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- 1 Therapy
- 1.1 Things to think about when choosing a therapist
- 1.2 Anxiety and Phobias
- 1.3 Depression
Therapy is a topic that comes up frequently on Ask MetaFilter. Sections on this page are organized by symptoms rather than final diagnoses.
Please see ThereIsHelp if you are experiencing a crisis.
Things to think about when choosing a therapist
- Think about whether you have a strong preference to be very trusting and open with a man or a woman.
- Think about whether, given your ongoing depression, you might need to focus on finding someone who is super convenient to you so that you never have any excuse for cancelling an appointment.
- Ask yourself if you have any biases about education. I have had really good therapists who were MSWs (Masters in Social Work) or MFCCs (Marriage, Family, and Child Counselors), but the one who did me the most good had a PhD (i.e., he was a psychologist) and that was partly due to the intellectual rigor he brought to the table.
- Think about your coverage -- can you see your therapist more than once a week? If not, I would avoid psychiatrists, as they are more likely than others to want to see you 3 to 5 times a week (depending on other factors as well).
- Also, depending on your jurisdiction and your health insurance, your copayment may vary widely. Some insurers in some states will pay, say, $35 per visit and you pay the rest. With a psychologist, that might be another $35. With a psychiatrist, that might be another $150. And if you have anxiety, don't add to it by having money worries too. Some states require that the insurer put each kind of therapist on an equal footing monetarily so that you can make a judgement about what you need without having to count pennies.
- A therapist is a service provider. Dive in, pick one, see them once. If you feel like you could benefit from this person's help, commit to four to six sessions with them, and then if you don't feel like you're being heard or helped, try someone else. Don't give up too soon unless you're sure that it's not your tricky mind tricking you into thinking you're not getting enough from this therapist, when what's really going on is that your tricky mind is trying to avoid focusing on stuff that's uncomfortable.
- Therapy stirs up a lot of muck that is currently below the surface. It can be very uncomfortable and challenging. And it can be time consuming and sometimes exhausting. But it is one of the best things you can possibly do for yourself. Imagine, if nothing else, the ability to talk about everything that is troubling you without having to worry about whether you're boring your friends/family, or whether you will have to reciprocate in the future. :-) Good job in taking the right steps to feel well and come fully alive.
Anxiety and Phobias
Anxiety in Children
General advice about Depression
Depression creates cognitive distortions that can make getting help seem difficult or impossible. People who do a lot of thinking can often think themselves into a dangerous corner. This section may help you act, spurred on by this MeTa thread.
LobsterMitten offers this broad summary of AskMe depression advice
- Seek therapy or other one-on-one counseling for help in breaking thought patterns that keep you depressed. Make and keep therapy appointments. If you don't click with the first therapist, don't give up - try another therapist.
- Maybe seek meds; different ones work for different people
- Exercise; this doesn't have to be as hard as you might think
- Be around people (a job, housemates, a coffee shop). Online doesn't count for this
- Shower, dress and get out of the house every day for at least a little while.
- Eat a sensible amount of healthy food.
- Sleep a reasonable amount. If you are sleeping more than 10 hrs a day, make routines with help from others that will help you break out of that pattern
- Don't make up excuses for why you can't do any of 1-7. Making up excuses to stay depressed is a big part of depression.
- If these aren't helping, try again, let someone know.
For Those Who Are Depressed
- When you are very depressed, it can help to just take things step by step. Here is a step by step guide to taking a shower and to doing just the essentials every day.
- Here is the most popular Ask Metafilter question about depression: What is the single best thing you have done to help control your depression?
- Shiny Happy People Speak Out: "Sometimes it feels like everyone on MeFi is depressed, including me. I'd like to hear from the happy ones. What's your secret?"
- When you were in the midst of deep depression, painful painful fear...were there words, stories that helped, even for just a moment? (A comment also speaks about "Imposter Syndrome," where sufferers are convinced that they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are actually frauds.)
- Give me your best Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) hacks!
- How can I save each day from failure? "I'm depressed. What can I do to keep one small negative experience from spiraling into a cascade of negative thoughts about myself?"
- How do you deal with intractable depression
- Does therapy actually work for depression?
- Please help me manage my obsessive thoughts
- How do I make it through the next five days without falling apart? Completely overwhelmed with depression, midterms, medication, and a funeral. (Best Answers from the thread: 1, 2)
- Will Work for Happiness
- How do you break out of a depressed/unmotivated/lonely funk? (While in college.)
- Have you found help from depression that did not include medication or talk therapy? If so, please share.
- Therapy for the Uninsured and Rural
Talking To Loved Ones About Your Depression
- My husband thinks my depression is a choice, how do I talk to him?
- How do you keep your relationship happy and good when you feel like crap?
- I'm depressed and need my friends. How do I let them know?
- How to tell boyfriend of my depression?
- I'm getting therapy. He refuses. Now what?
Helping Someone Who Is Suffering From Depression
- What can I do to help my severely depressed and overworked boyfriend?
- My husband is depressed and wants to kill himself. He refuses counseling. How can I stop him? How can I help a man who refuses help?
- How should I respond to my suicidal sibling's email?
- Help me understand how depression can affect or end a relationship.
- Please help me treat a depressed boyfriend the best that I can.
- I need help on how to deal with (i.e., break up with) my girlfriend with mental health issues.
- My girlfriend's OCD and anxiety causes her to get stuck in loops of obsessive thought that really mess with our relationship. How can I deal with this better, and can therapy help her?
- My sister has an alcohol and/or prescription and/or depression problem. What can I do to help her and in what order?
- I'm getting therapy. He refuses. Now what?
- Help me help my anxious, bipolar, stressed-out friend.
Books, Articles &c.
Books that members have found helpful and have recommended to others in AskMe
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Excerpt available at Google Books. (repeatedly highly recommended by Metafilter members.)
- How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention offers strategies for recognizing, targeting, and overcoming suicidal thoughts.
- An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.
- (Regardless of What You Were Taught to Believe) There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate and The Depression Book: Depression as an Opportunity for Spiritual Growth by American Zen teacher Cheri Huber. Her website contains an archive of her writings.
- How To Lift Depression ...Fast
- Art Kleiner's How Not To Commit Suicide, is one of the most recommended articles in AskMefi threads about suicide and depression.
- At Kuro5hin.org, Demystifying Depression - Part I and Part II "Defining depression, recognizing its warning signs and how to initiate the recovery process."
- "We all tend to think in extremes...and when traumatic events happen we think that way even more. Here are some common cognitive distortions. Take a look and see if any of them are getting in your way": (An excerpt from David D. Burns' work The Feeling Good Handbook)
- Suicide, the Forever Decision is a book by Paul Quinnett that is available to view for free online, or as a downloadable zip file. A French translation pdf is also available.
- MoodGym / MeFi Post (often recommended)
- If you are thinking about suicide... read this first