Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Starting Therapy (hopefully)
I've probably needed therapy for several months now. It's not something I could have handled in the months following my psychotic episode, but I definitely could have used it when I learned that my relationship is cracked to its very foundations.
I didn't seek counseling at that time because I felt I couldn't afford it. We needed couples counseling, and I knew I'd need to see my doctor for med checks pretty often once winter really swung into high gear. My pdoc isn't in network, so that would ultimately cost a few thousand dollars.
Since the death of my cat, I've felt overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and hopelessness. I've lost a lot of motivation. Though I know I don't really want to die, at times I felt ... well, kind of like I wanted to die. It's clear that I need help. But I can't afford to spend a few hundred dollars a month. Not after spending a few thousand on vet bills last month.
Finally it occurred to me that my clinic at UCSF, which takes my health insurance, has one of the best mental health outfits in the country. They probably also take my insurance. I called them, and while they themselves are booked up, they could recommend a few people who had the knowledge to deal with my problems and who also take my health insurance.
I think I've found someone I can work with (*fingers crossed*) and I hope to start late this week or early next week, depending on availability. He's knowledgeable about both depression and ADHD, which I think will help me a great deal. I've always wondered how depressed I would be if my ADHD weren't such a problem. I underachieved in elementary school, and was constantly shamed by my teachers. I came to believe that I was actually stupid and wished to hell everyone else would catch on and stop expecting so damn much of me. When things got better in junior high and high school, I sort of felt like a fraud; when I got to college I hit a brick wall and was finally diagnosed with ADHD and learning disabilities; as an adult I've been chronically unemployed and underemployed. Under these circumstances it's hard to have much self-confidence. It's easy to get depressed.
So I'm pretty glad to have a therapist who understands both mood disorders and AHHD. One lesson I've learned is that if a therapist doesn't really understand ADHD, all sorts of problems can arise -- for instance, if you're chronically late, it's time to explore why you might be resistant to therapy. Oh, of course you have ADHD, but what's really going on? What's "really" going on, dammit, is that people with ADHD are chronically late. That particular therapist was excellent in all other respects, so I kept working with her. I guess the only good thing I can say is that I damn well learned to be on time to appointments.
Last week I was feeling pretty hopeless. Just knowing that I'll be getting help has made a big difference.