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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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ws___ Offline
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First time going to therapy. - April 30th 2014, 12:10 AM

Hello everyone !

Well, for basically all of my life I have had severe mood swings and I guess depression. Suicidal thoughts and self harm entangled in there as well.

I was just dumped by my boyfriend of 8 months (my longest relationship) and he kicked me out of the house we lived in together. Then he was with another girl the next day. It kind of pushed me completely over the edge.

I set up an appointment for next Tuesday with a therapist. I have always kept my problems to myself. Always. But now I am actually seeking help because I want to get my life under control. I can never have a meaningful relationship or reach my goals with this depression and anxiety of never being good enough holding me back.

I have never talked to anyone before, especially not a professional and I am terrified. I was wondering if anyone had any advice or tips for me going in. Was this a good decision ? How do I open up ? Anything helps.

Thank you !!
   
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Re: First time going to therapy. - April 30th 2014, 12:27 AM

I think that it is an excellent decision for you to go to therapy! You're right that it can be really scary, but you're doing the right thing!

I think that no therapist will expect you to spill everything all at once, and as long as you tell them that you want to take it slow (if that is what you want) they will respect that. On your first few sessions they may ask you questions to sort of get to know you better and the reasons why you are there. From there, they will start helping you cope and create solutions to some of these problems.

If you want to talk to them about something that you think will be hard, you can always write it in the form of a letter or email that you give to them too. That has taken a lot of pressure off of me at times. If I know I'll be too afraid to say something in person but know it needs to be said, I'll write a letter, so that way it will all be out without nerves and interruptions getting in the way.

If there is anything specific you want out of therapy, I think that you should tell them that as well, so they know where to focus.

Opening up takes time, though. Sometimes I myself have to start slow and build up, and I bet it will become easier for you once you know the therapist a bit more.


   
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Re: First time going to therapy. - April 30th 2014, 01:38 AM

As a future mental health professional, I will never say that seeking professional help is a bad idea I'm also currently seeing a therapist after years of struggling with anxiety and depression so I completely understand what it's like to be terrified that first time.

The first appointment is the intake which usually lasts about 90 minutes. They ask you a lot of questions about pretty much everything including, of course what you need help with. As scary as it is, please try to be honest with them about everything they ask, it will make things a lot easier later and they can't help you with stuff they don't know about. One thing I didn't think of, if you're taking any medications, take a list of them with you (I seriously blanked on the name of one of mine and now it's wrong in his file).

They will not expect you to open up right away, it takes time. Also, depending where you go, the person who does the intake may not be the person who ends up seeing you. If you find that the person you end up with is not a good fit, bring it up with them and then if you still feel that way, keep trying until you find someone you feel comfortable with. Good Luck


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Re: First time going to therapy. - May 1st 2014, 04:30 AM

Usually is a lot of questions to figure things out. Though I did have one sent the paper work home with me and we started the very first day. It is up to you how much you wanna talk at first and make sure if you have boundaries to let them know upfront. I always say I wanna talk about this but please don't ask lots of questions....

How to talk about things is something I tend to struggle on. I can say depending on what it is writing helps a lot. I also have times where I just wanna answer questions to get there so I get started but when I feel lost she picks up with questions to fill the rest in.

It may sound silly but practice in your head what you wanna say and talk about. Make a list of what needs to be addressed. I tend to think about what to say and how to say the night before as I lay in bed.


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Re: First time going to therapy. - May 1st 2014, 08:14 AM

i had cognitive behavioral therapy last year for depression and self harm. It really helped me a lot. i'm about 9 months sh free. i won't say it was the easiest thing in the world, especially in the beginning. but not scary or anything like that. just difficult dredging stuff up and dealing with it, but well worth it that's for sure.


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Re: First time going to therapy. - May 2nd 2014, 05:24 AM

Hi,

I do not think you are making a bad choice at all. It is really great you want help and that you are taking steps to get the help you want and need.
I know it can be hard to talk about things with a therapist or counselor. I currently see a counselor here at my college and it is still hard for me to be honest with her even though I've been seeing her for two years now. A few things that could be helpful are writing down what you would like to talk about (I know it was mentioned before) but that can really decrease any anxiety you may have plus keep you organized so you do not forget to mention something you believe they need to know. It also is helpful to be honest that you are nervous so that the person helping you can approach what you tell them with the knowledge that you are getting used to them and the process of therapy. Remember, you do not have to tell them everything in one visit but you should be specific about what you want to get help with and if you are not sure of that, you can let them know what you have been struggling with so they can have somewhere to start and then treatment can go from there.
Lastly, I hope all goes well at your appointment and if you ever would like to chat or would like help with anything you can send me a message here. I am glad to help as best as I can and I like talking to other people as well.
Take care.


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