone, but you’ll likely have better and faster results with some help. Make the call. 

That said, not all therapists are created equal. A good therapist is someone you feel you can trust but who may challenge you and not just agree with everything you put out there. If you don’t feel a connection don’t hesitate to try another. 

Post # 11
Member
2585 posts
Sugar bee

Going to therapy will go down as one of the best things I did for myself.  And I actually like to talk about it because I want people to know that you don’t have to have huge issues in your life to go.  

We go for physicals health exams each year, why don’t we do that for our mental health?

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