Posted in Life in General

And How Does This Make You Feel? Therapies and Mental Health

Warning. Extremely boring and personal post. Read at your own risks!

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Last Friday, I had an appointment with my therapist.

Some people are afraid to say those words. I am not. I don’t feel ashamed about seeking help for my medical issues. Do you feel ashamed when you go to your GP when you have the flu? Then why should I hide the fact I see someone who is supposed to help me better understand what I go through and how to improve my life?
Yet, I don’t blame patients who don’t admit seeing someone for their mental health. After all, it is still taboo and our voices, although louder than they were before, are still not covering the stigmas surrounding it. Let’s keep shouting, people!

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But today I am not on to talk about generalities about therapy VS no-therapy. Today I am here to say I disagreed with my doctor. And it is okay, too.

I don’t pretend to know better than him what reasons have caused the problems I am dealing with or question his medical abilities (or am I???)

But … I have always been wary of psychiatrists. I saw them as guys in white handing prescriptions and digging into the wrong paths of your life to find a cause to your issues.

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Still, when I realized I was drowning in November 2016, I swallowed my pride, my ideas, and laid my life on the table, bare for him to dissect and find how to fix me. It took me months to agree to go under medication, at the lowest dose possible. It helped. I had someone to talk to once every three weeks, I felt my anxiety come back under control. Everything was going well.

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Until the talking part started to not be enough.

I did my part. I stepped way out of my comfort zone, with comments like ‘Maybe it’s time for this step, and we’ll see what happens next’. That’s how I got back to university. Massive step. But my fears were just quieter, still hiding in a corner of my brain. So, I took the matter into my hands for good. I went back to my old agoraphobia program, started all over, celebrated victories with silly selfies, trying to ignite positivity everywhere around me. It wasn’t easy, but it worked. I started to lean on less on my doctor. I thought it was a good sign. It actually was. But you can’t measure how much you need something or someone until you’re back in the dark.

The first time I rebelled was for the 2017 London Book Fair. My doctor was affirmative. I was not ready to go, no matter how much I wanted it. Plus, it caused me stress because I needed to plan an accommodation, tickets, and whatever. But I was doing okay. I felt ready. I had this dream at the tip of my fingers. I could almost feel the London rain on my face!!!
In my heart I knew this was a milestone. I could not miss it.
I went. I had the most amazing week of my life. I traveled to the UK for the first time. I cried tears of joy when I landed in London.

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He was wrong, but I forgave him. He was only trying to help me do the right thing.

Since that time, I have been going once per month, talking for those short twenty minutes, getting my prescriptions, and getting “How are you?”s; ‘How does this make you feel?”s and other boring movie lines. I will always remember Freaky Friday when I hear those sentences.

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If at first, they helped, now it all feels useless.

This week I said I’d had two panic attacks in three days. No reaction. I told him I was feeling down, (way way way down, like with the worms and the ancient bodies from my old cemetery) and that I thought everything was my fault if I couldn’t get a job, that maybe something was wrong with me. He handed me a tissue, and instead of pushing me in another direction, or offering me a different perspective, he actually made it sound like it was my fault.

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Now, you don’t know the details, so you can’t have the big picture. But since when is it a therapist’s job to make you feel worse when you leave his office? Making you think? Okay. Making you feel like you’d better hide home. Hell to the no. I looked like a 110-year-old panda when I left the hospital. This is why I haven’t been online for four days. This is why I have been depressed, crying, lying on my bed and thinking none of what I’d achieved meant a thing.

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Then I got bored of feeling sorry for myself (finally). I took a bath, as we all know baths are the answer to everything (with tea and candles, obviously), I thought long and hard about what had been said between those white and cold walls.
And I said no.

No, there is nothing wrong with me.
No, I don’t need to change to please his small medical boxes.
No, not growing up without a father has nothing to do with why I couldn’t get a job. (what the actual f*** was this remark, tell me!)

donna bullshit to louis

You might argue that he touched a sensitive subject and I am in denial. Trust me, I am not.
This happened before. Not with me, but with other family members or friends. What is it with psychiatrists who want to blame it all on your parents?!

I needed something. But I didn’t find it in therapy.

Today, I’m going to try Ashtanga yoga. I have been meaning to do it for ten years. I’ll also start running with the dogs. I have handed my resignation at the bookshop. I don’t have all the answers to feel better every day, and it’s okay. I’ll take it one day at a time. I’m back on my eternal life-saving anti-anxiety program. I drink juices and vitamins-filled drinks. I pinch myself to remember depression is a liar that makes you think your fatter than you really are. I enrolled in another daily American-accent class with my favorite teacher. And I’ve got a little help from dear friends.

Don’t worry if I didn’t come to you. I hate bothering people with my problems. I feel better when I’m the one you come to.

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I will keep going to my appointments for now. But next time I am standing in this office, I will pour my heart again and say “You are wrong.”

Now that I’m reaching my third Word page, I realize this post is way too personal. But it’s necessary for me to write and publish it so I can move forward. If a employer reads it and thinks I’m mad, it’s okay. It’ll only mean they don’t deserve my awesomeness.

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How does this make you feel? (Gosh I hate this line!!!!!!)

This post is not meant to make you think therapies are stupid or useless. I truly believe there are good people out there who can help you. I only needed to rant about my personal experience and find my rebound.

Have you had bad experiences? Good ones? Share if you feel like it 🙂

49 thoughts on “And How Does This Make You Feel? Therapies and Mental Health

  1. Oh, damn, i’m sorry… I don’t like your therapist :/ Of course, like you said, i don’t have the full picture, but yea, making you feel worse doesn’t sound helpful at all.

    My therapist usually makes me feel better, or offers stuff for me to think about and indirectly that makes me feel better. Or sometimes the same, but defo not worse…

    Yoga sounds good! Hope it goes well and you end up finding some activity in it you enjoy 🙂

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    1. Right now I don’t like him very much either! But I’m going to try and work on it so we can find a way to move forward. If it fails, I’ll find someone else, although it’s almost impossible these days…
      I’m glad you have found a therapist that suits you! It is such a help when someone gives you a hand to find your way.
      Yoga is amazing. I can’t believe I stopped doing it for a few years. I’m addicted again! I have never felt calmer!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this post and I think it will help people. The therapist is not always right, but it does not mean they are of no help. Maybe just realising they are wrong sometimes is enough to start trusting yourself and your own feelings a bit more. It is ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes, it’s ok to feel sad or anxious and there is no need to beat yourself up about it. And after all, there is one-size-fits-all scenario. Everyone is different , and that includes mentally and emotionally… All we can do is support each other.

    You sound like a strong woman to me and I wish you all the best. x

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  3. The biggest giantest hug in the whole world. I have only experienced mental health illness in the last few years. Prior to that I’d title my head apologetically and perhaps a little pityingly at people who talked about theirs. I listened but could only feel bad for them and hope me being positive back would do something, but I had no idea how they were feeling. Fast forward to after my last two children and I went through a year of struggling with everything. I kept up a smile around them, didn’t bother to smile in public and cried whenever I was on my won, which was every day (I’m a stay at home mum). I’d drop them to school without talking to anyone and find ways to not be around people at all. I remember a checkout lady making conversation with me one day even though there was a queue of people behind. I was like ‘what is she talking bout’ and then afterwards couldn’t believe I had got to the point with any interaction irritated me and I couldn’t understand a person making friendly conversation. We have since moved right into town and I make sure I keep my head up and talk to people and it feels like I’m back but I still fall sometimes and I’m sure the mums at the school think I’m all over the place. The one thing I’m happy with is that I am finally feeling like my positivity is back. It was something I always prided-the ‘glass half full’ thing You know what helps and you know what will help and you know it’s day by day and slow. I think you are frigging amazing and posts like this are never boring, they’re important. And yay you for London Xxxxxxxxx

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    1. Oh, I love your hug!!!!
      Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It can be difficult to really get the depths of mental health issues when you haven’t experienced it yourself, but I definitely wish there were less of us fighting them.
      You sound so strong! So inspirational. I like that you are keeping your head and positivity up, it is essential. Thank you again, take care of yourself and let’s keep being awesome 🙂 xxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh darling, big hugs to you!! You’ll find a great job, they’re just not easy to come by and it’s got NOTHING to do with you. I think it’s amazing that you picked yourself up and are trying new things like the yoga, I don’t think you’re doing bad at all, even if you had a few off days. I do think friends are very important and they could help you so much more than what this therapist did for you the last time, they are understanding and they’ll listen and give you support so don’t close yourself off lovely. My door (or mailbox) is always open too btw. I hope you’ll have good days from now on that’ll give you the energy to get through the bad days!!

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    1. I so needed to hear this. Thank you, darling Inge! Truly.
      It took me a few days but I’m back on my feet and kicking asses! Yoga has proven to be super effective (and a bit painful xD)
      I won’t forget it ❤ It's hard at times as most of my friends are in the UK or spread around Europe and I don't want to bother anyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know what it’s like to feel bad after seeing a health professional. I still hate visiting my gp unless I’m really ill, because of a doctor I used to see years ago. He always used to make me feel like I was wasting his time even though I was ill and paying for the appointment. I hope you enjoy yoga and running with your dogs. xx

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  6. Hugs to you, Meggy. Thanks for sharing this post. I am glad that you have been able to achieve such milestones, especially with the London trip and I do pray that many more are coming your way. All the best with the yoga and all your other plans plus the job search. It shall all be well ❤

    My experience with therapy has been mixed. In most cases, I feel like all I did was talk and find solutions on my own. One therapist explained that ‘I have all the answers’ and her role is to help me get to that point of self-realization. She practically said nothing else but 'Uh -huh' and 'how does that make you feel? , 'what do you think about that?' Sometimes it works, other times it feels like hogwash. Glad you intend to keep your appointments and I hope that they will be more productive.

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    1. Thank you for reading it ❤
      This is exactly how I feel! I talk, come up with solutions, try, and report. That's when I get those "how does that make you feel?"… I don't want all answers given to me but some support and no weird links to my past would be appreciated… xx

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  7. It’s a bit of a lottery, unfortunately, getting the therapist or the doctor that really suits you. Sometimes they give us a push in the right direction and sometimes they are completely mistaken. I think you should be honest with him and tell him when it’s completely unhelpful. Sorry to hear you’ve been going through all this, though, wishing you bon courage!

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  8. Good luck Meggy! 🙂 Why don’t you try to find a therapist a little bit more encouraging? 😉 When I feel anxious I need encouraging people around me 🙂 Usually anxiety comes from being lost in my worry thoughts, so I bring the attention back to my body. In mindfulness this is called grounding. Maybe it is worth giving it a try? Yoga can be a great starting point in this direction 🙂

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  9. You are awesome and fantastic so don’t ever let those voices let you believe otherwise.
    I hate that question too; how does that make you feel!!? ….’.like screaming don’t ask me that!!! ‘
    I hope the yoga helps you, I find Pilates calming so I imagine yoga would have a similar effect.
    I’m so proud of you for handing in your notice! Well done, you will find your place when the time is right and it will be the job for you. Thinking rationally, it’s not been that long since you graduated and publishing is a really competitive career path. So don’t be hard on yourself. It took me years and years to find the job I love. ( mainly because i didn’t know what I was looking for). Your time will come and when it does it will be all the sweeter.
    Baths tea and candles are ace, I take my audio books in too 👍😉.
    Keep fighting and stay strong Meggy 💖💖💖
    Amanda xx

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    1. Darling Amanda ❤ This year would have been less shiny without you. And I appreciate all your love and support ❤
      I want to kill people when I hear this sentence. Preferably with the pen they hold!!!!
      Yoga has been so effective, I signed up for three classes per week!
      The bookshop confirmed my resignation today, so I am free for good. It's bittersweet as I love the shop itself, just not the people managing it. I'm pretty sure being hard with myself is in my genes 🙂 But I'm trying not to be. Wish there was a handbook!
      Thank you for everything and more xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve used CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which has worked in the past. But right now my Dr is messing with my meds, and strangely enough messing with my meds and losing a parent has well and truly messed me up. I hear you my friend – Drs don’t always know best.

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    1. I also did CBT at the beginning of my therapy, so effective! I’m sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time, and I’m sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and love. I’d send strength but you already have it 🙂 Let’s do our best, with and without the know-it-all doctors xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My sweechie I admire you so much for writing these words down and publishing them, too ❤ I agree that there's nothing wrong with seeking therapy even though I can't speak from experience on that, I agree that it's important to destigmatize that, too. I am so, so bothered by what your therapist said, though, ugh, really. keep on holding up your head high and being awesome. I am so, so, so proud of you and everything you do, you're a queen of strength and awesomeness just like Donna and never ever forget that ❤ I hope that Yoga will be good and always know that I'm just a message away to talk ❤ ❤

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  12. Massive hugs ma cherie. That’s an incredibly brave post and you should be proud of it.
    Personally I’ve never been to a therapist but I know that sometimes talking to someone, doctor or not, helps. You have come so far in the two years I’ve known you and you are amazing! Lots of love xx

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  13. This was a very brave post for you to post Meggy. Of course, therapists can be wrong, they’re only humans after all. You did good, you should do what you feel and don’t be afraid to tell him NO.

    :****

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  14. Who is this person and I need an address so I can kick some butt!! Seriously, feeling worse after a session is so NOT the way to go… Sending lots of hugs, puppies, chocolate and love and I hope you will feel better soon. ❤

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      1. My dog sends his love as well so you’ll have extra. ❤ ❤ And setting things straight and getting your feelings out there and clear on the table sounds like a good strategy… If he still doesn't respond, to the bin with him it is. 😉

        Like

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