How Therapy Changed my Life

Therapy with the right therapist can make all the difference in the world for a person who is dealing with a mental illness. During the duration of my

During the duration of my diagnosis, I have spent more time not in therapy due to the fact that I could not afford it or had health insurance (I will write about the subject of health insurance and be able to afford medical costs during my diagnosis in another blog post.)

It was in 2014 when I finally got health insurance and it made it possible to receive help from a case manager/therapist with my local behavior health department. I have been a part of behavioral health since 2007 when I was diagnosed. I was skeptical at first when they told me that I would get a therapist. Since my first doctor left (the one that I had been working with for five years to get better) it had been one psychiatrist after another.

My case was so bad in 2007 that my local behavior health department had no choice but to take me in to see a psychiatrist. If you have dealt with the system you know that they will limit you at every corner when you don’t have insurance. The catch-22 of the situation is that I was classified as having a “pre-existing” condition so getting state help was practically impossible. It was only with Obamacare that this changed for me, and it is why I feel comfortable sharing my own story here on my blog. Without therapy, I would never have found the strength to share my experiences with the world.

It was in therapy that I first found the strength to share my past and started to understand what was going on in my life. Up to this point, I had shared my past with my psychiatrists at some level, but never in depth like I did in therapy. It was slow and steady over the years as I started to get comfortable. My therapist helped me get through some bad depression cycles and we have worked really hard in the last year in getting my social anxiety in a better place.

Having that steady presence in my life,  a professional who understands that I sometimes miss my appointments or when she remembers how I feel about school or how my life is going at that particular moment of the year. I can talk to my therapist about how I am a perfectionist and when things are not perfect (which always seems to be the case) it changes me. I get depressed. Then she tells me that I might be too hard on myself. She helped me realize the little good things in life that most people in my situation would love to be able to do. My ability to write and to get good grades. I found my compassion to help people like myself in therapy.

We work through my issues one session at a time. Three years ago I would never have believed it would be possible to share my life with anyone let alone a therapist, and yet I have been more open the last few years. It amazes me still that therapy was the difference that I needed to take my recovery to the next level. Since my last suicide attempt in 2010, I have been working on a single major goal (and also a bunch of equally important smaller goals) which is to work on coming to terms with my diagnosis and get better. Both of these have seen success.

This means keeping my depression at acceptable levels during the winter time. I have learned even this past week no matter how much I plan, there will still be days that things just don’t go right. The last two days were a perfect example. On Tuesday I did the bare minimum on my writing and school work and missed an appointment with my therapist. I was just too depressed and eventually, I laid in bed the rest of the day. Yesterday I got more done after an earlier start but by afternoon I had reached my limit and stopped writing.

In the past, I would have waited weeks to call back my therapist and reschedule but this time I called her that day and talk about my depression. I would have let my depression take over the rest of the week but I was able to adjust by sleeping in a bit today and then starting my day. I feel much better at where my depression is today. Yesterday I tried to force my day and it was less productive than I would have liked. I learned in therapy that my life is about constant adjustments in my behaviors.

I write this blog post because the importance of talking through issues that go through your life can change your perspective completely. It did for me. For some people group therapy really works for them because of its like-minded people. I am not in a place where I could share with others in group verbally versus writing my thoughts here. It just feels more comfortable/therapeutic to write and group therapy was never for me. But it might be for you.

If right now you are going through a tough depression cycle, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, or anything related to your mental health it might help you get through it to talk to someone. It might be someone you trust or a professional. Through so much of the last ten years of my diagnosis, I wasted so much time thinking there would be no one on this planet that could possibly understand what I was going through.

If I have learned anything since starting this blog is that people within the mental illness community are more compassionate then I ever gave them credit for, and I think that there is not a better group of people in the world. I am proud to be a part of the mental health community and the connections I make every day through my blog.

I will end this with a plea to get help if you need and never be afraid that no one will understand. Always keep fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Gerome Viavant</

40 Replies to “How Therapy Changed my Life”

  1. Nothing beats having a wonderful therapist that makes an impact on your mental health stability. I can also relate to the time when I didn’t have insurance and had to jump through hoops to obtain coverage. People who have never had to go through the circus act of obtaining the right coverage as well as heaving to deal with the “system” have no idea how it can spike our anxiety and depression. Excellent read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes such a major difference to have someone to talk to about mental illness issues. It worries me sometimes that this could be taken away if I lose my coverage because of my pre-existing condition. Thank you for sharing and re-blogging my work. It helps to get my ideas out there to the world!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I assure you that I most certainly understand the problems that you are enduring. Other’s need to be kept informed of the system that messes with us. It was my pleasure sharing your piece. It’s keeps others informed. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Always keep fighting! This was such a touching piece. I’ve felt the same way (that no one could understand) for so long, and reading this really encouraged me. I’m on a waiting list to see another psychiatrist as well as get into group therapy. Thank you so much for writing this, Its so brave of you and I’m sure it helps others a lot! Please keep writing, its lovely to read and very inspiring( no pressure though, take care of yourself first!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I am happy to hear that you are on your way to getting a psychiatrist and that group therapy helps. I know a lot of people that say it is great to connect with others. My social anxiety often keeps me from group activities but I am hoping in the coming year this something that I can successfully work on. I will keep writing. Its therapeutic for me.

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  3. Wonderful piece. I too believe in the power of therapy. I’m on a waitlist for a therapist, but do see a great psychiatrist for med management.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope it works out for you with being on the waiting list. That can be tough. Its good you have medication management, I know how important that is. Thank you for sharing and reading my blog post.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I never had a therapist when I was going through the really bad period of my depression- if I had, maybe things would’ve gone smoother than they had… I was scared to tell anyone of what was going on, so I just bottled it up inside. That was probably the worst thing I possibly could’ve done- in fact, it’s probably one of the worst things ANYONE going through depression could do. It’s important to open-up to someone, because we can’t do this on our own.
    Great post!!! Your blog is very inspiring. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can be one of the worst things. I have been guilty of it for most of diagnosis. It is never easy to open up, but the there is so much truth in what you said, it’s important to open up because it’s impossible to do it on your own.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve seen 3 counselors and one therapist in my life. 12 years ago I got cancer… I haven’t talked to anyone since, lol. Counter-intuitive, I know. I’m trying though… I don’t know if I can trust anyone any more or believe they even want to help. Your entry creates more thoughts I already have on the issue, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry your experience with therapists/counselors hasn’t been great. I have had that experience with my psychiatrists over the years. It’s tough because we are at our most vulnerable when we open up about our lives. I hope it all works out for and you can find someone to trust. Thank you for reading my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It took me years to find my present therapist and I aborted a few due to abandonment fears and not feeling the right ‘fit’. As I see it attachment wounds can only be healed through a positive nurturing attachment. We can attach to ourselves and thought process in problematic ways so getting them out there and being able to examine them is so important. I really feel for those struggling without good therapy as good therapy heals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you 100 percent. I feel for those that struggle without good therapy. It’s so key to my getting better over the last few years. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Therapy is so important! Talking things out with someone else that you can trust completely to not judge you. You are strong for what you’ve gone through!! I’ve never gone through therapy myself, but I did have a close friend who was studying to be one, and she was the sort of friend I really needed when I went through a few dark periods. Granted, she was no professional, but sometimes it’s not just therapy, it’s having someone to listen to you and help you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes that is all you need, a good friend to bend the ear. I am lucky enough to have someone in my life that I can talk to besides my therapist. I am lucky that she knows who I am and what I deal with, and she still wants to be a part of my life. People like that are amazing in book. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree. And that’s great you have both! That’s an amazing thing to have. Just having someone accept you for who you are 💜 and you’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I really enjoyed reading your post and connected to many parts of me. Therapy has also been a great help for me. Knowing that I can give my doctor a call anytime if I am not doing well has been very comforting to me. Coming out of his office, I always feel recharged and have a little more strength to fight my anxiety. Thanks for sharing and I totally recommend trying therapy for those who haven’t yet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. Therapy with the right therapist is always great. I like that you mentioned that when your not feeling well that your therapist comforts you. That is all we need sometimes is to be able to talk through what is bothering us.

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  9. It’s good, that you have a good therapist that can help you cope with the symptoms of your bipolar disorder, but, you can’t rely just on the talk therapy and/or the medications, you must also dig deeper, to get to the root of your bipolar, and work through ALl those issues, and then, you will be, cured from all the ups and downs of your emotions…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I wish I had been this eloquent about seven years ago when my best friend was refusing to go into therapy for her (very severe) depression. Instead, I think I just alienated her and it took an extra couple of years for her to seek help on her own terms.

    As for me, being in therapy has been incredibly important. It’s helped me process some pretty big things and come to terms with my diagnosis of depression and anxiety. Some therapists are, of course, better than others, but I’m so grateful to have had the chance to go through therapy in general. I’m glad your therapist is understanding. Thank you, thank you, thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you as always for sharing and reading my work. I am only here today sharing my story because I started therapy. I actually had a blog about a month or two before my first therapy appointment but it nothing like blog. It was mostly me talking about a subject in a technical text book kind of way. I couldn’t share my story like I do here. Therapy opened up my willingness to share my story and I am glad that I am in this place because feels really good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really happy that it helped so much, and that it enables you to write your wonderful blog! Going through therapy certainly helped me be more honest and open with my friends and family (although that’s something I still need to work more on).

        Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband suffered a TBI in 1968. He recovered, but not completely. He was able to work (not in his profession), and we did a lot of normal things (house, camping, clamming, etc.), but our social life and personal life were dramatically altered by his disability. I sought help several times, but encountered psychologists who did not understand brain injury. Without the ability to understand what was happening with my husband, they were useless (and counterproductive) in helping me.

    Four years ago, I finally found an excellent psychologist through a University Neuro-rehab Center. She “gets it.” She is the first to recognize much of what I describe as the fallout from brain injury and trying to be a wife/caregiver for someone who doesn’t understand his own disability. I credit her with keeping me alive – thriving on good days, surviving on the worst days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing a piece your life with me and my blog. I am glad you finally found someone that helped your husband deal with his disability.

      Like

  12. Hey James, thanks for checking out a recent post. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Also appreciate you deciding to follow what I write.

    Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

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