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For those who are not in an acute episode..... How often do you see a therapist? I've seen therapist regularly & consistently for the 20 years I've been dealing with this disease. I take breaks here & there, and have switched numerous times.

At moment, I'm thinking about cutting down to every other week. I'm sick of going & seeing so much money invested when my depression is lifelong & chronic. Been seeing my current therapist weekly for the last 5 months. I do like her. It is good having someone to talk/vent to (especially during a year of lockdowns, isolation) but I I'm just feeling burnt out & don't know what to do. I'm still depressed, but stable, and it seems this is as good as it gets.

Edited by Blahblah
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5 hours ago, Blahblah said:

For those who are not in an acute episode..... How often do you see a therapist? I've seen therapist regularly & consistently for the 20 years I've been dealing with this disease. I take breaks here & there, and have switched numerous times.

At moment, I'm thinking about cutting down to every other week. I'm sick of going & seeing so much money invested when my depression is lifelong & chronic. Been seeing my current therapist weekly for the last 5 months. I do like her. It is good having someone to talk/vent to (especially during a year of lockdowns, isolation) but I I'm just feeling burnt out & don't know what to do. I'm still depressed, but stable, and it seems this is as good as it gets.

I am very low-functioning right now, but like you said, this may be as good as it gets for me, too....So I get it.......I talk to my therapist every 2 weeks, because I simply can't afford more co-pays, and she knows that....I like her, too, been with her since summer of 2019.

I talk to pdoc once a month............These are all phone appts since April of 2020, due to COVID....I have no idea when I will go back to in-person appts.

Have you discussed with your therapist about switching to every 2 weeks?.......Of course, the choice is definitely up to you, but does your therapist think you are stable enough?

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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For years I had a weekly therapy visit. Then my insurance changed to an HMO and it was monthly if that. After a while of that, plus their opinion is therapy is for short term only, I just quit for quite a while. A few months ago pdoc said I should start again so I did, but she only has spots around monthly. It’s ok but I’m not in crisis. Not sure that weekly business was always helpful, either, in retrospect, which isn’t always a fair way to judge. 

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i see my tdoc every 2 weeks, partially because i pay out of pocket, partially because it's a 35 minute drive to her city, partially because i've never had therapy more frequently than that and it seems to work for me. the downside is that a lot can happen in a week, and sometimes you have to choose between talking about the events that have passed since your last visit, or digging into some other ongoing therapeutic goal (for me personally, EMDR). 

lately i have been thinking about going weekly because i've had a rough time, but i hesitate. i could afford to go more frequently, but i get stuck in wondering if i'm "sick enough" to go more often, and wincing at the cost. i know it's helped me a lot, but it's hard to feel like i'm worth spending that kind of money on.

when i'm not doing so great the appointment feels like a light at the end of the tunnel. when i'm doing better it just feels like maintenance. like taking your car in for an oil change. just another thing on the list.

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I read in an English NHS study that having it every second week you get the same positive effects but it takes twice as long to get them

I actually feel it's pointless when I'm in crisis because it's just emotional support and i can get that free lots of places, but when i'm not in crisis i can really dig into stuff and try to understand myself and why i get so anxious and tired and depressed at the drop of a hat

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On 1/27/2021 at 7:40 PM, Antecedent said:

I read in an English NHS study that having it every second week you get the same positive effects but it takes twice as long to get them

I actually feel it's pointless when I'm in crisis because it's just emotional support and i can get that free lots of places, but when i'm not in crisis i can really dig into stuff and try to understand myself and why i get so anxious and tired and depressed at the drop of a hat

This is a good point @Antecedent  When in crisis mode, therapy is just about putting out the fire, and tweaking emergency meds. Whereas, at calmer times, you can dive deeper into long standing patterns and build a better awareness or insight.

But....How do you know when therapy is "working" ?? I'm just so impatient and wonder if it's worth it just to gain more awareness (when I'm already well aware of the problems I have.). I have never achieved the transformative change of perspective & feelings that I desire.

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5 hours ago, Blahblah said:

This is a good point @Antecedent  When in crisis mode, therapy is just about putting out the fire, and tweaking emergency meds. Whereas, at calmer times, you can dive deeper into long standing patterns and build a better awareness or insight.

But....How do you know when therapy is "working" ?? I'm just so impatient and wonder if it's worth it just to gain more awareness (when I'm already well aware of the problems I have.). I have never achieved the transformative change of perspective & feelings that I desire.

I think therapy is similar to med treatment in that “working” probably means something different to everyone. Personally, seeing tdoc every two weeks acts as a way to maintain stability, but also as kind of an early warning system. When stable, going 3 or 4 times a week just seems like overkill... I start to find it a bit ... idk... annoying. But every two weeks is almost always enough to catch any slip or mood swing that may be trouble down the road... and if that happens we ramp up form there. I think that because my med situation was so sloppy and urgent for like 5 years after I got diagnosed that I view therapy alone as not super helpful for when things become acute but a great way to keep things in check 

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I don't know... I wanna
1. know where stuff comes from, implicit assumptions and fears I have, why?
2. Understand why i react certain ways
3. have more choices about how i respond to things
4. be better at interacting with the people around me, negotiating, asking for support, defending myself without being defensive, making and maintaining friends

so then i know if it's working if I feel like any of those things are moving, even in a little way, even if i keep backsliding

i think if i can do all those things I won't trigger my own sadness and anxiety so much. I'm sure it will still come on anyway but i think that will really mitigate it

i don't know, sometimes I think youtube videos are better than therapy, but at least with therapy i can work on these things with another person, which feels nice

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On 2/1/2021 at 7:04 PM, Antecedent said:

I don't know... I wanna
1. know where stuff comes from, implicit assumptions and fears I have, why?
2. Understand why i react certain ways
3. have more choices about how i respond to things
4. be better at interacting with the people around me, negotiating, asking for support, defending myself without being defensive, making and maintaining friends

so then i know if it's working if I feel like any of those things are moving, even in a little way, even if i keep backsliding

i think if i can do all those things I won't trigger my own sadness and anxiety so much. I'm sure it will still come on anyway but i think that will really mitigate it

i don't know, sometimes I think youtube videos are better than therapy, but at least with therapy i can work on these things with another person, which feels nice

I hear you. Some thoughts:

I have a good awareness of the "why" and understanding where many of my anxieties/depression/fears/reactions come from (past experiences, specific traumas, genetic/biological makeup). Unfortunately, this "knowledge" does not eradicate or change the way I feel or experience certain situations. If that makes sense?

I suppose I could temper my internal "reactions" even more, but honestly, when many of my feelings or disappointments are indeed justified or valid, what can you do? Process, talk about it & move on I guess. Otherwise try to bypass & ignore your real feelings? Radical acceptance?

As far as making & maintaining friends, gaining support, this is where I would love to make some progress...But, I've realized relationships are a 2-way street. For so long i blamed myself and thought it was my behavior, something *I* am doing wrong, when much of it is society and other flakey or selfish people just having busy lives.

Do you have any YouTube video recommendations? 🙃

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On 2/2/2021 at 6:14 PM, esmerinhell said:

i tried therapy for a couple months back in 2020. i stopped because i dreaded it and honestly didnt see any improvement, i dont know if im being impatient or if it just isnt that effective.

Probably a bit of both -

Most people who are struggling with a diagnosed depression or anxiety will not benefit much from only 2 months of therapy....(Although the NHS and other insurance entities often max out 2 months) but 2 months of sessions are more appropriate for a temporary/transient anxiety, job burn out, death of a family member, etc. But I also know well the feeling of dread about going every week, talking over & over about stuff and not feeling much better or ever seeing any full remission.

I wouldn't depend on talk therapy so much if I had real social support or someone else to actually talk to.

Edited by Blahblah
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On 2/4/2021 at 6:27 PM, Blahblah said:

I hear you. Some thoughts:

I have a good awareness of the "why" and understanding where many of my anxieties/depression/fears/reactions come from (past experiences, specific traumas, genetic/biological makeup). Unfortunately, this "knowledge" does not eradicate or change the way I feel or experience certain situations. If that makes sense?

I suppose I could temper my internal "reactions" even more, but honestly, when many of my feelings or disappointments are indeed justified or valid, what can you do? Process, talk about it & move on I guess. Otherwise try to bypass & ignore your real feelings? Radical acceptance?

As far as making & maintaining friends, gaining support, this is where I would love to make some progress...But, I've realized relationships are a 2-way street. For so long i blamed myself and thought it was my behavior, something *I* am doing wrong, when much of it is society and other flakey or selfish people just having busy lives.

Do you have any YouTube video recommendations? 🙃

It sounds like you've got a lot of work done and dusted that I've still got ahead of me

At the moment I'm binging Psychology in Seattle

I used to like Kati Morton but she keeps doing introductory stuff over and over, it's very repetitive, she never digs deeper into the topic she just gives you "universal issues in psychotherapy 101" over and over.

I like the "partially examined life" podcast, even though most of it goes over my head, it's about philosophy rather than therapy but they do tend to overlap. Philosophers are always really hard on themselves and each other!

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well i guess it depends on the situation, but i think that what someone else mentioned makes sense. I've been dealing with this for decades too, and i find therapy kind of useless to be honest with you. i started going weekly at first, then after a few  years I got to go 2 times a month .. and even that seems pretty useless to be honest with you.. I just keep repeating the same stuff about my life, etc, and how much suffering and struggles I go through because I'm treatment resistant and I just feel like im repeating myself over and over again and getting nowhere. i haven't changed many doctors i've had the same one for years now, and i don't really think it matters to be honest. the majority of people who deal with this illness find comfort in others who deal with similar problems.  a doctor might be able to diagnose you, but he or she have no idea what this illness is like, another person dealing with it on the other hand definitely does, so i really on the people i met in the support group (2 people i kept contact with to reach out when things get tough) I just don't see anything helpful from going to therapy, but that's just my belief and experience and others i've met along the way...but you must decide what's best for you.

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1 hour ago, ilovemusic123 said:

I just keep repeating the same stuff about my life, etc, and how much suffering and struggles I go through because I'm treatment resistant and I just feel like im repeating myself over and over again and getting nowhere. i haven't changed many doctors i've had the same one for years now, and i don't really think it matters to be honest.

the majority of people who deal with this illness find comfort in others who deal with similar problems.  a doctor might be able to diagnose you, but he or she have no idea what this illness is like, another person dealing with it on the other hand definitely does, so i really on the people i met in the support group (2 people i kept contact with to reach out when things get tough) I just don't see anything helpful from going to therapy, but that's just my belief and experience and others i've met along the way...but you must decide what's best for you.

I totally feel the same and agree with you.... I wish there were support groups near me, but there are none. So I just have these online forums. Pretty much on my own.

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Just now, Blahblah said:

I totally feel the same and agree with you.... I wish there were support groups near me, but there are none. So I just have these online forums. Pretty much on my own.

Not sure where you live, but there are website like Meetup.com that might offer support groups or check clinics/hospitals near your area that might offer support groups when Covid gets better and people are able to meet in person again.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Most of the time I see my therapist once a week and my psychiatrist once a month even though I'm pretty sure I could go less frequently, especially my psychiatrist, since, other than some tweaking/playing with new meds here and there, I think my meds are what they are. You know what I mean?

And sometimes I do, but that's typically more due to scheduling issues since I work 40+ hours a week and my therapist carries a pretty full load of clients and only sees people four days a week. 

I think if my therapist suggested it, I'd go along with it. But I don't know that I would ever suggest it myself, both because I think there's some transference on and I would worry I'd start decompensating right after. I don't know why and I don't think it's very likely to happen, but still. 

Plus, honestly, I think there's therapeutic value to having someone to vent to when you don't really have that outside of treatment, whether because of social anxiety or whatever. Like, we obviously talk a lot of therapy, but I also talk to my therapist a lot about work (full time inpatient mental health), both because it can be quite stressful some weeks (whether due to patients or staff [almost always staff]) and it's just a big part of my everyday life both literally and metaphorically. 

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