Apparently, they fixed my stomach, which everyone is hopeful about, except me. I have almost no hope this will work, as I have had no hope for quite some time regarding different treatments. I try to muster something optimistic and I suppose that miracles are possible but I feel that it would take as much for me to feel confident that everything was going to work out. It is quite rare that things do.
I went to my first appointment at my new therapist today, which was less stressful than my panicked brain made it out to be last night. I scored high for depression, anxiety, and trauma, the three subjects whose tests I always pass. My counselor is an intern, which alarmed me at first as I am used to the hardened professional. She seemed nice enough, and she knew what Trichotillomania was, which is my psych industry litmus test. I figured that if she wanted to take me on as a patient in her last year of school, that I would oblige. These days I am only finding therapy necessary for a quick checkup of sorts. It’s more about the daily stressors and handling my anxiety and depression than it is about past traumas, Trich, and OCD triggers.
Mark has considered starting therapy, as he is sure he has PTSD. I have more or less armchair diagnosed him after reading a crazy number of articles on healing trauma. He is the sort that puts off going to the doctor though, and his first foray into it was not great. He attended the initial intake session, and then felt overwhelmed. It can be overwhelming.
First, you have intake. This can be 2-3 appointments where you meet your counselor and they take down a bunch of information. They’re a question and answer sessions more than anything else. Today she asked me about my family, friends, living situation, working situation, meds, illnesses, and whether I use caffeine. They give you little tests to take that tell what your mental state is within a period of time. You fill out some forms. For my husband, each appt will cost 40$.
This is why he doesn’t go, you know. And that’s a whole other blog post.
After intake you meet with a doctor, which takes about an hour. My appointment for this is tomorrow, as I was super lucky to avoid another month at the MAPP clinic. After that, appointments with the doctor (or more accurately, prescriber,) only take about 15 minutes tops. You set up appointments with your counselor. They meet with you for about 45 minutes as often as you feel necessary. Currently I go every three to four weeks. And that’s it. You just keep going, you take your meds, you tell the prescriber and counselor how you feel, and you get better.
I mean, you shouldn’t have to pay 40$ a pop for it. But again…another time.
I only write this because you never know who might be considering getting help. You might be a kid who is scared of how he feels. Or a mom whose stress level is through the roof. You could be anyone facing any number of problems, and you could be scared to make the phone call because you don’t know what comes next. That’s how I felt when I first started therapy, and it’s what my husband still feels today. But you should make the call, if you’re thinking about it. It might be hard to open yourself up a little, but I guarantee it’s not as hard as the struggle you’re already living.