Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Problems with Therapy

Therapy has some difficult hurtles to to leap over. First off, when your depressed you don't even feel like doing the things that you once considered fun, so the idea of a depressed person taking the initiative to get into therapy is pretty far fetched. There is also finding the money, finding the time, getting over the stigma, admitting you need therapy, getting yourself to go every week and most of all finding the right therapist to go to.

There are some real crazies out there and guess what? They are therapists. There are some types of therapy that have limited studies about whether they are effective or not and there are some types of therapy likes psychoanalytic (think Freud) that have plenty of research which shows they are not effective at all. I went to a therapist who was very kind and I liked her personally, but she was obsessed with one therapeutic technique that I found somewhat effective, but mostly just uncomfortable and didn't really help all that much (EMDR). Despite her enthusiasm for the practice, I've since learned that there is very little research about EMDR and so their is no proof it helps. On the other hand, the interpersonal approach as well as behavior/cognitive therapy has been shown to be as effective as medication. Still even with all of this evidence, there are many people out there who weirdly persist in there own little favorite techniques.

Before I went to the above mentioned therapist I had one visit with a guy who drove me crazy. He was like that hyper man on Home Make Over and so fakely happy, that I really couldn't take him seriously. So after one session I realized working with him, was not going to help. But it is so hard changing to someone else. I didn't want him to feel bad and I also didn't want to go over "my story" all over again. With this latest bout of therapy I've had to tell "my story" three times. Rehashing becomes really exhausting. Mix that with the fact that all of this ground work won't result in a long term relationship because we will likely be moving and I found it hard to go in.

When we first got to Durham and after a few months of getting insurance squared away, I sought the help of therapy. once again. The woman I saw was cold, unfeeling and a little hostile. She was convinced that my depression and anxiety (as well as extreme fatigue stemmed from the possibility I had hypoglycemia. This seemed absolutely ludicrous to me based on the fact that none of my blood tests had ever shown me to be hypoglycemic, nor did her little diagnostic quiz show me as having low blood sugar. Still she persisted in insisting that this was my one and only problem. She recommended I got a certain book and refused to help me with therapy or with investigating my medications. Another practitioner blinded by her pet project. I was so discouraged from this experience, that it took me until now to actually find someone who is working.

I still don't like going to therapy. It's difficult to motivate yourself  to go and spill your guts to a complete stranger and bring up hard and painful things. But I want to get better. I want to find ways to change my thinking, my behavior and figure out why all of this is happening. I want to be me again. I want to be happy for me, for Russ, my kids, my family and my friends. And I'm doing everything I can to get there and I know it will be worth it. Maybe someday I'll come up with a way to make effective therapy easily accessible to everyone. As well as a way to match the right therapist with the right person.

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