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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

From janey47 from this thread which discusses the topic:

  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. Maybe seek meds; different ones work for different people
  3. Exercise; this doesn't have to be as hard as you might think
  4. Be around people (a job, housemates, a coffee shop). Online doesn't count for this
  5. Shower, dress and get out of the house every day for at least a little while.
  6. Eat a sensible amount of healthy food.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. If these aren't helping, try again, let someone know.

For Those Who Are Depressed

Talking To Loved Ones About Your Depression

Helping Someone Who Is Suffering From Depression

Books, Articles &c.

Books that members have found helpful and have recommended to others in AskMe

Additional Resources