I have a family history of mental illness. I've been in therapy for four years without incident, but lately my anxiety and sadness seem out of control. What do I do now?
August 15, 2011 12:08 PM   Subscribe

I have a family history of mental illness. I've been in therapy for four years without incident, but lately my anxiety and sadness seem out of control. What do I do now?

I started therapy with an LCSW four years ago in the aftermath of my first (and to date only) serious break-up. At the time, though I had a family history of mental health issues (mom is borderline [undiagnosed] and her mom was bipolar), I did not enter therapy because I thought I had any diagnosable mental health problems. I did it because I had a thoroughly difficult childhood that had a lot of long-term effects on my adult behavior, had just been through a very tough break-up, and was still dealing with my mom's behavior. I had had "low points" as a teenager, but those never felt like more than typical teenage angst.

Fast forward to today. I'm still with the same therapist, but over the last few months, I've noticed some serious changes in my behavior that are starting to really upset and terrify me. I'm quicker to anger. I feel like a lot of the work that I've done on my self-confidence, which was nil when I started seeing her, is starting to crumble. My childhood, which I do talk about with her, has become more and more upsetting to me in the last few months - I recently spent the weekend with a friend's family and came back really depressed that I didn't have a "normal" mom and dad. I haven't been in a serious relationship since the ex that I started going to my therapist about, and I get into self-defeating cycles of thought about my loneliness that almost always end with what seems like a panic attack. For the first time in awhile, every one of my close friends is in a happy relationship, and I've been spending a lot of time around couples, which leads me to resent everyone, say things that are probably a bit too cutting, and make me want to cry all the time. I've always been anxious, but now my anxiety overwhelms me more quickly. I feel like my emotions tend to snowball a lot faster. For example, last night, I was lying in bed and remembered something about my ex, which led to me thinking that I'm going to die alone, which led to me crying to the point where I could barely breathe. I got up to close my blinds and go to bed and the blinds broke. It was kind of a straw that broke the camel's back - I simply could not deal with the simple problem of figuring out how to fix the stupid blinds, and I lost it even more. Then for the first time in.. well, ever, I started thinking about going to work tomorrow and thinking that I literally could not do it. I could not imagine myself getting out of bed and sitting at the computer and doing my job. I imagined staying in bed for days instead and cancelling everything I was supposed to be doing. I thought about turning off my phone for days on end. My brain just completely shut down.

And it scared the hell out of me. I have never, ever had those thoughts. Today, of course, I got up and took a shower and came to work and I feel okay. I've always dealt with anxiety and I've always been a cryer, but I've never had an "episode" escalate to that point, with the gasping for air and the never wanting to leave the bed. It seems kind of silly now, but it scares me to think it could happen again. And of course, given my family history, I am petrified that I am starting to exhibit any behaviors that were like my mom's.

I guess I'm looking for people who have experienced anything similar and what their next steps were. I want to be proactive about this. I'm beginning to think that after years of trying to deal with my anxiety or whatever else is going on with just therapy, medication might be useful. What do I do now? My therapist is great, but I don't know how to even tell her about this stuff. We mostly talk about annoyances that I have at work or with my mom, not anything as deep as this. I just know that I was and am petrified of being swallowed whole by any sort of mental illness.
posted by anotheraccount to Human Relations (27 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I think the things you've described are reasonably normal for someone in your position. Sure, they're sudden and unpleasant, but if you've spent time dealing with your family and personal issues you've surely come to various points that are more difficult than others. They, in turn, might trigger other feelings that might seem to spill out and stick around.

TALK TO YOUR THERAPIST. She can help, especially since (yay!) you seem to have a good relationship with her. She will not say you're "crazy" in any sense of the word; she's there to help you navigate your feelings and figure out how to manage them.

Yes, it might be time to check into the possibility of medication. Your LCSW therapist can help you figure out what route to take with that, whether it goes through a psychiatrist or your GP.

You also might benefit from some more targeted therapy such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) that works to help you understand, for example, the patterns that get you into obsessive spirals. If you can head some of those things off at the pass, you'll have a good start at not letting them take over your life. There are many CBT techniques you can look into on your own, whether you explore them with your therapist, use them while you're on medication or just read a book. AskMe favorite Feeling Good and its associated workbook are good starts.

For some more personal experience: I've had a very similar situation to you, though my family situation has leaned more toward depression. I've been on and off medication in cycles, but it looks like I'll be on it for a good long time now, and that's no big deal. When I'm on it things are at a nice, manageable level. When I'm not -- at least the most recent time -- I've found it much easier to fall into these same kinds of patterns that distort my thinking and make me question the people and situations around me. Being on medication, however, has helped me get a better gauge on those things and recognize the signs of feeling off-kilter.

I've had sudden episodes like you describe, and of course they suck. But the more you get to know your own tendencies, the more you can manage them and their effects.

About your family mental illness, though: What's the worst that could happen if you DO have some sort of weird condition that could theoretically swallow you whole? It sounds to me like you're just reacting to some tough times and experiences, but if you did have something more going on, wouldn't it be worse to let it go unchecked? Not knowing always feels so much worse than knowing, because the more you know, the more you can do (proactively or reactively).

Feel free to MeMail me if you like.

I think you'll be okay :)
posted by Madamina at 12:25 PM on August 15, 2011


I mean it. Get a practice going and stick with it, like every morning for 15 minutes and maybe a real class twice per week.

This was the only thing that truly helped me and get me back on track, calmed me down, made me whole again.

I'm bu no means a yoga freak, but I turn back to yoga every single time I get stuck, start feeling undone, and especially when I want to take my life into a new and complicated phase.

If you know me from the AskMe's then no need to tell you about my family hardships and things I have battled against and overcome. Just believe me when I tell you...

posted by jbenben at 12:27 PM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm beginning to think that after years of trying to deal with my anxiety or whatever else is going on with just therapy, medication might be useful.


We mostly talk about annoyances that I have at work or with my mom, not anything as deep as this.

Uh, also maybe a new therapist? Either way, I highly, highly recommend printing out this question and taking it to your next session and reading it to her.

Seriously, it's not, like all of a sudden you're totally crazy and doomed to be just like your mom. It's more like, you have some symptoms of diabetes, say, and until now you controlled it through diet and exercise, but now your doctor wants you to try monitoring your blood sugar more closely and keeping some injectable insulin on hand. If you want to extend the metaphor to beyond it's usefulness, you can think of your mom having diabetes and high cholesterol and arthritis in her knees- all of which she doesn't treat or manage. It's similar, but it's not a life sentence, and your health is, to a large degree, in your control.

Don't worry too much. It's okay, you're a good person.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:27 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

The decision to talk about these things with your therapist is entirely yours. You have that power! So, next time you see her, just blurt out everything you posted here. She's not going to back off in horror. This is her job. Give her a chance to help you on this, and let that be that, for now. Don't worry about the next step. Don't try to imagine her reaction. Try not to think about "being swallowed whole" or a million what-ifs. I know that's sort of the nature of the beast because I struggle with it, too, but just try to take this one step at a time. Your first step is telling your therapist about it.

You can also (and I do mean also and not instead of) schedule a visit with a psychiatrist to discuss the possibility of medication if that's not your therapist's area. It may be helpful to you! But again, just schedule the appointment. Once you've done that, you're already off to a good start.
posted by katillathehun at 12:28 PM on August 15, 2011

First of all, I think you need to separate the issues here: family history and your own personal trials. You are depressed, which makes the issues confusing and mushy and overwhelming and circular.

Let me tell you this: You are not your parents' diagnoses.

Another thing: You are not limited by your own potential diagnosis.

One more thing: Diagnoses are tools to get better, not something to be afraid of.

Once you take these three factors out of the equation, all you have is what looks like some anxiety and depression (IANAT). That's cool, most people have at least an episode of depression and/or anxiety in their lifetime. Again, do not let your mushy brain turn this into bipolar disorder, borderline personality, or any other "scary" thing. You are not a therapist either, remember?

Now, as far as where you are now. You are in therapy. Hooray! You are proactively doing something about this. You say you don't know how to talk about this in session, but that is exactly what you should tell your therapist. She has the vocabulary that you need to express yourself, and will help you learn it.

Walk in, say this:

"I am going through some stuff but I literally don't know how to talk about it. I had a really bad day the other day. Let me tell you about that day."

For example, as of a few years ago, when I was down I only felt "sad." Just sad. Not angry, not frustrated, not afraid. Just sad. My therapist made me look harder at the nuances of how I felt. Now I can express exactly how I feel.

You're doing great. Keep going. Ask your therapist for what you need. Tell them what you're going through.
posted by functionequalsform at 12:32 PM on August 15, 2011 [6 favorites]

Just wanted to say, as to this:

I've always dealt with anxiety and I've always been a cryer, but I've never had an "episode" escalate to that point, with the gasping for air and the never wanting to leave the bed.

You may not have, but I have, many times, and I'll tell you this: I have a very nice life that is rolling along just fine. So just because this happens, it doesn't necessarily spell doom for your life. Just because you have an anxiety attack to the point where you feel like you can't deal with anyone or anyone, that does not mean, when it comes down to it, that it's actually true that you can't deal with anything or anyone.

When I'm in the middle of a really anxious episode, I have learned that that's the wrong time for me to start thinking about everything that I have to do, that I don't want to do, that overwhelms me, etc. Just really try to allow yourself to forget about all the for the moment and think about it another time. It's the same for me when I'm super tired at bedtime. That's the wrong time for me to think about everything I have to do in the morning and how overwhelming it is. I just make a deal with myself not to think about any of it till I've had rest, and it all seems SO MUCH less overwhelming in the morning.
posted by Ashley801 at 12:32 PM on August 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Nthing that this is normal, is not a sign you are bipolar or suffering from any of the "scary" mental health diagnosis, and that if you want it to get better, you need to talk to your therapist. The things you're talking about are what the hard work of therapy is about. It's genuinely what she's there for, and she can help you to figure out what's going on - maybe depression? - and refer you for meds if you are both thinking that might be helpful.

If you don't know how to talk to her, may I suggest: "I've been having a hard time lately and I'm not coping very well" to get the lid off.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:35 PM on August 15, 2011

My therapist is great, but I don't know how to even tell her about this stuff. We mostly talk about annoyances that I have at work or with my mom, not anything as deep as this.

This absolutely doesn't mean that you can't walk into your next appointment and say "I've been feeling things and behaving in ways that are kind of scaring me, and I need to talk about them."

I'd say start there: your current therapist at least has a context for you, and knows what seems to be your baseline behavior, and so would probably be better (at least initially) at teasing out what the issues/causes are likely to be.

When I have had years-long relationships with therapists, we have often gone through periods where there's nothing super-urgent to talk about, so the sessions become more about "help me figure out this particular situation" rather than "help me figure out this longstanding issue that is beginning to fuck me up." It's normal and okay and doesn't mean your therapist is bad, or doesn't want to hear what's really troubling you. She (or he) does! Really!
posted by rtha at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have been in a similar situation in the past. The next step is what everyone else is saying: communication with your therapist. She/he needs to know what you are actually going through, and your fears. I suggest printing out this question and bringing it to your next session, it can be as simple as that.

Medication helped me. Your therapist can help you decide if you want to try it. Good luck.
posted by Specklet at 12:38 PM on August 15, 2011

I agree with what Ashley801 says and also with the idea of sharing what you wrote here with your therapist. If your relationship with your therapist supports it, I'd even just email it to her with a note that says "I'd like to talk about this when we meet next Wednesday" or whatever. That way I can't chicken out when I get there or waste 15 minutes beating around the bush.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:48 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only things that are open to changing with therapy are those things that you talk about to your therapist. If you want these experiences to change, you really do have to bring it up on a non-superficial level. It will feel like you are taking a social "risk", and it's totally normal to be nervous about moving on to the "deeper" topics with your therapist (just like it would be in the context of any other relationship). However, you should remember that your therapist talks to people on this level all the time, and that he or she will definitely have heard worse than what you have described in your post. You may even feel some relief just having described your feelings outloud and knowing that your therapist has your back even as you move the conversation to a more vulnerable place for you. Congratulations on being so proactive! You are doing a really great job managing this!!
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 12:53 PM on August 15, 2011

It sounds like you are starving for some nurturing, positive attention, like the sort a child would get from a good parent. If only we could pick that up at the grocery store. I get like this sometimes. I see other people being cared for and I wonder when I'm going to get my turn.

This book is the best replacement I've found. I'm not a poetry person and I'm not religious, but I read this book over and over when I'm struggling, because it feeds me something I am missing. Kahlil Gibran is also good.
posted by griselda at 12:56 PM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

You should be really proud of yourself. It takes a lot of self awareness to recognize that you're having a hard time and need help and I think that its exactly the awareness that your struggling that means you aren't being swallowed up by some morass of crazy that will overcome you.

Depression and anxiety can be overcome and you've made a really great first step by realizing that you need some help. I know how hard this can be and if you ever need to talk feel free to memail me.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 1:03 PM on August 15, 2011


You actually seem to be on the right track for someone with your brand of upbringing. I know what you are experiencing right now sucks but it is an important step in the process of growing up you can not skip.

Sometimes old traumas "bubble up" and cause us to freak out. This is good! It's a sign you are likely ready to heal. You're supposed to remember odd things about past relationships at weird moments that remind you of other things, that make you feel a certain way, and then you cry it out. I did a lot of that back in the day. It's a sign you are ready to confront some things from your past more honestly (and probably more deeply) so you can learn from it all and truly move on emotionally.

You're right. You didn't have a normal healthy family growing up. You're in therapy. That's good.

I propose getting more honest with yourself in therapy and when you're alone (journaling? meditation? yoga? anonymous blogging??) before you jump on the medication train. I'm not sure there is a pill that can do the work of cultivating emotional maturity through the processing of past experiences and trauma. I think you have some work to do. You'll be happy when you're through to the other side. You really will.

I'm guessing there are a heap of life skills you are missing thanks to your upbringing - like how to take good gentle care of yourself, how to move on in a positive fashion from mistakes, how to navigate toxic people and environments without getting overwhelmed by the dramaz, etc., etc. Not having these skills makes life so much more difficult.

You're a good person. You want to be even better. Continue therapy in a more honest and direct way that includes talking about the Tough Stuff. Set about some worthwhile pursuit(s) you can do solo to help you face this stuff on your own - like yoga, meditation, whatever. And finally, discuss developing Life Skills with your therapist and pursue same on your own.

Good luck. I know you can do this!
posted by jbenben at 1:14 PM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Everybody else has pretty much nailed down the advice I was going to give better than I would have, but one thing stuck out to me from your post:

"My brain just completely shut down. And it scared the hell out of me. I have never, ever had those thoughts. Today, of course, I got up and took a shower and came to work and I feel okay."

Actually, this "of course" isn't an "of course" for a lot of people who feel that way. So

(1) Good for you. I've had days when I didn't get my ass out of bed when I wasn't feeling nearly as bad as you did last night.
(2) Just because you have that "of course" doesn't mean that everything you felt last night isn't something to talk about with your therapist. Just because you have coping mechanisms that work (for now) doesn't mean you should have to feel that way at all.

I used to ignore the bad feelings because I'd feel better before I went to bed/the next day/the next week. But I wish I had done something about them before they became something I couldn't deal with on my own.

Good luck.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:32 PM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Opening up in therapy is extremely scary and challenging. It's supposed to be a safe relationship, though, a place where you can say anything. You are paying for it and it is your time. If this is what's bothering you, talk about it. Bring notes if you have to, if you can't get the words out. But talk about it and use the therapy to your advantage. You'll feel better just making that decision.

If you're afraid she'll think you're crazy, she won't. You're not. I have felt the way you've felt and other people have, too. If you're afraid she'll judge you, that's a very reasonable fear, but tell yourself it isn't about her. Hopefully she knows that, too. If you're afraid she'll tell people (my fear), I just think of what would happen if she revealed me to the entire town, and then I realize it wouldn't be the end of me.
posted by amodelcitizen at 1:40 PM on August 15, 2011

When you meet with your therapist, it might be useful to explicitly state what's going on: "I feel like we mostly talk about annoyances that I have at work or with my mom, but over the last few months, I've noticed some serious changes in my behavior that are starting to really upset and terrify me. I feel uncomfortable and I'm not sure how to bring this up, but it's what's going on and it's what's causing me difficulty now, a lot more than the other stuff we talk about."

Best wishes.
posted by Lexica at 1:41 PM on August 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

I'll echo what some other people are saying about growing up, having a not-normal family, etc. Today, for example, I feel pretty great. I'm getting married in a month but things are copacetic, yo, and I've even said to my therapist, "Hey, things are fine and we don't really have much to talk about."

But I'm also at a complete dead end with my mother, who is C R A Z Y and who, despite giant steps toward better things, has yet again shown that she doesn't understand normal human compassion. I just don't know how to proceed.

Those two things can exist. You can be a mostly-integrated person and still have some areas of your life in which things aren't okay. Sometimes you just get to a point where you think, "I've done all I can in this area, or with this method." Maybe you need a break, or maybe you need to try something new. Or maybe you need to make the decision to let things go on your end and either ignore the issue or let someone else do the heavy lifting for a change.

Give yourself credit for getting this far. It's like when you're doing a puzzle and you've filled in all of the obvious answers. You have to step back and reassess what you've got, maybe do some guessing or backtrack over the things you thought would fit but didn't after all. By no means does that stop you from eventually getting to where you need to be.
posted by Madamina at 1:52 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

An important but often-neglected component of anxiety and depression is nutrition.

Try cutting out seed/grain/vegetable oils, and increasing your intake of omega-3 fats from fish or fish oil. This has been shown to help anxiety and clinical depression by reducing systemic inflammation. High amounts of sugar can also worsen this. You might also try increasing healthy fat intake in general, such as having more butter or fatty meats. Best wishes to you.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 2:16 PM on August 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

Like a lot of people here, I have had sort of similar experiences:

I've been so down I felt like there was no way i could ever face work again. Then in a day or two I was fine again. When I to therapy I was confused about what to tell her, because once the incident was over, it didn't seem like a big deal in the retelling- but it was certainly a big deal at the time!

One thing I have been working on lately with her is acceptance. At first it seemed very counter-intuitive to me because I didn't want to "accept" it, I wanted to get better! But, she explained to me that I'm going to have anxiety about work because a)I have a family history of anxiety and b) my job kind of sucks sometimes. So I could either accept that it would happen sometimes, or we could talk about medication.

Once I got past the initial hump of "Oh no I'm never going to be 'fixed'", things got a lot easier. I accepted that i will never be fixed, and that's OK. Sometimes, like today, I have a bad morning. I told myself, "You know what, you're having a bad morning. It's not a huge deal; you feel like shit now but it'll probably be over by 10:30am." And it was. I'm not saying it's easy, it's not easy at all. And the anxiety still sucked while it was happening. But if you can accept that it happens, and that sooner or later it goes away, you rob it of some of its power.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:06 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

when I read your post, some of it reminded me of me before I went on Wellbutrin. I do advise seeing a psychiatrist and trying some medication. Its scary at first but it truly has made a difference. Anti-anxiety medication every once in a while helps to - when you are really feeling out of control. Other ways i've dealt with feeling like this is yoga (hot yoga is particularily transformative), running/exercise, meditation, dancing (even if its by yourself home alone!) or doing anything to get your heart rate up. I feel for you - but once you get your coping strategies in place, you'll hopefully feel more in control.
posted by BlueMartini7 at 3:23 PM on August 15, 2011

I can see why you're upset and nervous about this, but what you're going through seems like manageable depression/anxiety to me - nothing that suggests you're in danger of repeating your family history. Medication might help, I can't really speak to that, but definitely talk to your therapist about it. You can do this by going in and making sure that the first words you say are, "so I want to talk about something I've been going through recently." Start yourself talking about it before you can get sidetracked. Once the words have started coming out of your mouth, they'll probably keep coming out, and you'll be on your way.
posted by Ragged Richard at 4:41 PM on August 15, 2011

Everything you said sounded 100% familiar to me. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety on and off for the last five years, and recently a lot of stuff from my upbringing has been coming up out of the blue, making me regret things I never even thought about before, and grieving for how things could have been. But as much as I would like to, I cannot change the past, and I need to focus on moving forward. Being depressed and crying about things is ok, but then I need to consider ways to move on, to make myself better and try and do things better in the future. One cannot fixate on negative crap because it becomes a vicious feedback cycle that makes anger, irritation, and anxiety much much worse.

I do recommend talking to your LCSW or doctor about meds. I have been on different ones over the years, and while they all come with a selection of different side effects, they did help kick me out of bad mental fixation loops and get better at thinking more proactively and positively about my pain. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy picks up from here super well.

I also am seconding Earl the Polliwog's comment about proper diet. A few months ago I switched my diet to a paleo diet, which is heavy on fats and proteins, high in omega-3's, and very low on sugars, starches, and other carbs. And I have to say that it has been like night and day. I no longer have migraines. Anxiety attacks are now rare. I get irritated and sad about things sometimes, of course, but I am able to pull myself out of it and move on like I havent been able to do in years. Working with my psych, I have gone 100% off of antidepressant medications simply because of this change in my diet. My psych agreed that inflammation has high causal links to depression and anxiety and is looking more into anti-inflammatory diets as well.

There are many sources out there that talk about this phenomenon. I am merely recommending one source, a blog that talks a lot about the paleo diet lifestyle, which both discusses the science behind it and practical applications of it. This article is a good place to start for information on how diet can affect depression.
posted by CTORourke at 4:50 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I read your second paragraph twenty times or more, because i could have written it in the last few weeks even. I've been there. Hell on wheels isn't it? I know what it's like to feel that terror, feeling like you're going to be alone forever. Yes, it's depression and anxiety to feel these extreme feelings about it, yes, it's not beyond the realm of "normal" for depression and anxiety, but it's also understandable to get to that level of panic about being single when everyone in your life is in happy relationships. It feels like everyone's on this conveyor belt to happiness and togetherness and family (if that's your thing) and you're...standing there. Alone. It's tough. It's understandable to find it very difficult.

I had a time period a few years ago when I was having trouble saying things beyond the "mundane" to my therapist, and he knew I was really depressed, but it was just pulling teeth to get me to talk. One night I wrote him a 15-item note about what was going on, and handed it to him at the session. He read from it and we talked about each point. It helped a lot. I kept doing it. It was a calming ritual to put the list together, and to put the whirling in my mind into some kind of finite order on yellow lined legal paper, on which so many other people's tasks, plans, problems and dreams have been recorded. Also my therapist was so HAPPY to get the list, because he was so happy to finally be able to help me. It was so touching to see someone really want to help you in that way.

You might want to try something like this, since you said you haven't discussed deeper things at each session lately.

Also, discuss this with your therapist for sure, but it might help to go on some online dates if all your friends are in couples. Even if it's not a connection, it's helpful to see that not everyone is in omgromanticbliss and they still get along in life. I don't mean that to sound patronizing at all, it just really does feel that way sometimes when you're single.

Good luck, best of luck discussing this with your therapist.
posted by sweetkid at 6:57 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Start by telling your therapist. There is no trick to telling her this. She is not a pal you have to ease into the fact there is stuff going on you haven't been forthright about. She is a professional and her job is to help you sort out the answer to the "what do I do now" question. You don't need to explain why you haven't discussed these feelings before or put it into context for her. Just lay it out, like you did here.

Honestly, print out your question and read it to her verbatim if you really have trouble with the idea of sharing it, your presentation here is perfectly clear and I can't imagine it not starting a serious conversation.

Your therapist can help you investigate the option of medication. When I decided to try medication for depression my therapist helped me find a psychiatrist for this purpose, which I still feel is the best way to go about seeking medication for mental health if you can manage the time and expense of a second practitioner (I only saw the psychiatrist a couple times a year as long as I was on the medication). There might be other forms of therapy or techniques that would help you more than just talking, but you can't get good advice about how to address problems you aren't discussing. Your therapist can't help you unless you talk to her about what's really going on. If she can't help you after you talk to her about what's really going on then you seek a new therapist.
posted by nanojath at 10:10 PM on August 15, 2011

Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses. This place is awesome.

I went to my therapist yesterday and started to talk about this halfway through the session. As someone suggested, I prefaced it with "I know we usually talk about daily annoyances and things like that when we see each other, but..." It was a good way to get the ball rolling. It led to a lot of processing about what makes me anxious (being hypercritical of myself) and perhaps more importantly, my relationship with my mom, which basically has me on pins and needles every second of every day. She did talk about my "depression and anxiety," but obviously we haven't gotten any further than that. I think a lot of what's been going on is really due to the fact that my relationship with my mom has become completely unmanageable from a stress standpoint.

Anyway, I've been going to her biweekly for a few years now but she wants me to come in next week, which I am going to do.

Thank you all for your help.
posted by anotheraccount at 1:51 PM on August 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

That is great! Thank you for updating.
posted by sweetkid at 3:28 PM on August 19, 2011

« Older Help! My condo roof is leaking!   |   Birding in/around Rio Branco Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.