how can I unblock myself?
July 23, 2012 6:54 AM   Subscribe

I know I need psychiatric therapy, but why can't I bring myself to get it? How do I motivate myself to heal myself?

I definitely have some form of depression, anxiety, addiction, and body dysmorphia.

Often I feel lazy at work and in my relationship, morally bankrupt, moody, detached, forgetful, confused, blocked, sometimes paranoid. I provoke dangerous situations and test my limits often.

I know all this adds up to therapy, possibly medication.

I have great health insurance right now.

Every time I try to make an appointment I get overwhelmed, confused by all the choices, scared I'm making a wrong choice of therapist. Sometimes I make an appointment and then cancel the same day.

How do I find the correct type of therapist?
How do I follow through and get my ass on the couch?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe you are scared of how much your life might change if you start addressing your issues. If you think that's at all possible, you might want to try sitting down and facing that thought head-on. Make a list, if you are that sort of person, of what could happen - best case and worst case scenarios - if you start trying to change the negative patterns in your life. Are you scared you might lose your relationship? Have to change your job? Change your circle of friends? Are you maybe scared to find out exactly what sort of person you are, because you fear you might be unfixable? As long as you don't get psychological help, you can tell yourself that you are just that one step away from being okay. If you do start getting help, and things don't get better, what does that mean?

I'm wondering if these are the sorts of thoughts you are having, because I have had them myself.

Facing them head on might give you the clarity to dismiss them, realise they are unlikely, or maybe to realise that you are brave enough to go ahead anyway and see what happens.
posted by lollusc at 7:22 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Many therapists offer a free initial session. You could start there and determine if you are comfortable with the therapist before you set an appointment that you pay for.

As a therapist, I'd recommend going to meet several. Once you find someone you like, it may be easier to make the appointment for therapy.

If you have further, more personal questions, feel free to message me privately.
posted by Jandasmo at 7:22 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do you have a local friend or two who might be able to recommend someone? Every therapist i've been do has been a recommendation from a friend or family member.
posted by softlord at 7:59 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd get a friend like to me take care of it for you and to go with you for the first appointment. I'm a kick-ass and take names kind of person. Is there someone in your life who can do this for you?

Also, your first stop should be a GP for a medical evaluation, blood work, etc. They can also discuss options for medication and it's a lot easier than dealing with choosing a therapist.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:54 AM on July 23, 2012

Instead of calling and saying you'd like to start seeing a certain therapist, try framing it like an interview. You're hiring yourself a therapist, and you are calling those who have met your initial standards to see if they fit the job. Think of yourself as an employer, not a patient. The former is empowering, while the latter can be downright frightening.

New York state has a hotline you can call where they will recommend a few therapists to you according to your own desires. I'm sure other states have their own as well. The one here is on 24/7, and the people are extremely helpful (if you get someone who isn't helpful or whom you feel isn't listening to you, ask to be transferred to another operator).
posted by Urban Winter at 9:33 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just to state the obvious, feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated are symptoms of the very conditions you are trying to get treated. They are not character flaws.

You've gotten as far as making an appointment, so obviously you can do that again. All you have to do next time is not cancel! You just need to get yourself to spend 5-10 minutes setting up one more appointment.

I'm sure if you emailed a mod to add your location, MeFites could recommend local therapists.
posted by callmejay at 9:41 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Every time I try to make an appointment I get overwhelmed, confused by all the choices, scared I'm making a wrong choice of therapist. Sometimes I make an appointment and then cancel the same day.

How do I find the correct type of therapist?
How do I follow through and get my ass on the couch?

Yeah, this is bullshit your brain tells you to keep you from changing into the person you think you can be, and you can't "think yourself out of it," or accumulate enough reasons why it will be perfectly successful. Your brain has constructed that bullshit over your entire life so far. Yes, everybody's different, but...

For me it was just finally having someone to talk to about whatever, before I even found an agenda or goal. I started with someone chosen pretty much at random when I plugged my zip code into the Psychology Today list.

You kind of have to submit to the process and just go through with it. Start with "once." I mean, think about it: you're denying yourself something that you know you need. Which "you" do you think it's best to listen to, the one who doesn't want to go, or the one that knows you need it? BTW, it took me years to get to that point.

Perhaps as a little bit of perspective: apparently you're capable of holding a job, are you going to wait until you can't? Because that happens a lot.
posted by rhizome at 11:42 AM on July 23, 2012

If you choose the "wrong" therapist — someone you can't get along with; someone whose style doesn't work for you — what you do is, you stop seeing them and find someone else.

This isn't marriage. It's more like a first date. In fact, it's like some sort of bizarrely awesome first date, where they're not allowed to reject you, but you can still say 'no thanks' to them.

That said, it sounds like this isn't about rational fear of making the wrong choice. It sounds like you're avoiding taking the first step. Do you have a friend or relative you'd trust enough to talk to about this stuff? Someone you could tell "You know, I want to start therapy, but I'm having a really hard time making myself do it" and get some support from them? I know I find it easier to take a big step after I've told someone about the idea. Just talking about it, and having the other person take it seriously, makes it seem more real and more plausible.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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