Even trained mental health professionals sometimes eat a pint of ice cream, watch too much Netflix, and disregard everything they’ve learned.
I’ve spent the last few weeks in a depressive funk and now that I am digging myself out of this hole, I wanted to take time for some self-reflection.
For me, a depressive episode mostly involves apathy. I tend to care about nothing and many of my daily routines come to a halt. I find that I am okay with this for a few days but then I get a huge wave of guilt and I feel ashamed for small things like not keeping my apartment clean or not doing my work on time.
I also tend to get frustrated with myself because as a therapist I know exactly what it’s going to take to feel better, yet I can’t bring myself to do it and usually don’t care to try.
In the end, sometimes even therapists need therapists. I don’t have it all figured out and I have difficult patches as well. It’s okay to feel lost and have ups and downs. In my opinion the best thing we can do is ride it out and hope for the best because I know it can’t last forever. I’ve been happy before which means I have the potential to be happy again.
A lot of times it just takes a good cry, a deep conversation, a bit of self-loathing and a long walk for me to get back on track. My encouragement would be to figure out what works best for you. What have you done in the past that has helped? Rely on things you already know about yourself. The kicker is, start slow and small. Even if you know going for a walk is helpful, the depressed you won’t want to leave the house. Instead try something as simple as walking out the door and back in again. Allow yourself to take some time to figure it out.
If you’re noticing it’s a recurring theme, it may be time to start the therapy process. A great resource to find a mental health professional is Psychology Today. You can search the therapists in your area and read small bio’s about them. It’s also completely okay to take time to find a therapist you vibe well with. Therapists would much rather you find someone who is going to actually help you than just sticking with them because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. So take time to find someone you like!
Therapy is an intimate, personal, vulnerable process that should be given lots of thought. Be upfront about what you need from your therapist just like you would any doctor. If you need someone to listen while you vent and process, let them know! If you need new strategies or interventions to try, let them know! We have a habit of thinking people should be able to read our minds and know what we want. However, the minute we are able to be direct about what we need, is the minute we take control of our happiness journey.
Please feel free to reach out for any specific questions about what to ask your therapist!