Opinion: I hate talk therapy but I need it to fight off my mental illness

Mary Duncan

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I don’t write much online about my mental health issues.

In case you missed it, I have major depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Most of my symptoms are under control thanks to a four pill cocktail that I take every morning and don’t think I could possibly live without, but (TMI) lately, since I’ve stopped taking hormonal birth control, my brain juices are all out of whack and I’ve found myself slipping into episodes of deep, serious, verging on a depression that makes me think it’s time to look for a new therapist.

I know that I should have had a talk therapist this whole time.

At the end of February, the wonderful woman who I’d been seeing for over two years moved away and I was left with no one.

It’s my own fault. I should have been and could have been more proactive about finding a new therapist as soon as my old one moved away, but I hate searching for new doctors, I especially hate searching for new talk therapists, because they are such important relationships and I am so picky about who I choose to take on as my therapist, sometimes it takes me months of seeing people once before I settle on someone new.

Now, that search has to begin again.

I have to have someone to talk to, to get the dark thoughts out to, because the void of the internet doesn’t always suffice.

I am in desperate need of a person to help guide me out of the darkness and help me find ways to cope with the depression and be a little more mindful about the good things in life.

That’s the thing about depression that I find the hardest, and that I find is the hardest for anyone to help me with:

Reminding me that there is light in the darkness.

It’s hard for me to listen to my family and friends tell me to cheer up, it’ll be okay, just smile, whatever — it’s one of those things where if people have never been through a deep depression, they have no idea how it feels, and they aren’t qualified to tell you how to get through it.

That’s something that often makes me wary of new therapists, and makes it hard for me to choose one.

Did this person go through enough in life for their opinions and insights to hold value for me? Is a question I always ask myself.

I’ve fired two therapists simply for being younger than me.

I prefer older women or middle aged men, go figure. It doesn’t need to make sense, they just need to work for me.

I need for therapy to be more about me going in and listing my complaints to someone who nods constantly and then asks me questions about my parents.

I need a back and forth with someone who will give me real insights and real advice, steps to take, and even homework to do — anything that will get me out of my head, but not just out of my head — into a better headspace.

But it feels like a good talk therapist is one in a million. I’ve only really ever had two, and one of them was part of an Intensive Outpatient Program I did after having a breakdown almost six years ago.

I don’t want to have another breakdown to find the kind of therapist I really need, someone who really wants to get down to work, but it seems that’s what our healthcare system is degenerating into, or at least it feels like it is when I make calls to find a therapist and no one is taking new patients and the ones who are have first appointments three months away.

Beware, readers and void of the internet. I don’t have a talk therapist right now. All I have is you, and until I find what I need I am going to have to come here and write it out and try to help myself.

There’s lots to write about, you know, those things that come out of the darkness.

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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