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scared and nervous, in need of advice


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I have an opportunity to take advantage of free counseling, which would include a licensed psychiatrist able to prescribe medication if necessary. Money has been my excuse for not going back to therapy for a long time, and suddenly this barrier has been removed. For the past few weeks all I do is sleep, and I've been neglecting my responsibilities. I guess I've been on a down swing... the severity of this down swing was much worse earlier in the week (worse in the worst possible way; I didn't want to wake up) and now I'm just exhausted.

Okay, I guess what I'm getting around to is... should I be running to this free therapy??? I feel like...well, okay let me say this; I don't know if I believe in signs anymore. I used to, but for the past few years my belief that things are happening in some perfect cosmos kind of way has greatly dissipated, but suddenly, in a time when I feel like I might need it the most, I've discovered that through the university I attend I can take advantage of free therapy...

Should I go??? I've been carrying around the number for two days and I still haven't gotten the nerve to make an appointment. I'm just.. scared. I feel like I know what anyone will say, which is of course I should go, but it is so much easier said than done. It is such an exhausting and potentially dangerous process trying to find the right medications. I'm ready to improve the quality of my life... but I'm scared as well. I'm scared of having to go through the same sort of thing I've gone through before with meds. And scared of starting this process all over again, because it means that I've "accepted" bipolar, instead of fighting it like crazy the way I've been doing.

and I'm embarrassed, slightly terrified that they'll tell me I'm in the wrong place. But should I take the step? and just see what happens???

I know what you'll say... but can you say it anyway??? I need some encouragement... because I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. It makes me wish someone would swoop in and take care of this for me. I don't know what else to say, except I'm really, really scared.. and feeling silly for being so terrified of one hour with a therapist.

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I think you should make the appointment and see what happens. From your post, I understand where your fear is coming from, and I am sure the therapist will as well when you share them. However, as you suggest in your post, you may be getting a little ahead of yourself.

You may walk into the wrong office, and be told that it is the next door. But, the important point to remember is to see the therapist as any other service provider. A therapist will provide you with their expertise tailored to your needs. If you feel that the therapist is not addressing all of your concerns properly, consider whatever advice and opinions s/he offers and start from there. You need not continue with the first therapist you speak with, nor do you need to act on the advice immediately. Meet with the therapist, share your concerns, explore your options to diagnose your issues, and ask what you should do to address your situation – prescriptions, cognitive behavioural therapy, or otherwise. Once you are equipped with that information, you can then decide for yourself what to do.

Drugs may be an option for you, but there may be other ways. When you meet with your therapist, ask what alternatives there are should you not wish to take drugs, and the consequences of each option offered. At the end of the meeting, if you feel the therapist you spoke with was not satisfactory, you can then decide whether you want to meet another for a second opinion.

You've got a lot of concerns surrounding your situation and therapy. The fear is pretty natural, but it is definitely stressing you out. Try to think of the therapist like a merchant and work out what you need to learn from him before you make a move: How much? Is it leather? How long does this last? When does it start working?

Perhaps some notes to guide your thoughts will help.

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I would have to say the seeing a good therapist was the best desicion I made. The first one did not work for me and it took some time to find the right one, but when you do, the results can be amazing. As for the meds, that all takes time also to configure the right ones for you if you choose to go that root. I found that actually keeping a notebook handy during the week has also helped me with my therapist as a lot of times I would forget things I wanted to discuss with her. On the plus side of it though, if it doesnt help you, you are not out anything and at least you can tell yourself you tried.

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