I think that those who read my blog on the regular know that I am a bit of a therapy junkie; I always seem to be looking for someone to help me discover the secrets of my mind, listen to me, and give me professional help with my randomly diagnozed mental illnesses and generic issues.
I was put in counselling first time when I was 9 years old for a very embarrassing case of Obsessive Compulsory Disorder, then I briefly saw a really horrible school counselor in my early teens for what I now know were symptoms of depression, and finally, at 16, I was referred to intensive therapy due to anorexia nervosa.
While I think it might have been in my best interest to see a therapist, I don’t think they ever dug deep enough for the reasons of my malaise and ill mental well-being. I was distressed, angry, confused and irritated much of my life, and none of these therapists ever really figured it out for me.
In any case, it wasn’t until my first year at university when I became tearful, depressed, anxious and distressed that my friend took me to the university counselling service where I saw someone. I remember her being South African, pregnant, and coming to a conclusion that it was my mother-relationship that caused me all these issues, and not my father (for my whole life I thought I had issues because I witnessed domestic violence growing up).
Around that time my doctor started me on Prozac (fluoxetine) and later on Citalopram. I have now been on antidepressants for 7 years (yikes!) and it is semi-depressing to think that I’m incapable of living off them.
Then I had my first flashback in 2006 – a few months before graduating from university. This time I wasn’t given therapy – the university counselor that my GP sent me to said was like well, you’re graduating soon so we can’t deal with you, just try the NHS (National Health Service, the provider of all British public healthcare).
I didn’t try it. I stayed on the antidepressants and eventually had a burn-out and ended up going to Finland where I slept for a month and watched a whole lot of TV. I then briefly went to a support group for survivors of abuse, and privately met with the lady who ran the group. More on those experiences maybe in a later post.
By the time I moved back to London to do my Master’s degree, I was determined to deal with my “issues” once and for all – I googled services, saw doctors, called and visited places, and finally found Aurora 🙂
I started in support group there, as well as seeing a therapist, and it wasn’t until early 2o10 that due to unforeseen circumstances I suddenly had to stop going. I really feel that my time there gave me a greater understanding of myself, gave me strength to go on (I was once psychotic, and my housemate even called my therapist in the middle of the night to get help for me – goes to show how some people care about the people they work with).
I then didn’t see anyone until I sought help from my doctor, who referred me to IAPT in Haringey and I saw a CBT counselor for 13 weeks – time which was so very wasted from both of our parts. It did NOTHING for me, and gave me stress as I had to lie at work about where I had been….The psychologist also realized she could not help me with the scope of my issues, and sent me further down the mental health services in my area .
This is when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and sent to a Mentalization-Based Therapy group, which I have also mentioned in earlier blogs. Although I was fairly skeptical in the beginning, it turned out that this 12-week psycho-educational group was better than I had thought, and I gained interesting insight into the kind of issues I face and how I could actively change my thoughts and behavior.
Now the group is finished, but luckily I also gained entry to another counselling service (which I also have mentioned) and I now have been seeing a therapist at this place for about three months. That it’s going okay is all I can say – still nowhere near my personal goals I’m afraid.
I did see the psychiatrist responsible for the MBT group, and he has now referred me to Analytic Therapy around my area. We shall see what comes out of that; I am a bit tired of running from a therapist to another, from service to service and group to group, without ever really gaining much insight into my past but just scratching the surface problems with each professional.
I wonder if I ever will be free from the pain of my childhood, stop being bitter and angry, and perhaps learn to deeply enjoy life? Or will I forever seek help for those deep feelings of betrayal, pain, confusion, mistrust, distress and emotional dysfunction?
Again, if you feel like commenting or if any of this has touched you, please comment.
The Lonely Little Girl