Sorry to hear about your troubles Jbc concerning covid. I've been trying to follow along but have been remiss in joining in on any commiseration with you and others because of a lot of at home stuff happening at the moment. We're having our basement waterproofed and it's an old house so there are TONS of problems! After all the work looked done we found a small but persistent amount of water leaking in so today they are back again to do more jackhammering!
But they are very pleasant fellows so I don't feel too invaded. It does mean we have to stay out of their way (and away from the noise and cement dust) confined in a very small office at the back of our house. The inconveniences of construction! LOL!
Anyway, hope everything goes well for you. Hang in there! 😊
I think you’re confusing your house with mine! It won’t be until we start getting rain next spring that we’ll know for sure if the waterproofing worked. They never did find the source of our flooding. At least their noise and dirt was outside and not indoors.
They are pretty sure the water is some sort of blockage in the drainage system they installed. It's a very minor amount of water, but you have to have the company fix this before the warranty disappears! And they had to come back today anyway to cleanup the forms for the cement.
"You're going into the water... short-arse!" - Sherlock
I am checking in with everyone this morning to see how you all are doing. Have a hot cup of tea for me, please, since it is -18F here this morning and I have to leave the house and people a bit (the horror).
I have been going to a therapist for years. We discussed antidepressants last fall, because I was soooo depressed (I have had anxiety and depression my entire adult life that comes and goes. I usually don't need medication because I have worked so hard in therapy using CBT and DBT techniques). See, I made the classic mistake last fall of saying "Fuck it! I am already depressed, so I am going to read this book!" It was The Power of the Dog and it did not help my depression at all, I will tell you. It was just one more piece of sad shit on the huge pile of sad shit that was all around me. Damn, I cried for hours. I even knew what was going to happen and I still cried. UGH.
I also talked about it with my running coach, since she told me that she had decided to go on a very low level a few months into the pandemic. She said it really really helped, since she figured out hers was tied to her hormones (mine is, too - it is worse at certain times of my monthly cycle).
My therapist and I decided that I would chat with my doctor. My doctor left it open ended - if I felt like I needed an antidepressant, she would prescribe one. I just had to let her know.
Well, long story short - I haven't needed them. The depression has been lifting over time, as it usually does. But it was rough there for awhile.
I also have shitty boss workplace trauma, too, but that was years ago, so I can understand that feeling very well. You do not have to live with the anxiety and if you want me to dredge up some techniques I practice to help with mine, let me know.
The point of all of this is to say that the right therapist really does help (I prefer women because I need someone to truly understand what I mean when I say "this emotion is definitely hormone related" and not just pretend they do). And, that antidepressants aren't bad, but they definitely aren't for everyone, so if you decide to not take them, I can understand.
The point of all of this is to say that the right therapist really does help ... And, that antidepressants aren't bad, but they definitely aren't for everyone, so if you decide to not take them, I can understand.
Oh I must have expressed myself rather poorly! I don't deny that therapy is helpful or that antidepressants save lives! My issue was that he came to this conclusion without actually learning anything about me. It was a snap judgement! The whole call lasted 20 minutes, most of which was spent on him reading aloud questions from his form. I was surprised he could come to such a solid conclusion so quickly!
His questions were generic and he didn't really consider my answers in the context I gave them, which is why I felt pigeonholed. For eg: "Have you felt anxious in the last 3 months?"- to which my response was, yes, because 1) pandemic, 2) I was being bullied by the men in my workplace, and 3) I quit said workplace without a backup plan! So, my anxiety is obviously situational and doesn't necessarily suggest I'm clinically depressed, kwim? Had I said I had symptoms of SAD or GAD, then sure, I can see why he'd come to that conclusion, but this didn't feel right. Another example, he asked if I've been restless, to which I responded I have been but, I've been isolated in my tiny flat since the beginning of the pandemic. Sure, restlessness is a symptom of depression, but in my case it's because I haven't left my flat except for essential trips in over 2 years.
Perhaps I'm being too picky. Given that you have more experience with therapy, would you say that his approach is the norm and I should keep my second session with him? I'm honestly open to any advice I can get here because, it may well be that I'm being unreasonable without realizing it.
The thing about therapy is that if you think it is unreasonable, then it is. Don't second guess yourself, I say. Always remember that your feelings are valid.
I was very picky about choosing my therapist. I actually went to a short term therapist with the goal of finding a long term one. LOL. But, I grew up with a dad who acted like Phil in the hide scene, so I need therapy! And, my current therapist was not my first (or even my second) therapist. I have had a number over the years.
It does seem like he jumped right to a diagnosis, which some people definitely want. And, there might be a need for that (since I don't know how insurance/whatever works where you are - here, my insurance needs reasons to keep paying). But, depression/anxiety can be concurrent with a million other things (like, I feel more anxious when my heartburn acts up!) so doing it within 20 minutes? Seems weird. My GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) diagnosis took 3 hours and a whole bunch of tests (we were actually testing for ADHD, but, nope, I have GAD instead - still can't concentrate well, ha).
(I hated having to go and have tests run (I was 39-40). I hated the first time I was told I had clinical depression (I was 19, so 30 years ago). I despise being different like this and often wonder what it is like being normal (yes, yes, whine, I know). I, too, hated being pigeonholed. But, in my case, they were not wrong. I am a person who happens to have these things, though. They don't define me. I just take them into account sometimes, like with my hypoglycemia - I can't eat all that sugar or I am going to crash!)
If you kept the appointment, you could ask him for resources that will help you with your situational anxiety (that is what I would say to my therapist, since, to us, there is definitely a difference between situational depression/anxiety and overall depression/anxiety - one is chronic and one will often lift when the situation changes). Some folks def need medication to get through the situation, but if you don't, that is fine! And, maybe it is short term depression, not chronic. No idea - you would know you better than I would!
But, if you don't like him, you don't like him. You have to trust your therapist. That is the number one thing. If you don't trust them with something like this, how can you go deeper?
Some things to check out:
Various apps: Headspace Fabulous - I use this one, but it might be a paid app - no therapy (actually, I just checked and it seems like the paid version has the ability to interact with a coach now - huh), just stuff to help with anxiety/depression/etc. This one is heavily science based. I can go into more detail, if you like. It starts out so....silly (like, WHY are we doing this, but it does work - takes a bit of faith)? Like, you drink a glass of water every morning for a week (it explains why). Then, you add in X minutes of movement a week (and, it explains the science). Then you might find one thing every evening to be grateful for. Or, do a challenge.
Techniques - A lot of the techniques are similar to the ones we chatted about re: the insomnia. If I am in an active anxiety attack, though, I choose one of these:
The Five Senses: Choose a photo of a pretty place. Sit quietly. Imagine: What do you hear? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you feel (like, wind or warm or whatever)? What might you taste?
Breathe work: 4-7-8. Breathe in for 4, hold for 7, breathe out for 8. Repeat for a few minutes. There are some good youtube channels for this.
Tightrope: Walk a pretend tightrope back and forth across the room. Heel to toe the whole way. Do this for a few minutes. You will feel so silly, but it will ground you.
My suggestion would be to talk to him about it before abandoning it. Tell him you felt like he maybe jumped to a conclusion and might he explain his reasoning to you? It’s true many women get slotted quickly into that diagnosis and given medication. On the other hand sometimes when you are in a depression it’s hard to see it clearly because you are on the inside of it. Could he be more transparent with his thought processes and what led him to that? How can he be sure it’s depression and not anxiety? Etc.
Mental health diagnoses are difficult. You could go to 5 different people and get 5 different diagnoses. Sometimes it’s the insurance companies that need to have one so the process gets abbreviated. Then, if you don’t want to take the meds they sort of write you off. It takes patience, which is not always easy when you’re hurting.
@jbc - I actually think your path is pretty "normal" for this kind of thing! There are tons of questions and feelings and ugh. Sometimes, it is overwhelming. Taking the time to think about it, to discuss it all is good.
Also, sending lots of hugs to queenzod this morning, too. I am going to have a third cup of tea just for you today. It is a Tiger Eye kind of day (a caramel, cream, chocolate black tea).
It seems odd that the first session was so short. In my limited experience, the first session was actually a double session because the therapist explains a lot about the process and it gives you time to get a feel of what therapy is like.
It wasn’t until my therapy ended did I realize that what I gone through was depression. I couldn’t see that from my point of view, but my therapist knew. And she never suggested any drugs or medication. If she had, I would have refused it - so maybe she knew that. One time, we had an emergency session on the phone, and before hanging up, she asked if I was thinking of drinking or doing drugs because, she said, a lot of people do. I reassured her that no, I’m not that type of person.
First, thank you very much for saying that I'm being normal. It's a good thing you put that in quotation marks because I'm certainly not normal-normal (Timbuktu-Timbuktu), but more "normal", iykwim! LOL!
More importantly however, what does chocolate/caramel tea taste like? I can't picture that! Your double ginger sounded lovely but I do enjoy ginger and peppermint teas...chocolate on the other hand....does it work in tea?
Well, it is a cream black tea. So, add in a light caramel flavor with a hint of chocolate. Like taking a sip of black tea just after eating a tiny piece of soft caramel chocolate candy.
It is really more about the scent here than the flavor. Like, you know how you breathe in as you tip your teacup/mug up to drink and you can smell the tea? It is like that, but you also get hints of caramel and chocolate and then you taste them as a subtle smoothness.