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littlesongbird

I Went To See A Therapist

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I posted here a couple days ago about being scared to see a therapist. Well, I went.  I am depressed and have social anxiety. The session was horrible. She asked me many questions and it was overwhelming. She asked about my parents and my extended family. It was really hard. I don't see what any of this gets to do with my problems now. Like, I don't really want to talk about the past. 

 

I feel like going to her opened up a can of worms. Now all I can think about is how I am living my life wrong. Like, she asked who I live with and I said my parents and brother. Then she asked me if I am scared to be independent. That feels like to me she is saying I am scared to be independent.

 

I sort of let go of a friendship....now I am thinking...was I wrong to do that? 

 

If I have social anxiety - which I knew any way.....but this makes it real. And it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong.

 

I know this is the whole point why I went to see her.  But, it feels awful hearing someone else say it and point it out.

 

And honestly, I am not sure I can move out of my parents house. I know she wasnt saying I had to. But it was clear her view on it was that I would be independent if I did.

 

Now I feel at a loss. I understand it was only one appointment and it was just questioning. 

 

For two days, I was thinking I was NOT going to go back to see her. But now I am thinking, I probably should.

 

But I am afraid and scared it will be even worse. I do not speak well. I am quiet and I find this entire thing really difficult.

 

I do feel like this lady, must think I am weird. and i even told her that at the end. And she said no. But, I didnt really believe her. 

 

I feel like a child in a 32 year old's body. 

 

It is also making me anxious, like I need to so something now. I know I need to change. But, I dont know what

And then I think of people who were in my life and feel like I did it all wrong.

 

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I've said it before and I will say it again - it is absolutely worth shopping around for therapists until you find someone who makes you feel comfortable. If you can, I would suggest meeting with two or three others just to get a sense of the different options.

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Hi Littlesongbird,

 

     I'm sorry you had this unhappy first experience with your therapist.  I've had an experience like that myself.  I agree with Survival that it might help you to shop around and find a therapist with whom you feel some rapport.  If you want to continue to see the therapist you have already seen, sometimes it can help to look at the therapists remarks as "limited hypotheses."  Therapists are human and can have their own issues, ideas and values.  One can sometimes benefit from a therapist with whom one does not feel a deep affinity although a better therapist would often be better. 

 

     IMPORTANT:  I believe that you have done literally millions of strong, brave, clever, wise, adaptive, beautiful and good things in your life,  I mean that:  literally millions.  If there are problems in your life, they represent a small, maybe even an infinitesimal fraction of who you are as a person and the life you have lived.  A good therapist will know this, communicate it to you, and try to keep any difficulties you are experiencing in perspective.  Lots of children around the world live with their parents even in adulthood.  It is almost the default setting of most of humanity and human history.  If you are a child in an adult body, than that is everyone, including your therapist.  Whatever has happened in your past or recently makes sense of your reactions.  Your reactions make sense regardless of their developmental history.  The fact that you "feel" difficulties reflect that you are in touch with your feelings.  You have had and still have many strengths.  You have accomplished a lot.  To be 32 years old in this post-modern world means you have survived {Bravo!} even in the face of developmental stressors. 

 

   I think it is IMPORTANT that you do not exaggerate any mistakes you might have made up to now in life.  What I mean is that a couple of men in the last 100 years caused the deaths of as many as 20,000,000 people in death camps and by mass starvation campaigns.  That is HUGE.  Any mistakes you might have made or are making now [and everyone has made mistakes and is making mistakes now!!!!] is small compared to the mistakes of people like Hitler and Stalin.  I do not believe you should feel ashamed of living at home with your parents or not living at home.  There are things to be said for each form of life.  I do not think you should be under pressure to "change" unless you are doing something really bad.  Change sometimes comes in its own time and on its own schedule.  I think it can help your anxiety to realize that there are matters of REAL life and death urgency [like finding water when you are lost in a desert] and matters that are not REALLY matters of life and death urgency.  If a therapist is giving you the impression that something has life or death urgency when it doesn't, perhaps it would be wise to take what he or she says with a grain of salt or find a therapist more sympathetic to you. 

 

     Maybe I am wrong.  I am wrong about many things so I cannot really say that what I have written is advice.  I hope your life gets better and better and reaches the best outcome possible for you.    Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one therapy that i, theoretically speaking, directed more at solving present difficulties than in deal with the past.  Of course it all depends on the therapist too.  "Compassion" is not something that can be taught in the university.  Some people have more of it than others for whatever reason.  I wish you all the best!

 

Sincerely,     Epictetus

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Yeah. that is the other thing. it felt like it totally magnified my problems. she even said to me, i can see why you are depressed. 

 

i feel like she was just searching for anything and everything negative in  my life. 

 

like the littlest thing...and then it was a huge deal.

 

it will sort of silly to me. like...i know that not everyone has a perfect family life. 

 

i feel like, if i dont go back to her...that i am giving up on myself.

and yet, i feel like if i do go back,...it could be even worse

 

and then - i wont go back. like my dad says i could try it one more time and see. 

 

argh. i did call another one but she never got back to me.

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Hi littlesongbird,

I get how u feel about your experience with a therapist. Although mine wasn't a therapist but I went to see a counselor (school) and it was so horrible because i felt like she was disregarding my feelings and she just wanted me to get it done and over with. It was so uncomfortable and I went for a month because I had no one else who I thought could help me. I've stopped going, and yeah it's tough because I have to bottle up things up.

I hope you've found a therapist that is helpful! Take care!

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Hi LSB! Sorry to hear about your negative experience. It really sucks that someone we're supposed to be able to trust and who should make us feel better fails to deliver on both counts. I mean, why go to a therapist if you only feel worse afterwards, right?
I would like to second what Epictetus said: 1) any mistakes you may have made in your life have got to be a teeny percentage compared to the ones you've done right 2) your feelings over past scenarios just proves that you're in touch with your feelings and, if anything, is a good sign. Do you know how many people make serious and grave mistakes and decisions, and only feel some lament much later (if ever). Like instead of 32, it's usually more like 82.
Speaking of which, it seems like you're feeling an intense pressure to move out and all that. Keep in mind, the old norms of being a parent yourself and married by 25 at the latest are gone. That's the old way. For better or worse, there's not this line in the sand anymore, nor is there the social stigma attached to not complying with it. They say 50 is the new 40. By that estimation, you can apply a 10 year discount, and lemme punch this in the calculator...and blamo- you're 22! (balloons drop from ceiling) And for what it's worth, on paper I got 2 years on ya, and I live at my mom's, my job history is "checkered", I don't have any romantic prospects in my life but I don't feel 34. See, I think there's this whole new thing where we get to have our "thwenties". Like, we're done with school, we're getting out there in the "real world" but underneath it all we can still be these evolving little goobers. I mean , look at actual 23 year olds these days: they're 13. The house, the car, the 2.5 kids, the picket fence- that 's optional at our stage anymore. The road map to getting there, if you chose to, has many more routes and pitstops along the way. And isn't that the best part of trips- stopping along the way and getting some greasy food and stretching your legs and realizing there's still something cool to get to. There's still time left before the sun sets, songbird, there's still time... :smile:
And I think it's a good sign that you were open and honest enough to let her know at the end how you felt. I would be inclined to believe when she said she didn't think you are weird that she was, in fact, being sincere. I mean, can you imagine some of the stuff she's heard over the years? You are so not a freak.
I would say give her one more try and let her know how you felt and everything. If she's worth her salt then she will address your concerns and she will make you feel that she's on your side. If not, cut her lose and find another one- that's all.
Would like to hear what you have to say.

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