It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you to get therapy.
I was lucky enough to receive counselling from the NHS after I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and without it I’m not sure how my recovery would have panned out. Walking into a tiny little room every week and baring my soul to a complete stranger seemed unthinkable at the time, but I knew I was lucky to be given access to the service so I always attended my appointments, even though I dreaded them.
I saw a Community Psychiatric Nurse over the course of a year and it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was really quite uncomfortable at times and having social anxiety made it even harder because my body had a physical reaction every time I walked into that room. I wanted nothing more than to run out the door and never look back, because it was a dark and difficult place to be.
They are here to help you but that doesn’t mean the experience is going to be enjoyable. It’s hard work, its a grind, a long slog and along the way you’ll inevitably want to give up.
I could ask her impartial opinion on things that were bothering me, like whether I should attend a friend’s birthday party even though it made me anxious or if it was OK to drink alcohol on my medication. She wasn’t giving me love and affection like my family, but she was giving me care. Professional care and help that I so desperately needed even if I didn’t want it at the time. Looking back now I can see that having that constant source of knowledge on tap every week was invaluable, and a real turning point in my recovery.
Seeing my regular doctor was all well and good, but being able to talk for longer that ten minutes with a medical professional was a tool which I really feel should be available to everyone with a mental illness.
If you’re on the fence about getting therapy then I would say give it a go. If your GP is able to offer you free access then grab it with both hands, and if you need to pay for it yourself then it’s still worth the money and an investment in your recovery that I promise will pay off in the long run.
Have you tried therapy?
I attend individual therapy and group therapy every week. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
Thanks for sharing your lovely post! I believe everyone should self invest, especially those with mental illness. I attend an anxiety management group twice a week for an hour early am and also do individual therapy weekly. I’ve had anxiety since i was 4 years old and it’s been an emotional rollercoaster trying to manage throughout my life. Being a recently divorced single mom , I had so much guilt taking time to do something for myself. I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t tend to my mental health in more ways than just medication, I won’t ever fully be my best self for me or my children. It’s been only a couple of months that I’ve invested time in therapy to this extent and it’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done for myself to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Life is hard enough with all of the unique challenges we all face. Ive come to realize in this brief time that there are wonderful professionals out there and above all else there is HOPE. I just wanted to quickly share my own personal experience, because I know all too well what it’s like to live life in fear and sadness. Best wishes to you on your journey to feeling amazing! 🤗😃❤️
I have recently started having panic attacks. Struck suddenly and has really turned my world upside down. Your blog of hope is so very helpful. Thank you.
I have seen a therapist off and on for many years. I have been in and out of depression many times over the years (I am a 56 yo man). With each bout, anxiety played a bigger and bigger role. I recently fell into a deep depression, which has mostly subsided, but along the way severe anxiety crippled me.
What I am finding is that as I get older, it seems to be harder and harder to get past these episodes. I am afraid that my current state of anxiety will never go away. It makes it hard to get out, hard to make decisions, and my job is at risk (I am pretty sure it will not last much longer). I have doubts as to whether talk therapy will help this time. It doesn’t seem to be working. The therapist I have gone to off and on over the years seems to have run out ideas. It is comforting to talk to him, since he is the only person I discuss this with, but it does not seem to be helping.
I feel like I have “seen that, done that” and it’s lost its effect. I wonder if there are other readers that are in my age bracket who are in a similar situation.
My daughter is fighting anxiety, and I go with her every week to the therapist. She is taking the talking therapy. I know how hard it is to open up to a professional. Thank you for sharing this. Keep up the good work.