All about the mind

That difficult decision #FridayReflections

When it comes to making decisions, I am weird. I spend ages to-ing and fro-ing on simple things like which dessert to order but I can impulsively make a decision on something big — like buying my unit — based on a feeling. I can weigh up pros and cons for some problems, while with others I’ll just go with what I feel. Not all decisions are easy and I’ve certainly had regrets. But right or wrong, I do learn something in the end.

One of the toughest decisions I’ve made so far has been to seek therapy. Twice.

For those who don’t know, I am a psychologist myself. I provide therapy for others. I am skilled in treating depression, anxiety disorders, behaviour disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and emotional regulation difficulties among other mental health problems. Sure I work with a child and adolescent population but it’s the same cognitive-behavioural techniques, the same acceptance and commitment model, the same dialectical behavioural therapy models that are used across the board but just adapted to the individual’s age.

In other words, I should be able to manage my own mental health.

So back in 2013, when I burnt out and crashed, it took a lot of courage to make that first phone call. It took time to admit I was not coping on my own. I was able to admit I had anxiety back then because in some ways, as far as mental health goes, within the psychology profession it seems okay for psychologists to be anxious. I had about six sessions and found it reasonably helpful. By February or March 2014, I no longer needed to see my psychologist. All was well.

Until last year.

Around April – May last year, I suffered a setback after being hurt deeply. Along with being unhappy at work, it took a significant toll on my mental health. This time around, I wasn’t anxious. I was depressed.

To tell my GP I was depressed was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’m a mental health professional. I should know how to cope! I continued to help my clients but all the time deep down, felt like a failure. If I couldn’t help myself, who was I to help these young people. To finally take that step and make the call to another psychologist was even harder.

It’s been hard admitting I am depressed. It’s even harder when you think you shouldn’t be depressed for whatever reason — you have a job, you have a house, you have a good family, you are trained in treating mental health disorders. The guilt that comes with it is enormous.

There are good days, of course. And I can continue to be professional and function at work {Fortunately, it hasn’t affected that}. I can go out with friends and share some laughs. I can try and remember the little things that go well. But then there are horrible days. Days when I feel empty inside. When all I do is cry. When I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone. When I feel like no one understands. When I see no hope, no future.

So far, I’ve had 7 sessions with my therapist. It was a difficult decision to call and make that appointment. But I’m glad I did. It’s a start. It’s someone to listen to me. It’s a road to recovery.

Until then, I’ll have to take the few good days I can get. I have to manage the bad ones. I’ll fix a smile on my face and continue to soldier on.

***Inspired by the prompt for this week’s Friday Reflections hosted by me and Corinne. Also linking up with Grace for FYBF***

Until next time,

SANCH_sig1

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  • Jody at Six Little Hearts
    April 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

    So sorry to hear this but so glad you took those first painful steps.
    I too suffer from anxiety which slowly built up over a couple of years until I felt disabled by it. I sought help. (It was terrifying initially.) Thankfully I confessed to a lovely doctor who said all the right things and helped make me feel normal again.
    I hope you continue to do well and recover.
    Jody at Six Little Hearts recently posted…Buckle® Jr. 1922 – Handcrafted Australian Made Accessories for Boys and A Giveaway! #SLHFeaturedThursdaysMy Profile

  • Jody at Six Little Hearts
    April 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

    So sorry to hear this but so glad you took those first painful steps.
    I too suffer from anxiety which slowly built up over a couple of years until I felt disabled by it. I sought help. (It was terrifying initially.) Thankfully I confessed to a lovely doctor who said all the right things and helped make me feel normal again.
    I hope you continue to do well and recover.
    Jody at Six Little Hearts recently posted…Buckle® Jr. 1922 – Handcrafted Australian Made Accessories for Boys and A Giveaway! #SLHFeaturedThursdaysMy Profile

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    April 15, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Getting help is really hard. It takes strength to do that, Sanch. You have done something really responsible and necessary. And talking about it here reduces the stigma around it. I’m so glad you’re getting help with it xx
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…Please, Please… Stop Writing For FreeMy Profile

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    April 15, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Getting help is really hard. It takes strength to do that, Sanch. You have done something really responsible and necessary. And talking about it here reduces the stigma around it. I’m so glad you’re getting help with it xx
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…Please, Please… Stop Writing For FreeMy Profile

  • Sarah @sarahdipity
    April 15, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Good on you for knowing that you needed help and for asking for it x

  • Sarah @sarahdipity
    April 15, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Good on you for knowing that you needed help and for asking for it x

  • Vanessa
    April 15, 2016 at 9:06 am

    It’s always the case though, that what we do for a living we can’t do for ourselves. I saw a copywriter the other day talking about how painful it was to do their own copy. That’s why we have experts in the world.
    Vanessa recently posted…Planning A StaycationMy Profile

  • Vanessa
    April 15, 2016 at 9:06 am

    It’s always the case though, that what we do for a living we can’t do for ourselves. I saw a copywriter the other day talking about how painful it was to do their own copy. That’s why we have experts in the world.
    Vanessa recently posted…Planning A StaycationMy Profile

  • Zoe Meunier
    April 15, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Good on you for sharing… and being brave enough to admit you need help. Nobody is immune from mental health struggles, even those who specialise in it!!

  • Zoe Meunier
    April 15, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Good on you for sharing… and being brave enough to admit you need help. Nobody is immune from mental health struggles, even those who specialise in it!!

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    April 15, 2016 at 9:49 am

    You are amazing Sanch. You talk about this openly and that takes a lot of courage. Everyone needs help in some areas of life, that is part of the learning process. When you think you no longer need help, you believe you know every thing and just how boring would life be then.,
    Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection recently posted…What on earth are you talking about?My Profile

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    April 15, 2016 at 9:49 am

    You are amazing Sanch. You talk about this openly and that takes a lot of courage. Everyone needs help in some areas of life, that is part of the learning process. When you think you no longer need help, you believe you know every thing and just how boring would life be then.,
    Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection recently posted…What on earth are you talking about?My Profile

  • Grace
    April 15, 2016 at 9:57 am

    My dear, take it one day at a time. It’s so important to find help and it’s great that you acted on it. We’re all supporting you x
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Adding ankle to injuryMy Profile

  • Grace
    April 15, 2016 at 9:57 am

    My dear, take it one day at a time. It’s so important to find help and it’s great that you acted on it. We’re all supporting you x
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – Adding ankle to injuryMy Profile

  • Deborah
    April 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    When I was at Uni we joked that the psych students were the most f*cked up on campus. (And I was a psych student!)

    I think it’s important to ask for help when we need it and many people think nothing of outsourcing other stuff… but struggle when it comes to their emotional wellbeing or mental health. Most of the psychologists I still know debrief with a mentor and often have their own therapist as well.

    And I’m with you on the decision front. I struggle with small ones but not with big ones!
    Deborah recently posted…What we share with othersMy Profile

  • Deborah
    April 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    When I was at Uni we joked that the psych students were the most f*cked up on campus. (And I was a psych student!)

    I think it’s important to ask for help when we need it and many people think nothing of outsourcing other stuff… but struggle when it comes to their emotional wellbeing or mental health. Most of the psychologists I still know debrief with a mentor and often have their own therapist as well.

    And I’m with you on the decision front. I struggle with small ones but not with big ones!
    Deborah recently posted…What we share with othersMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    April 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Hugs, Sanch. It takes courage to admit that we need help and I’m glad you found it in you to seek some. Wishing you healing and love.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Discovering What I Believe #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    April 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Hugs, Sanch. It takes courage to admit that we need help and I’m glad you found it in you to seek some. Wishing you healing and love.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Discovering What I Believe #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  • Ankita
    April 15, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Admitting that we have a problem is the toughest task, and even doctors need to seek the help of other doctors for their own treatment. Long story short, you took a wise decision of not letting your ego come between your path to a healthy life. Good luck to you, and I hope that you get out of this phase with flying colors. Lots of love!

  • Ankita
    April 15, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Admitting that we have a problem is the toughest task, and even doctors need to seek the help of other doctors for their own treatment. Long story short, you took a wise decision of not letting your ego come between your path to a healthy life. Good luck to you, and I hope that you get out of this phase with flying colors. Lots of love!

  • Shantala
    April 16, 2016 at 12:09 am

    It is courageous of you to seek help. That first step is always the most difficult one. Glad it is helping you. It will all work out. It always does. Until then – stay strong and keep the smile on. 🙂
    Shantala recently posted…To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee | Reviewing Classic LiteratureMy Profile

  • Shantala
    April 16, 2016 at 12:09 am

    It is courageous of you to seek help. That first step is always the most difficult one. Glad it is helping you. It will all work out. It always does. Until then – stay strong and keep the smile on. 🙂
    Shantala recently posted…To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee | Reviewing Classic LiteratureMy Profile

  • Zita
    April 16, 2016 at 6:35 am

    In this day and age it saddens me that we are still embarrassed, anxious or ashamed to admit we need help or are seeing a professional, I know because I was as well when I was seeing a psychologist a few years back. Only a handful of my very closest friends know that I was. Am glad you have had the strength to reach out when you knew you needed to.
    Zita recently posted…til next time…My Profile

  • Zita
    April 16, 2016 at 6:35 am

    In this day and age it saddens me that we are still embarrassed, anxious or ashamed to admit we need help or are seeing a professional, I know because I was as well when I was seeing a psychologist a few years back. Only a handful of my very closest friends know that I was. Am glad you have had the strength to reach out when you knew you needed to.
    Zita recently posted…til next time…My Profile

  • Maliny Mohan
    April 16, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I have had my share of anxieties too and I can say there is nothing more debilitating than an anxious, restless mind. kudos to you for speaking out and for procuring help at the right moment, which most of us fail to do, in the act to be perfect.
    Maliny Mohan recently posted…My Delicious Bait – Mid Week QuestsMy Profile

  • Maliny Mohan
    April 16, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I have had my share of anxieties too and I can say there is nothing more debilitating than an anxious, restless mind. kudos to you for speaking out and for procuring help at the right moment, which most of us fail to do, in the act to be perfect.
    Maliny Mohan recently posted…My Delicious Bait – Mid Week QuestsMy Profile

  • Amrita
    April 17, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    So sorry to hear this. Good on you for taking that step and all the best! Stay strong!

  • Amrita
    April 17, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    So sorry to hear this. Good on you for taking that step and all the best! Stay strong!

  • J,Gi Federizo
    April 19, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Good you have sought help. Sometimes we really need some kind of intervention. I definitely know this. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • J,Gi Federizo
    April 19, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Good you have sought help. Sometimes we really need some kind of intervention. I definitely know this. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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