Posts tagged with "therapy"

don’t give up on me now

In the last session, I explained to my therapist how I felt more responsible for and in control of my own happiness, and less dependent on others for a sense of identity or fulfilment (things I’d struggled with before). I also told him how I’ve been more vocal about my needs, to give my friends a chance to be involved in my life instead of always putting my feelings aside, and how I’m lucky that they’ve responded so positively to that. I’ve made some major life decisions that I believe will lead to positive changes, I’ve been productive, and I’m happy for right now instead of being deluded by a hopeful sense of what the future may hold1.

When I brought up idea that it may be the medication that’s been helping me so much, he said it’s good but not that good. Otherwise, he’d be popping pills every time he needed some sort of personal epiphany. Instead, it’s there as a way to help me think more clearly in certain circumstances, but it doesn’t do any thinking for me. This came as quite a relief, as I didn’t want to think that I’d be dependent on something for this sense of mental well-being.

My therapist’s initial goal was to teach me how to take better care of myself, due to the fact that I had insufficient coping mechanisms. Now, he believed I could handle that sufficiently, and after saying that I looked “delighted”, we agreed that I didn’t need to continue with our sessions anymore, something he’d never said to me before. I walked in and out of there feeling good. I like the fact that he respects me, cause he’s one of the few people who truly understand me.

On the other hand, I didn’t particularly care for my psychiatrist, an hoary man who didn’t seem to have a sense of empathy, whom I met for the first time a few weeks ago. As a sign that my experience with him was part of Canadian healthcare industry, he had no clue why I was there, when it was a doctor at the same clinic who had to write the referral for me. At the appointment, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire that included things like:

  • Are your parents divorced ____, for how long _________, and what age were you ____?
  • Father/mother: how much education did he/she have?
  • Please circle the type of socioeconomic environment in which you grew up: poor / lower middle class / middle class / upper middle class / wealthy
  • Habits: marijuana ____ frequency ____ gms ____

Sometimes he talked over me, as if he wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say, although it’s hard to blame him for that, seeing as how his role is to monitor my medication instead of dealing with any kind of psychoanalysis. At the end of the appointment, he said I had a lot of options cause I had a lot of interests and intelligence. The only thing is, I don’t think I told him anything that would have given him that impression, so it all came out as flattery.

At least I won’t have to be seeing him for much longer, as I was told that I could stop my dosage, but he recommended that I continue for at least six months after I start feeling better (not after I start taking it), which means I can’t still can’t drink until some time around Christmas. But by then, hopefully I won’t have to.

  1. One thing I’ve learned is that realism is more valuable than optimism (and a lot more valuable than pessimism) when it comes to psychology. []

the right ones

Before my therapist starts talking, he has this habit of repeatedly pursing his lips when trying to find the right words. It always makes me wonder if I have any habits too, and whether someone could do a reasonable impression of me by mimicking some mannerism I’m unaware of. The only thing I can think of is this particular way of clearing my throat out loud that Bronwen used to tease me about, something I’ve since realized that I picked up from my dad.

The sessions are getting abstract and philosophical, a sign that they’re focusing less on details and issues and more on root causes. He’s been challenging my thinking, but he always does it in a gentle and encouraging way by letting me explore ideas myself, giving me a little nudge in the right direction if I need it. Most importantly, he always makes it clear that I’m the one in control, that I make my own decisions, and that he won’t judge me whether he thinks they’re healthy or not.

The thing I’ve learned most recently is that some people are simply never meant to fill a certain role in your life. Getting upset at them for not being more is like getting upset at your cat for not being able to play LittleBigPlanet with you. It’s a hard reality to come to terms with; not only am I faced with the sudden realization that some people aren’t who I want or need them to be, it means they’ll likely never be that as well.

But that’s the way the world is, and I’m learning to let go, and to not hold everyone to the same standards I hold myself to. The best I can do is connect with the right people, the ones who can be what I need because that’s who they are, not because they’ve tried to change for my sake.

better living through chemistry

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I started to feel better, which is a very peculiar feeling in itself. There hasn’t been any event to which I can attribute the fact that I’m not so anxious about how scary the future is anymore, or how I’m not depressed about everything that’s happened. The only variable has been the medication, which means it’s working.

The side-effect that still affects me most is the insomnia. I sleep for two hours, do something mindless for two hours, then go back to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t feel rested until night, at which point I’m soon ready to sleep again. It’s wreaking havoc with my motivation — not to mention my colitis — which is why I haven’t started rebuilding my life yet. For now, I try to do one thing every day that will make me happy, so I can say it was a good day. Baby steps.

But I’ve also lost all inspiration, and I’m left wondering if this is another effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibition. When I walk the streets, it feels like a completely different world from what I knew.

I used to pick up my guitar throughout the day and noodle. I used to carry my camera with me everywhere in case something caught my eye. I used to write almost every day. Creativity was a driving force in my life, and a huge part of how I used to define myself. Now I never feel like creating. I used to be terrified of going on medication for this exact reason, but I’ve discovered that the medication makes it all okay. It’s like Cipralex is both the cause and the cure.

At least I can go outside now. I can face the world, and start fixing what needs to be fixed.

pharmaceutical intervention

Sanity is supposed to come from little portions of Cipralex, but I have to survive long enough for the doctors to find the right dose. It may well be several months before they discover what works, and every day in between terrifies me.

Until then, I can’t sleep, I can’t come, I can’t eat more than half of what I used to before getting full, and I can’t go without Gravol to fight the nausea. The side-effects are supposed to be better than the alternative — and I suppose cottonmouth is good way to get me to drink more liquids — but every wretched day makes me question whether this unique form of hell is worth it.

This used to be one of my greatest fears, and here I am faced with it cause I couldn’t handle life by myself anymore.