I have had a couple of interesting days in therapy recently.
I’ve been struggling with depression for about 4 years (diagnosed major depression three years ago) and have been pretty consistently blah the entire time.
I’m 46, gradutated college with honors from a top 10 University, have over 120 credit hour of graduate coursework with close to a 4.0, I’m a military officer, and most people think I’m enthusiastic and extorverted.
I say this to dissuade readers who might think I must be lazy, or unintelligent, or uneducated, or just a depressing person. All these are stereotypes I used to have about depression and depressed people.
I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. One highlight is that getting unstuck from depression is sort of like cleaning the mud off your shoes with a hose while standing in the middle of the pigpen. Lift one foot up, put the other down while the hose keeps adding more mud! What are you going to do, sit down and lift both feet up?
It’s just a constant cycle with so many agrivating factors that it is difficult to break out of. Depression causes relationship problems and slipping performance at work. These in turn add stress that increase depression.
For the longest time I was legitimately trying to figure out if my depression was causing marital issues or marital issues where aggravating my depression. Finally, after literally 2 years, I figured out the answer is YES.
They aggravate each other! This might be obvious to you, but with diminished cognitive ability combined with seeing things through the distorted lens of depression, it took me a long time to figure out.
I think I mentioned before in my blog that the first time I talked to a psychiatrist 3 years ago, he told me I needed to take a year off and lay on the beach.
Well for a couple of years now I’ve been seeing a second therapist every couple of weeks in addition to a psychiatrist for meds. I’m on mythird therapist now. This is somewhat frustrating as it takes a little time to build up raport and trust. I’m somewhat guarded at times and like to see how a person is going to react before I just throw out my whole story. Plus, I know it takes the therapist some time to digest and make an assessment.
The first guy I didn’t like very much – I just thought he wasnt very helpful for me. He seemed like perhaps his life was just as confused as mine and perhaps he had his own struggles he was dealing with. A military move forced that change which I was fine with.
The next guy was OK. He was an older man about 60 or more I’d guess. Very kind and compassionate and interesteing to talk to. He had to drop all patients to take on a new project (this is the glory of govt controlled healthcare in the Army – take notes it’s coming to a clinic near you!!). So I can’t see him any more. I see now that we didn’t make much progress in 7 months.
My new therapist is a 30 something woman and also a military officer. This is the first active duty Army officer I have talked to as a therapist (they all work for the military, but many are civilians).
I’ve seen her twice now and boy is she sharp!! She has been asking some really hard questions already and has immediately offered some treatment options which had never been proposed before.
So as I said, sometimes change is good.
What I’m learning:
I’m learning patience even as I’m growing more impatient.
I’m trusting God more and myself less.
I’m learning my wife is willing to put up with a lot and stick with me. This is comforting despite our problems.