Can stress make you reconsider relationships?
September 9, 2015 9:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm pretty stressed out (and maybe depressed?) and it's making me annoyed all the time and unfortunately, surfacing niggling feelings that is making me reconsider my relationship. Now I feel even more stressed and just plain guilty and mean. How do you think clearly through stress/depression/anxiety/etc. about this kind of issue and differentiate the stress-thinking from everything else?

Hello, you may know me from such posts like "marrying your first love" and "how to deal with making friends in grad school" or even "are you there god? it's me, anxious ball of stress" (I have gotten lots and lots of thoughtful, kind answers in response, so thank you.)

That might give some background, but for those who don't care to look those up, basically I've been in a new city for a year, in a grad program, with a lovely boyfriend who has moved up with me for this new chapter of life. I'm 23F and he's 25M, and we have been discussing marriage (or not marriage).

If you had asked me how I was feeling about this relationship a year ago, I would've had nothing but mostly positive things to say. Heck, if you asked me about anything a year ago, I think I would have been positive about most things--I felt a lot more upbeat and positive pre-grad school. The adult transition to trying to make friends in a new city far away from all my old friends and family--while dealing with the pressure of competition and suppressing the need to be liked--has been difficult for me. I feel like a failure for not starting out adult life with better footing and with such resilience and social success that my friends have back home! I'm the only one of my friend group that moved so far away from home. I miss my family and friends, and I miss how I used to feel. On top of that, the thesis and job hunt is ever-looming, and literally I want to rip out my curls.

I've just been so annoyed at everything (ESPECIALLY myself), that I don't want to spend time with anyone I know up here--including my boyfriend. I can't recall a time that I've been so constantly annoyed and irritated besides the weeks of 8th grade where I had to have my braces tightened. (At least I knew then what exactly was irritating me...) I just want to stay in my room and hide.

When my boyfriend does convince me to leave my room, I become annoyed at every little thing and I ask myself "Is this what I want? Am I happy? Why I am being such a dumb, irritated brat?" But to be fair, I have the same feeling hanging around friends or the people in my program.

I don't know how to convey all this to my boyfriend or really anyone I know and love. I feel ashamed, guilty, and even more stressed. I'm afraid I'll come off as an irritated nincompoop that just needs to get over it. (According to a few family members, this is exactly what I need to do, but it's harder to do than I thought.) My boyfriend does not deserve this attitude or knowledge that I've had feelings of breaking up (but can't even pinpoint why I do). He moved all the way up here for me too (though, he also did it for a change of scenery he says)--look at how terrible I am. Also, I feel terrible because I feel like I'm failing the trope of "If the person is the ONE (whatever, the person you can see yourself marrying) you can fight through anything because you know it's worth it!" (Maybe I'm just really good at failing.)

Sometimes I have a fantasy that I'll be able to set him up with some wonderful person, someone much more positive and upbeat and not as stressed and irritated all the time, and then I'll fade away. (But then this makes me sad, ugh.)

So, how do I think clearly through this? And differentiate my negative, weird thoughts from what I need to be considering? Should I discuss this with my boyfriend, and if so, what in the world do I say? I also know someone is going to throw out therapy, which I'm trying to set up, but I also don't know how to bring up or talk about the topic there. Sigh.

Thank you in advance.
posted by buttonedup to Human Relations (30 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds more like depression (which can come out as irritablitlity) than it does like any particular problem with the boyfriend so that's how I would approach it. For now, I would assume that once you feel better about life, you will also feel better about your boyfriend. Obviously, he has a choice about whether he wants to stay with you through this bumpy patch, but that is his choice, you shouldn't be trying to make on his behalf. In the meantime, do what you can to be kind and considerate to him, knowing that it won't be great because you are just not in a great place. if you need to talk about it with him, treat like a symptom of your mental state (kind of like you would if you got bad PMS and became really irritable every time it was "that time of month")

Also, depending on how you feel medication, consider talking to your doctor or therapist about trying some medication. It could help a lot, much faster than talk therapy, and help you function better while you work on developing some better coping skills.
posted by metahawk at 9:15 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

I have one question. Where is the therapist in this scenario? I know, I know, AskMe runs to therapy like kids to an ice cream truck. But you're in a place that the field of therapy was designed to help with. WHen you're saying things like:

"Is this what I want? Am I happy?"

"how do I think clearly through this? And differentiate my negative, weird thoughts from what I need to be considering?"'re asking the exact questions therapy is designed to answer. And the reason you need a therapist - a trained professional who understands how to help people figure out what they want and need and untangle the competing claims of their families, spouses, jobs, schools, and everything else from what's healthiest for that person - is that we can't answer this question for you (just like we couldn't answer the marriage question), and your SO can't answer it, and your parents can't answer it, and your school can't answer it, and you can't even answer it without some good, personal, customized support. And that's a totally normal place to be. That's why therapy exists.

also know someone is going to throw out therapy, which I'm trying to set up...


but I also don't know how to bring up or talk about the topic there.

Just print out your AskMe question and bring it with you. At some point during your intake process - probably, a debriefing interview that will happen when you actually set up an appointment - someone will ask, "so what brings you to therapy? What kind of problem are you looking for help with?" And all you need to do is be able to explain what's troubling you. You can say "I'm confused." You can say "I'm overwhelmed." You can say "Here's my story in a nutshell, I moved here for school while trying to work out this LTR and it's all so much to handle," you can describe the list of things you're dealing with: school, career questions, self-doubt, partner's needs, family expectations, self expectations, exhaustion...whatever it is. You don't need to get your act together too much for this first discussion. You can totally walk in and say "I've asked a lot of people for help and I've made a lot of forward progress and I've tried to figure this all out on my own, but I'm still feeling nervous/worried/exhausted/trapped/confused/concerned/afraid/tired/mad/angry..." [pick your word.] And if it's too hard to say, you can say "I have a hard time saying it out loud. Here's a printout of the question I asked on the internet." All of this is okay and totally what therapy places see every day, all day.

PLEASE just get an appointment set up. You are clearly a strong and ambitious person who values her own sense of balance and is capable of solving the problems in her life. it's that exact problem-solving ability that gets brought out in therapy. People like you go to therapy and use it actively as a problem-solving tool to deal with the complex issues that don't easily resolve themselves without a disinterested, calm, objective other person to help you prioritize and sort. Please don't waste any more time. I'm not sure what "trying" to set up an appointment means, but if it means you're using the university service and getting a runaround or getting put on a waitlist, then just move outward and explore resources in the wider community. There are private and public sector versions of people you can talk to, for all price ranges. Call around. If you aren't up to calling, ask a friend to help. If there's no friend, ask here. PM me if you want me to make some calls.

AskMe is the source a lot of wisdom, but ultimately it really can't help at a practical level. You need someone who knows you and is with you and can talk to you to sit down and help you sort through the choices you face, to figure out what is truly right for you.
posted by Miko at 9:26 PM on September 9, 2015 [20 favorites]

In my experience, stress can really throw a negative pall on things, and I would advise against any big decisions while in its throes.

I do think therapy will help you address the bigger picture of why you're stressed and how you cope with it.
posted by delight at 9:31 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

I also don't know how to bring up or talk about the topic there.

"I'm questioning pretty much everything about all my relationships and particularly my primary relationship, and I need some tools for properly examining those questions."

It's not a cocktail party, you're allowed to show up to every session with goals and state them out loud.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:35 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Also, let me just say, grad school is a nightmare, for just about everyone, and tends to exacerbate these sorts of problems. There's nothing weird about you; you're not an outlier. Lots of people have these problems while in grad school and the intensity of the project, deadlines, schedule, implicit judgment etc. makes it feel more intense. So you won't be the only one ever to say "geez, I am stressed. I need some help figuring out how to simplify these questions and figure out what to prioritize."
posted by Miko at 9:40 PM on September 9, 2015 [5 favorites]

I think it's unbelievably easy to say. "Sweetheart, I'm really stressed out by my life right now. You're a darling and I'm always snapping at you and I hate that I do it. Please understand that it's not you and that I need a lot of alone time right now to cognitively get through this. In the future, it would be really helpful if you could x, y, and z. I appreciate the sacrifice and sacrifices you've made to be with me. When grad school is over, it'll be better--I promise!"

And then, instead of carpeting the world, try to put on a pair of slippers. If eating with him drives you nuts, don't eat with him. If watching television with him drives you nuts, don't watch television with him.

And, if he can't handle it and wants to leave, respect that and allow him to do so.
posted by Piedmont_Americana at 9:43 PM on September 9, 2015 [6 favorites]

Look at your diet. Are you eating what you used to eat? Are you getting enough water? I would say try Calcium with magnesium and Vitamin D, and B vitamin complex. Did you move from a sunny climate to mostly indoors? What else did you change as a part of the move? One thing you can do about the stress response is to break it. When it starts, instead start consciously breathing, give yourself enough Oxygen like a gift, and a calm taking charge of internal processes, just enough breaths to sell yourself on your own strength. Grad school is difficult and prepares you for exactly the same stuff, professionally with greater performance expectations. What you do now with regard to your relationship with self is part of the learning curve, an adjustment, not an illness. Best to you!
posted by Oyéah at 9:54 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

YES to therapy. Due to health issues I became a total nightmare. I lashed out at my husband because I just hurt. all. the. time. So yes to irritability with depression, yes to therapy, and YES to actually considering if the relationship is right for you. Granted, I think you need to figure out YOU before you figure out the relationship bit - I wouldn't jump to anything.

A therapist may have an intake form or questionnaire plus asking you why you're there. Here's what I'd say (tweak to obviously be more accurate since I don't know what you're feeling as I am not you.)

"I've been under a tremendous amount of stress lately. The stress has triggered my anxiety and depression. The mood issues have caused me to become irritable. The stress and mood shifts have also had me questioning a lot about my life including my relationship and I'm trying to find clarity through this situation."

Just inhale and get those words out. They'll listen. They won't judge (other than trying to figure out how to help.)

How do you think clearly through stress/depression/anxiety/etc. about this kind of issue and differentiate the stress-thinking from everything else?

Here's the thing about LIFE: Nearly all the time there is some form of stress. Welcome to adulthood. (There's way less pillow forts here. Lame.) Now, it could be big scary things like 12 papers due, or it could be that you have a cold and a deadline at work. Repeat "This too shall pass."

So part of the issue is that people with anxiety (like us) or people in general don't have a time where there isn't some form a stres. So, then how do you think clearly through it? You have to learn to manage your stress and anxiety. That's where therapy, mindfulness, meditation, prescriptions, yoga, etc. can come into play. You can learn how to set aside the stress for a bit to get some time to think and consider options or plans without the "OMG I HAVE TO KNOW NOW" sort of panic. Therapy and organization can help you sort problems, stress, and feelings in order of how important they really are - not just how important they feel.

At first, I was like "Uhg, therapy" even though I was never opposed to it. But I get a good sense of clarity after it. I also journal (I know, ugh journaling, so cliche) but it works! It's completely helped! Now that I've been to consistent therapy sessions I almost have my therapist's voice in my head. I repeat what she's said in the past to move forward.

Should I discuss this with my boyfriend, and if so, what in the world do I say?

Yes. Communicate. If this relationship is important and you connect on more than a casual level (as I'd assume with what's in your question) then a huge part of relationships is communication. I like the scripts above about letting him know you're dealing with a lot. It's not about him. You're doing your best. And also maybe when you're feeling irritable you need to recognize it and excuse yourself to a quiet bubble bath or something. It's better to be irritable and alone for a few hours than lashing out at the person you love.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:56 PM on September 9, 2015 [7 favorites]

Vitamins and reactions to stress have a lot to do with Diet. Plus Grad School.

Try vitamins for a month while you search out other help.
posted by jbenben at 9:58 PM on September 9, 2015

You have a thesis due? Yes, this is extremely common during the thesis/dissertation lots-of-writing period. It's a form of procrastination. Other things people are known to reconsider during such times of stress include doubts about location, whether or not you really want the degree after all, etc.

When you find yourself thinking these thoughts, take yourself out for your preferred form of exercise and/or fresh air. It really helps. Write your thesis. Then take that look at your relationship and see where it stands.
posted by aniola at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hello! Just an aside re: where in the world is the therapy... I have been in and out of therapy for a while. My junior year of college, I had an amazing therapist but she's back in my home state. The one I tried out here, last year, was nice but I felt unproductive and anxious talking to him. It was just me talking a lot in circles and circles and no response. It was like keeping up a conversation at a party, so I just felt comfortable talking about surface, funny things. Which I guess is why he added me on Facebook after he left... Because I'm a poor grad student, I've been trying to find therapists in my university (where I found the last therapist) and I'm trying to set up an appointment to see if there's anyone else who could be a good fit. I feel a bit bad that the other one didn't work out as well as I hoped. I'm gratefully on my parent's insurance until I'm out of school, and they wouldn't really be OK with therapy, so I'm trying to keep it free and sans insurance. It also means meds would be out of the question until I get a real job. I'm already on enough not mental health related meds as is, but I would heavily consider it after school!

Re: diet--thanks for the suggestions! It's funny, I'm actually in nutrition, getting my advanced degree for it now. But recently thinking about that kind of stuff for myself and not others has fallen to the wayside.

Thanks for the responses so far! GAH how are y'all so good at articulating all these things?
posted by buttonedup at 10:12 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a really good online course going on right now calied How To Survive Your PhD, with an emphasis on thinking about and sorting through and managing your emotional upheaval during your time in grad school. I know something designed as a cousemail may sound like the last thing you need right now, but it's on EdX, it's free, and the material for each week is about 30-45 minutes, tops. But I mention it because so far at least it's had good material but an even better community - both on the discussion boards and on Twitter. You might take a look if it doesn't seem to overwhelming. I think it would be very complementary to whatever therapy process you get set up.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:13 PM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

It may be possible that you are questioning your relationship partly because you are feeling guilty. I tend to get self-destructive when I'm feeling really stressed and start fantasising about breaking up with my boyfriend, who is wonderful. And we are wonderful together. I'll start feeling antsy and then I'll realise, "oh right, I'm doing that thing," and remind myself to ignore it until it goes away. There's no reason to believe this is the case for you but I'll just throw it out there. And yes, irritability can also be depression. Hang in there and best of luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 11:39 PM on September 9, 2015

As a data point, I'm considerably less satisfied with my (generally satisfying) relationship, and considerably more checked out from/irritated with my partner, when my mood is low. It makes me ruminate about all of the small things I find irritating and blow them up into catastrophes.

It's enough of a pattern (and enough of a thing that isn't an issue when I'm not depressed) that I've had to learn to weight it only as evidence that I'm not doing so well, as it doesn't seem to be accurate data about how fulfilling my relationship actually is. The issue is depression, not that there's something wrong with the relationship.
posted by terretu at 12:05 AM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: What stood out to me about your question is how devastatingly negative you feel about yourself. Here are some words you used to describe yourself: mean, failure, dumb, irritated, brat, nincompoop, ashamed, guilty, terrible.

Feeling like that must be tremendously painful for you; just imagining it makes me want to give you a hug. And I was wondering where those thoughts came from, and then I read this:
    I'll come off as an irritated nincompoop that just needs to get over it. (According to a few family members, this is exactly what I need to do
Right, well, whoever it is that told you this rubbish, stop listening to that person. "Get over it" is bullshit advice and has never helped anyone. People say that just because they don't want to face your pain, confusion and uncertainty - probably because they're useless at actually helping.

If a person like that has been around and influenced you during your formative years, no wonder if you have a tendency to find blame in yourself, and to doubt your own needs and wants and feelings. And that's pretty much what I read in your question: in a way you're asking us to basically tell you what you are feeling, and what you should be feeling. And you're right, therapy's better for that.

Grad school is really tough, and I encourage you to give yourself some slack if it's wearing you thin. Also, it doesn't sound to me like your relationship is a source of joy, relaxation and relief for you at the moment, and you're right to be concerned, but you also don't have to feel like you must make a decision right now (esp. if your thinking is affected by depression, anxiety and/or stress). It's okay to be 23 and undecided about where your relationship is going.

You seem to feel guilty for having doubts, but first of all: just because he moved to be with you doesn't mean you owe him a relationship. He came with you so the two of you could give it a shot, and that's all anyone can ask. Secondly, I noticed that there's no mention in your question of the ways in which your boyfriend's showing his support to you - only that you feel guilty about falling short yourself. So I'm wondering what's going on there? Personally, I feel strongly that support during stressful periods of life is a reasonable expectation for a good relationship. So my gentle suggestion is that this might be an avenue of communication you could pursue with him: not necessarily opening the whole "what's the future of us" can of stressworms right now, rather than telling him what would help you unwind, make you feel seen, heard, valued and cherished, and together thinking of ways in which you could reciprocate without it being too taxing for you.

Wrt therapy: the Facebook-adding therapist sounds like he was a bad match (I'm actually a bit weirded out about him adding you, wtf?). You say you had a helpful therapist before, so it's not like your problem is that you categorically can't open up in therapy; I wouldn't be too surprised if you kept it superficial because you sensed deep down it was not what you were looking for in a therapeutic relationship. Keep listening to your gut, it's a useful skill.
posted by sively at 2:16 AM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Hey - I have a friend who studied Nutrition, and she was (and occasionally still is) TERRIBLE at looking after her own health. Great at looking after others, not so great at home. Binges and then guilt-fasts. At some point, she received some home truths from another Nutritionist and started doing a better job. But she's still working on it.

This is to say, if you think your diet could be affecting your anxiety, use the resources available to you through your learning and seek the advice/guidance of someone qualified and with a lot of experience. A mentor-figure, if you can find one, might help you regulate and moderate your own diet a bit better, and possibly also offer words of wisdom on getting through grad school.
posted by greenish at 2:21 AM on September 10, 2015

You know, I take a low dose of Propanolol three times a day, and before that I used to be permanently simmering with low-level anger that occasionally spiked up out of control.

Not that I don't go around with a thought-track of annoyance some of the time now, but those are just thoughts. Like most humans, my thoughts tend to focus on the negative and, if I took the thoughts seriously, I would be an ungrateful bugger. I just don't take the thoughts terribly seriously when they appear.

seriously this seems like a job for meds and therapy, in my 100% unscientific and non-professional opinion
posted by tel3path at 4:09 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Your university counseling center might be like ours, free AND have someone on staff that can match you /your insurance to nearby mental health professionals-meaning this is totally normal and you might be able to connect with someone who has a lot of experience that 'gets' grad school students.

Grad schools also have programs that assist with grad school success that add some positive energy to the experience. Our PROMISE program has sessions like "Dissertation House" that might provide some lift.
posted by childofTethys at 4:44 AM on September 10, 2015

You don't have to figure out the reason for the crank or find the solution to the crank before you talk to your partner. In fact, don't wait until you do, because that leaves him hanging on wondering wtf is happening and possibly feeling bad.

I find it really helpful to say to my partner when I am being irritable with him but I don't know why to just say that to him: "OMG, honey, I'm sorry I just snapped there. I don't know where that came from. I'm obviously not dealing with something and it is coming out [at you/in this weird way], which sucks and I'm sorry. I'm so anxious and cranky right now and I don't know why but please know that I love you and I'm going to work on this."

He's the best, and he understands. It gives me some space to figure out wtf is going on, and also is a tremendous relief, like a pressure valve. All of these bad thoughts seem to grow in power when I keep them inside, so even that little speech helps take them down a notch.
posted by girlpublisher at 6:28 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Consider that you simply just may be in a rut.

Doing something (or multiple somethings) outside of your comfort zone can sometimes break you out of such ruts.
posted by PsuDab93 at 6:33 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

. I'm gratefully on my parent's insurance until I'm out of school, and they wouldn't really be OK with therapy, so I'm trying to keep it free and sans insurance.

I feel like this might be an additional stress, putting these extra conditions on it. If you need help, you need help - is there any way you could frame this to your parents that you just need help with stress and time management in such an intense program? Maybe not, but this is one assumption you can question.

If not, seconding using campus mental health to navigate the free/cheap/sliding scale public and private sector system off campus. I'm sorry your past therapist was lousy (sounds like he was) and wish you better luck this time. If you don't feel like it's a good fit at your first meeting, don't be shy about changing to someone else.
posted by Miko at 7:15 AM on September 10, 2015

annoyed at everything...ESPECIALLY myself

THIS is where you begin. To try to be nice to your boyfriend, to fail, and to beat yourself up for it is the methodologically wrong approach. Don't try to make the second step first.*

You need someone to exercise being kind on. That someone is yourself. Every damn single time: be kind to yourself first.

* Remember, methodology can easily be refined, without feeling bad about it!
posted by Namlit at 7:46 AM on September 10, 2015

Best answer: To answer your basic question, yes, absolutely, circumstances can make you annoyed with people you still love deeply.

One way to know what's real and what's circumstantial is to track your thoughts and connect them to the circumstances to see if you can find patterns. Whenever I'm tired, I get annoyed with everything and everyone. For you, it might be when you're busy, or when you're particularly excited about school, or when things are especially painful with the social adjustments, or many other possible patterns.

It can help to try not to catastrophize in your thinking. In one relationship, I worried more about the relationship (was our extrovert/introvert divide too big) whenever he was busy with a work deadline. But when I stopped thinking "I feel metaphorically alone in this relationship, are we doomed?" and started thinking "I feel alone right now, what can I do to reconnect with him?" I figured out what was really going on and how circumstantial it was, as well as some ways to fix it.

I agree therapy is a great idea and can be very useful. I'm sorry your adjustment to grad school hasn't been easy. It can take awhile to find your niche in a new place. Hang in there and get support from a therapist and your friends back home. Good luck!
posted by salvia at 8:28 AM on September 10, 2015

Please don't automatically rule out medications. A lot of effective antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are generic and can be fairly inexpensive ($30-50/mo), and often cheaper if you go to CostCo (you don't have to be a member to use their pharmacies). You can also get a prescription from your primary care provider if you're uncomfortable seeing a psychiatrist.
posted by jaguar at 8:40 AM on September 10, 2015

This is in addition to the above suggestions, not instead of: sometimes the short fuse that stress can give us reveals issues we need to deal with. So yes, while it is totally possible you're questioning your relationship because you are stressed out, it is also possible you are stressed AND legitimately questioning your relationship. Luckily, dealing with the stress will help you either way.
posted by kapers at 10:17 AM on September 10, 2015

...and they wouldn't really be OK with therapy...

Couple thoughts/ideas here. I am very much the "roadblock myself" type of person. I think a lot of anxiety contributes to this. So you "can't" do something because of "[reasons]." Often when you examine those reasons, they aren't actually all that valid OR there's another option. So, that being said...

Option 1: What are your fears about using your parent's insurance? Are they valid fears? What are the "consequences" of using it? Are they valid? Personally I think this is a good time to stand up and say "Hey, I need to go to this appointment. I will pay anything I owe for it. Thanks." And just do it.

I mean, it won't cost them anything and may also contribute to their max-out-of-pocket totals and whatnot for their family insurance plan which is a positive thing. As far as I can tell they haven't specifically told you not to go to therapy and if they have you on their insurance they need to be okay with you using it. If they're not okay with you using the insurance then that's a whole other issue and may mean you need to make some plans to separate from them as much as possible when it comes to insurance.

Option 2: No insurance options. Call up therapists and ask about their rates for no-insurance. Often they may have a sliding scale or something. Or see if they can recommend another office that may be able to help. There are tons of people who either don't have insurance or don't want to use family insurance for a multitude of reasons (they don't want their spouse or family to know.) There's no rule that says you HAVE to give a doctor your insurance information or use it if you know you will be responsible for the expenses. See if they have any payment plans too.
posted by Crystalinne at 11:57 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all. It's hard to think that I may have depression. It's something I've thought about but was too scared to think of that possiblity. Just an update, I have an appointment with a therapist next week for an intake session! I'll be printing this off and taking it with me.
posted by buttonedup at 1:09 PM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm gratefully on my parent's insurance until I'm out of school, and they wouldn't really be OK with therapy, so I'm trying to keep it free and sans insurance.

Your parents are not entitled to your medical information even if you are using their insurance coverage. Call your insurance company and tell them that they may not release your information to your parents and that all correspondence related to your insurance claims must only be sent to you. The insurance company is legally required to honor your request.
posted by Shanda at 1:48 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

That's great news about your appointment.

I'm so glad Shanda came along to supply that information, because in our age of tight HIPAA I had a feeling that would be the case.

Good luck!
posted by Miko at 5:11 PM on September 10, 2015

Related to salvia's answer, I would recommend doing a standard CBT though record when you find these thoughts peaking.

Here's a form, and here is how to fill one out.

This will help you to think critically about these frustrations. I've found it really helpful myself. (I use an iOS app called Moodnotes for this purpose).
posted by sincarne at 11:54 AM on September 11, 2015

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