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jarn

Want to give up on therapy

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I feel like it's not doing anything.  I've been going every 2 weeks for...since late July.  

We're doing behavioural activation.  It was very effective the first week, but as I get more depressed, it's just stuff I don't do.  

I haven't gone to work in 6 days.

I'm too numb.  Or angry.  Or sad.  I just can't fathom a world in which I go to work, I want to spend all day in bed.  

My pdoc says to give the Li more time to work (I emailed today).  

But therapy - I haven't done the scheduling or activations for awhile - I'm injured, so haven't been running, which is one of my activations, as is hiking.  So.  Scheduling - even when I'm not at work, I still take the dogs out in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night.  I feed them.  I feed myself.  What's the point of saying 'Well, I'm too depressed to do anything but watch tv/go online' so I schedule that in when that's all I do anyways?  How does a schedule help that?  

We don't really talk about my feelings at therapy.  Just about things I'm doing.  I haven't come to any realizations about myself or my depression.

I don't see what the point is.  

It all seems so dumb to me.  And I hate going up there, travelling to get to tdoc.  I resent it.

Is it worth it to go on?

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That's funny, I do much of the same when with tdoc I'm really struggling with my illness. In fact we made up a schedule today. Is it pointless? I am not sure. But at least I have a piece of paper I can look at to see what I CAN be doing to feel better. Because I know if I isolate and don't see tdoc or do day treatment therapy then I get worse. I tend to isolate and sleep and stay in bed all day without some sort of structure. So "doing things" is what gets me out of low mood episodes or other episodes. If you stop doing everything then your mood will not improve. It is easy to give in to the low mood and stay in bed all day. Personally, I know I need to fight it or I'll end up so bad off I try to kill myself, end up hospitalized long term again, etc. Yes, I do want nothing more than to stay in bed and not see tdoc or pdoc or go pick up my weekly med box or do day treatment...really I wish I could just be left alone and not have to deal with all that crap. But if I don't fight it and distract and do opposite the emotion, really there is alternative than dying or going IP for me. And being IP is not something I am willing to do anymore. And being dead is out too because of family. So I make schedules and talk about what I'm doing every day to fight it off. I may only do one thing or two, like shower or go to the gym or knit. A lot more than that and I'm totally wiped. But the point is that I did it and I fought and accomplished something. I may still feel like utter shit and want to die but if I stay in bed it's only going to add fuel to the fire, so to speak. And I'll get so much worse.

So it may seem like it's pointless or stupid and too "simple" but it really makes all the difference when you do things and not just stay in bed all day. 

Just a thought but maybe you need a tdoc who will do more "structured" therapy with you. Something like DBT? It has modules that you work through and you do diary cards each day to track mood or anxiety or other symptoms. It's not perfect, but I find a few things useful from it. And it's not just for people with BPD either. It's helped people with BP, anxiety, etc.

I hope you can find a tdoc that's a good fit for you. It's not easy but you have options. That's a good thing. 

Wishing you all the best as always!!! (hope I didn't come off as too preachy...but the "doing things" scheduling is really all I have to hold onto at the moment for me personally) And most importantly, DON'T GIVE UP JARN! You've got so much to offer the world. Keep on keeping on!

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Do you think you could try to tell your therapist this stuff? It sounds like maybe you are beating yourself up for not getting done everything on the schedule.  I've never done this type of therapy, but it seems like the down-side to it is if you don't do everything on the schedule, it could cause more frustration.

Thinking of you.  It really sucks to feel that bad.

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Rabbit, that's a good idea.  I should.  I see her next week.  I missed last week's appointment due to some scheduling issues.  

Bernard, thanks.  I don't know if it's just that I'm depressed so resistant to it or what.

Cheese, thanks!  You have some good insight for sure.

I spoke to my husband and he thinks that therapy has helped me, or did at first.  He thinks right now my mood has stablized, but stabilized at depressed.  

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Similarly, I was also thinking that it would be a good idea to tell her basically what you wrote in the original post ^^^

Even if she thinks that the behavioral activation is a good overall approach for you, maybe she'll have some useful ideas for temporarily adjusting therapy goals and methods to better suit your current needs and mood state.  Then later on you can just let her know when you're feeling ready to switch back to the original game plan.

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I was thinking along different lines: what if you told her that you wanted to get around to this part?

We don't really talk about my feelings at therapy.  Just about things I'm doing.  I haven't come to any realizations about myself or my depression.

You've mentioned your CSA lately (albeit in the context of someone else) and I wonder if it flares up for you when you're depressed, for example? If you asked to do something other than activations how do you imagine that going over?

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I was thinking along different lines: what if you told her that you wanted to get around to this part?

We don't really talk about my feelings at therapy.  Just about things I'm doing.  I haven't come to any realizations about myself or my depression.

You've mentioned your CSA lately (albeit in the context of someone else) and I wonder if it flares up for you when you're depressed, for example? If you asked to do something other than activations how do you imagine that going over?

I think that could maybe go okay.  It's worth a shot.  I don't think I'd want to talk about CSA because my mother volunteers with my therapist at the organization offering programs for families and while I trust that everything is confidential I wouldn't want anything to be weird.  

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I'm not trying to throw a huge spanner in the works or trying to be a douche or anything, but maybe the feeling that you don't want things to be weird with your therapist is why you aren't getting on with therapy? I'm not trying to force you to do anything (promise!) but idk, it seems like if there are things outside of therapy that make going to therapy uncomfortable, maybe it's not the healthiest relationship you could have with your tdoc? Sorry, just a thought. My mum once recommended I see my brothers friends mother for therapy. I don't really want someone who's had my brother over for sleepovers to know about my abusive relationship :/

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Jarn, I think Ananke has a good point.  Even if you know on a rational, logical level that it is supposed to be confidential, it sounds like the potential contact between your mom and your therapist is preventing you from being as open as you could be. It might limit how much you can benefit from this therapy.

I briefly saw a therapist at a college counseling center at the same college my dad taught at. My dad was friendly acquaintances with the therapist. It was never productive, and I think this contributed to it.

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I think it's a fair point.

I don't have a problem with it as long as we don't talk about personal things, but what's therapy without talking about personal things?  Scheduling, apparently.  Still, I suppose it's better than nothing, which is the alternative.  

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I think you really hit the nail on the head with "what's therapy without talking about personal things".

I don't know the details of your situation (I'm sorry if you've shared that before on your blog and I'm not really remembering). But when you say it is better than nothing, is it because you don't have access to other counseling due to money/insurance? 

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Yeah, I don't have coverage for therapy and I don't have a spare $120-150/session for a reputable therapist.  I've gone the route of looking at different therapists and it's exhausting, and never done much for me.  

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Therapist shopping gets tiring and worrisome (they are so damn expensive) very quickly. Could you bring this up with your doc? (Things feeling weird, not necessarily different therapists)

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Just a suggestion from my own <cringe> present predicament. Can you ask about a reduced rate for self pay? I have no insurance currently, and my Tdoc - okay, granted, we've worked together for most of 8 or so years - authorized a reduced fee, I only pay $75. Kind of a "sympathy discount". Hey, I'll take it, if it means I can continue. 

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I'll bring up the weirdness.

I've never personally found therapy helpful enough for it to make sense to pay for it.  And I've been to lots of therapists.  Meds are far more helpful for me.

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I'll bring up the weirdness.

I've never personally found therapy helpful enough for it to make sense to pay for it.  And I've been to lots of therapists.  Meds are far more helpful for me.

Finding the right therapist is like finding a new crush.  Timing and Chemistry are important. But with therapists, the chemistry is the most important. I saw at least six therapists before I actually STARTED therapy. I had NO idea what it really was until I was ready to work and met the right person, who turned out to be male. I brought my CURRENT life into that space and started out going 3 times a week. That made a HUGE difference. Going once a week is nothing. Very hard to really make progress. But eventually once a week was fine. I went for around five years, then graduated myself.

You are right about meds. But at least for me, my years in therapy were crucial to my growth and awareness. I don't go now. It was like a right of passage that is very very important. Not about dumping all your shit on the floor of the room but LIVING your life in that room. Dealing with the moment; who freaked you out in the waiting room, why the therapist annoys you today, your dream from the night before. It is crucial to find someone you feel safe with and is equally smart. 

Edited by water

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