Thursday, June 2, 2011

Therapy Thursday?

I started writing a Thankful Thursday post, but there is something else going on today that's a little bit more real. I'm still thankful, but instead today, I'm blogging about.... Therapy? Therapy Thursday?

Blogging about this subject is sort of uncomfortable for me, but I'm going to plow through for the sake of growth. I am going to see a therapist today for the first time about some anxiety that I have been feeling for quite some time now.

Growing up my dad has experienced intense moodiness and mood swings. He was never violent towards us, but many times we did not know what to expect when he came home from work. His moods dictated the atmosphere at home all the time. He was diagnosed with depression several years ago and has been on antidepressants ever since, and life has been very good.

I love my dad, and there are many qualities about him that I hope I possess as well, but this quality is not one of them. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to make people uncomfortable or fear me when I come around. I know he doesn't want that either.

This is why I am going to see someone.

I don't feel like I have the extreme mood swings he does, but maybe I do? I know I tend to get snappy sometimes, and I spend a lot of time afterward worrying about it and worrying that my friends will desert me.

I get this fear of being deserted by my friends from an incident in my childhood. I know that is where it is coming from, but I don't really know what to do about it. I know this fear is irrational, and to be completely honest, I have a lot of irrational fears like this one.

Most of my fears are normal, everyday fears but I take it too far. I worry about things too much and it affects my day to day life. I get stressed way too easily and I know that I shouldn't have to live like this.

Several years ago a friend of mine suggested that I should see a therapist and she thought I was depressed and was worried about me. I was really hurt by it and not at all open to it. In fact, I was kind of upset with her. Why did I seem depressed? I didn't see it at all. I felt (and still do) that people should look for natural ways to cure problems like this instead of jumping straight to medication. I don't think I am depressed now, and I don't think I was then either... honestly, I think it's simply anxiety. Which, I know can lead to depression.

I've tried natural cures, like more exercise and more time on hobbies I enjoy, but nothing seems to work. I still get stressed easily and take my fears too far. Blogging used to be my form of therapy, and it really still is a form of it for me, but I hate having to keep my blog anonymous to really let it do it's job as a form of therapy. I have gotten in trouble for blogging about personal issues among friends that were bothering me, so I have instead taken the blog towards a different more positive focus.

Hopefully seeing a therapist will work. I requested a female counselor, because I don't think I would feel comfortable discussing my fears with a male counselor. Maybe it's something simple I need. Maybe she will have some suggestions for things I can do or try to ease these feelings. I have no idea. Maybe medication is what I need? Since it works for my dad, maybe it can work for me too.

How do you feel about seeing a therapist? Would you ever see one if you were having feelings of depression?


Ashley said...

I love this post, Amber. As someone who considers herself a "therapist in training", it seems like you're taking a step in the right direction. If your moods or fears are interfering with your daily life, sometimes just talking about it all with someone (a professional) can help more than you think. If they think medication could be helpful and your fears are based on a chemical imbalance, they might recommend that as well, but I'm a strong believer in just the process of therapy itself. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Like Ashley, I'm a believer that traditional talk therapy is wonderful. I don't think pushing medication as the first option is the best plan, and sometimes it takes a bit of therapist shopping before you find someone you're comfortable with. Keep that in mind, that you should ALWAYS feel comfortable in the room, and that you ALWAYS have options and a voice in the process. It takes a lot of courage to share that, and I'm inspired to have read this post - thank you for sharing. I hope your appointment goes well today - good luck!

Shannon said...

I think seeing a therapist is nothing to be ashamed about. My MIL is one and she helps a lot of people. I've came really close to seeing one a few times, but didn't for fear that it would hurt my relationship with my husband, since the situation kind of involved him.

Heather said...

I think going to a therapist is a good thing. I have always contemplated going to one, but I cant seem to take the first step. I know I have really bad mood swings and with my dad being depressed and my sister being diagnosed with bipolar, it worries me.

Nora said...

I see nothing wrong with seeking help and assistance, even another channel to discuss things. In fact, I think it's healthy, I think it's smart and I think it's good that you're doing it. I think sometimes we all try to handle everything ourselves, whatever it may be, and it just doesn't work. Humans aren't meant to handle and bear everything ourselves, you know?

This is a great post and I thank you for sharing, for being open and honest. Will be thinking of you!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I say GOOD FOR YOU for recognizing there might be a problem and seeking help. Who knows how much better your quality of life could be if you do find some sort of solution, right?

I've never gone to a therapist but I have thought about it for various reasons. I want to go to pre-marital counseling next year before our wedding so I guess that's kind of like therapy!

Suz said...

I've gone to a therapist twice: Once in college- I was dealing with getting over the death of my high school boyfriend and my dad. And once just a few years ago when I think I was having my quarter life crisis.

I don't think there is anything to be ashamed about and I do think it helps to get an outsiders perspective on things. I wouldn't say it changed my life because I think those times in my life were just "down spells" that come with life. But it did help me get through it.

Shannon said...

As you know, I'm a big advocate for therapy. I'm proud of you for doing this for yourself! Therapy can never hurt, only help.

It takes a lot of courage to put stuff like this out there...especially on your blog. You go girl!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am so proud of you - it is not easy to decide to start seeing a therapist, but I think you will REALLY benefit from it. I ended up seeing a therapist for awhile back in 2007 when I was struggling after a break up. But really, it wasn't the break up that was impacting me, it was just my mood in general and how I processed things, etc. I wrote a post a long time ago about my experience with depression and it was really hard to bare my soul like that, but I got the most awesome comments. I think you will have the same experience, too.

I think this is going to have a huge, positive impact on you. it is great to talk to an impartial person who doesn't have any preconceived notions about you. She will probably help you identify patterns and then change the way you react to things/see things. That was the case with me.

Good luck! Hope it goes/went well!!

Nikki said...

I went religiously for about 4 months when I was having serious anxiety & depression. I still don't know why I stop and many times really would like to go back and see her for completely different reasons. They're always on your side and definitely have your best interest in mind. I hope you find it therapeutic.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I think that's great that you're going to go and talk to someone about everything. So many people have underlying issues and don't even realize it until it's too late.

Becky said...

It's awesome that you're going to talk to someone. A lot of people are too timid or worried about the perception of going to see a counselor or therapist that they never do it and they don't realize it could really help - even if it just means having a neutral third party to talk to about situations!