rchan: (Melusine -- Conversation died)
[personal profile] rchan
I really do intend to try to keep this up, because I think it's important to me to organize my own thoughts about the things we discuss. Some of them, anyway.

So, there were a couple of things that stuck out to me today:
1) Her inexperience was definitely showing and not of benefit.
2) I'm starting to wonder if therapy can actually help me.

So, what do I mean? First of all, we started talking about what my biggest stress is at the moment and lbh, it's school. It's the fact that sometimes I can't even START my work, much less keep at it. And when you're telling your therapist that you procrastinate until the last possible minute and somehow still get it done and get As, it is NOT helpful to have her say, "Well, it sounds like that's working for you, then!"

No. No, it's NOT. That's the fucking POINT. I mean, if by "working" you mean that I'm still getting it done and getting As, then yes, it's "working". But it's NOT working in that said process has me wound so tight in anxiety spirals that I can't fucking function outside of the anxiety to devote any mental energy to anything that isn't school.

So, as we started to talk about that, and I describe my issues, she starts to give me advice about how to focus better and I'm like... I AM 36 YEARS OLD. I HAVE TRIED THESE THINGS. THEY DO NOT WORK. BELIEVE ME. I HAVE TRIED. I WISH THEY WORKED. And she's basically saying, "Well, it's a matter of willpower and you just have to pick one." And like... IT IS NOT. IT IS NOT THAT, AT ALL. *cries* If willpower alone could fix my fucked up school habits, THEY WOULD BE FIXED.

And then she started to wonder if there were some ADHD going on and I'm like... *facepalm* ...I TOLD YOU LAST WEEK I THOUGHT THERE WAS. But, fine. I'm sure a lot happened for her between this week and last week and I don't expect her to remember every detail we talked about. Anyway, short of a barrage of expensive tests, the only way to test that theory was to go through symptoms in the DSM-V, so fine. Now, here's the problem. I CAN focus. I will sometimes hyperfocus on things for hours at a stretch if they interest me. But most of the rest of the time? I CAN'T FOCUS FOR SHIT. It's really, really bad. I KNOW there is an ADHD thing going on with me. I've read the criteria. It's me to a fucking TEE. But she got hung on early on the fact that I didn't match two of the criteria when out of all of them you only have to match five. And she starts arguing with me that that's not what I have. So finally she decides to get to the remaining five or six and I MATCHED EVERY ONE COMPLETELY. And there was a beat of silence and it became, "Huh. Well, I guess you could have this going on." *twitch* Like I said -- inexperience.

And from there on in, it was basically her telling me that short of hooking me up with a psychiatrist to put me on meds for ADHD, she couldn't help me with that.

And just... NO. You just... you have NO IDEA how terrified I am of taking psychological medications of any kind. It's this primal, unreasoning terror that I can't even explain, much less articulate. And to be told that that was really the only choice since everything else that she suggested I'd already tried and had failed with... that didn't sit well.

So, here I am, still stewing in my anxiety with some borderline depression issues and _I_ don't know what I'm doing and I'm starting to think she doesn't either and how do you even separate the problems a therapist CAN help you with from they ones they can't? I can already feel myself deciding that all the things I really need help with are things that I shouldn't talk to her about because I don't want to be told that it sounds like I'm coping just fine when really I just fake it well.

And just... ARGH. I don't need therapy to become ANOTHER point of stress. I have enough stress in my life without adding more. If you can't do anything to help me with the ADHD, then why don't you do your job and give me something to use to manage the anxiety that comes along with it?

I'm just... really very discouraged and don't even know what to do from here. :(

ETA: OH, I forgot this bit:

Her one answer to the ADHD thing was "we can get you accomodations." And just... FOR WHAT? I don't have exams. I'm in a doctoral program. Putting me in a "distraction-free room" (and we won't even get started on how awful distraction-free rooms are for me BECAUSE THEY ARE THE WORST and end in even MORE distraction than any other room)... during class? I mean, how the fuck would that help? I'm doing all of my work at home. Are you going to get me an office? And extended time? Again, for WHAT? UGH. Inexperienced therapist baby is inexperienced. Like why would you even MAKE that suggestion? ARGH.


Date: 2015-04-19 10:46 pm (UTC)
angel_negra: Carter and Heather are awesome friends. (Friendship)
From: [personal profile] angel_negra
I haven't read your last post on this, but is there some way you can switch therapists? This one really sounds like she's a bad fit for you.

Re: *hugs*

Date: 2015-04-20 01:46 am (UTC)
angel_negra: Carter and Heather are awesome friends. (Friendship)
From: [personal profile] angel_negra
Damn, I wish there was alternatives for you, but maybe setting those ground rules will help. *crosses fingers*

I wish I had some resources/suggestions for the ADHD thing. The only non-drug tricks I know are for helping with depression. (Though I need to sit down with a professional soon and nail down a proper diagnosis for me, because my tricks aren't working like they used to.) From what I've heard about psychiatrists though, drugs tend to be a last resort for most of them? Like if they can help you manage your stuff drug free first, they'll do that.

Re: *hugs*

Date: 2015-04-20 02:11 am (UTC)
angel_negra: Carter and Heather are awesome friends. (Friendship)
From: [personal profile] angel_negra
Therapist might be able to rec a psychiatrist, though money might hinder you here too. :(
Edited (Forgot to change icon *sigh*) Date: 2015-04-20 02:12 am (UTC)

Re: *hugs*

Date: 2015-04-20 02:26 am (UTC)
angel_negra: Carter and Heather are awesome friends. (Friendship)
From: [personal profile] angel_negra
Money sucks, I agree. (Or at least, the need for it.) She might not know anyone personally, but she might at least have some general contacts/suggestions of practices that the university therapists tend to refer people to.

Date: 2015-04-18 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyargles.livejournal.com
Heyyyy, this is defractum from tumblr - tell me to bugger off if you'd prefer me not to be here since I am practically a stranger, but you sounded like you wanted opinions, and this is kind of my field...

From your description, she does sound very green. Her bedside manner leaves a lot of be desired too, because you shouldn't force your opinion on a client, and you definitely should never shut them down as being plain wrong either.

First off - what sort of therapist is your therapist? Usually they come with specialisations or prescribe to different kinds of practices, and obviously they're better for different things, and I couldn't place what your therapist was just from your posts about her. Also, I am REALLY sorry if I'm just saying stuff you already know.

Secondly, are you more interested in treating the symptoms, or the causes? Obviously, ideally, it would be both, but you need to pick one as your priority, and that would also help you define what sort of treatment you WANT from a therapist.

For example, I have a friend with anxiety and she just wants to know how to manage it on a day-to-day basis. She does not want her therapist to deal with the deeper issues that cause the anxiety. And that is perfectly fine. She sees someone specialising in CBT, and they generally set you short exercises, or tasks to do during the week if you find your problem flaring up. It's basically training yourself to go through certain motions or thoughts when something happens to help ground yourself.

Different example - my father is a psychotherapist, and they don't treat the symptoms AT ALL, unless the person is in imminent danger of hurting themself or someone else. They ignore them because they will resolve themselves as you deal with the cause. This is a talking therapy. It's a process of self-realisation helped along by your therapist and results take longer to show.

Also, I know, I know you already said you don't want to do it, but honestly, chemical intervention is sometimes the best way to manage the symptoms. And that doesn't always mean medication - certain diets can help too.

Lastly, you should just tell her that you think she is too young and doesn't know what she is doing. You should also tell her when you've tried these things and when you think she's wrong. If she's worth her salt, she won't take it personally - instead, it should become a launching point.

I think if you're going back to see her, maybe you should write down exactly what you want to get out of therapy, on a piece of paper if you think you're going to get annoyed and flustered when she tries to bring it up, in order of priorities? Again, I am REALLY SORRY if this is all stuff you already know like the back of your hand, but... yeah. *massive squishes* DD:

Date: 2015-04-18 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rchan.livejournal.com
First of all, I don't mind at ALL. And thank you. :)

As for what kind of therapist she is -- I don't think she's anything yet. I'm stuck with the campus help center and the therapists are externs. Thus the "she's really green" thing. Because she is. And I knew that, but I just don't have $80-$200 to shell out to someone every week for therapy. (In addition to funds just being too tight for that, the last time I did bite the bullet and do it anyway, I landed with someone who was convinced asexuality was a choice and the root of my problems. And no other therapist I've talked to is willing to let me meet them before starting therapy, except over the phone and just NO, THANK YOU.)

As for medication... I don't think I can even touch that one. When I say that's a deep-seated primal terror, I mean it. It's irrational and unreasoning and even the thought of it makes my heart do the racing thing. -.-;;; And changing my diet isn't going to happen, either. (Again, I know myself.) Adding ANY restrictions on to the multitude I already have would freeze me up and stop me functioning (and WOW does that sound freakishly overblown and whiny or what?).

Anyway, I think that advice about prioritizing is good advice. Because the punchline is that I don't know how to untangle the things. Like... the ADHD is at the root of ALL of my school-related (and all the rest of my, except the social bit) anxiety, which is the major problem I've got right now. And on the one hand, I'd really, really like to fix that. But I also know myself and what I can and can't do. And I know that as long as the system I have, dysfunctional as it is, is "working" with only myself suffering, I'm going to keep using it until it isn't, especially if the alternative is harder.

And I have the disadvantage of being a veterinarian. And the thought of doing nothing but managing symptoms when the root disease is sitting there untreated makes me massively twitchy, even though I know it's not the same thing. But it sounds like she's not capable of doing anything about that root disease, so that leaves me with the only choice being manage the symptoms, and that goes very much against the grain for me. (Even though managing my anxiety would, I'm sure, be a useful skill to learn for its own sake.)


I feel like I'm in this constant spin where I know I need help, and I know I'm not happy, but I don't even know what I need help FOR. And that's where I get stuck :(

...and I'm going to shut up now before this gets any more incoherent. Sorry. -.-;;;

ETA: Sorry, forgot -- I did tell her when I'd tried things and that they hadn't worked and that I thought she was wrong and that was when her answer became, "well you really should see a psychiatrist about that and seriously think about medication" and "it's a matter of willpower and you just have to decide to pick something and try it." Which was, as you can imagine, not helpful. :-P
Edited Date: 2015-04-18 02:11 am (UTC)

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