A Good Therapy Appointment

I didn’t have the best therapy appointment last week.  I didn’t speak up and tell my therapist what I wanted to talk about, so we spent most of the time talking about other (still important) things.  As the appointment continued I found myself becoming more and more frustrated and angry.  In the last few minutes I mentioned what I wanted to talk about, but I left still feeling upset.  I feel that the tone of a therapy appointment can influence the rest of your day.

Well, contrary to last week, my appointment this week went really well!  We discussed my week, which was filled with a lot of sleep, anger, and depression (but some really good things too).  We discussed some very upsetting nightmares in which I was being sexually assaulted (as far as I know there is no validity to these dreams) and it was really upsetting when I woke up and realized what I was dreaming about.  Then we discussed increasing positive things in my life and that I should perhaps work on some goals and values.  We discussed some specific values that I have, such as attending to relationships, being part of a group, recognizing the universal good of all things, and being secure.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of my values, it’s just some.  Those are also some broader goals.  A more specific goal that I decided to focus on was being physically fit and healthy.  This one is really important to me.  I’m about 50 lbs overweight and I need to lose weight for my health.  I’ve had my therapist, primary care doctor, and cardiologist all tell me that I need to start exercising.  So that’s what I’m going to do. I bought a weight loss yoga video on amazon, and I’m going to start trying it soon!

We also discussed my negative self-talk and judgments I make about myself.  They aren’t healthy and so I am going to try to do things that improve the way that I look at and talk to myself.  One of the ways in which I am attempting to do this is through a suggestion from my therapist.  She suggested that I make a little self-validation/inspirational journal or something that really speaks of ME.  So, I went to Barnes & Noble and bought myself 4 mini Moleskine notebooks (not lined).  They are literally like 2 1/2 inches by 4 inches.  I’m very excited to start doing it.  I’m going to write quotes, put in pictures, and possibly recollect some positive memories that remind myself of what I’m capable of. My first notebook is magenta – I’m really excited about it.  It’s a new project!

I also brought up to my therapist that I feel a need to know my diagnoses.  Back when I lived in Holland, MI my therapist and psychiatrist separately diagnosed me with Major Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder.  But my current therapist has only diagnosed me with Major Depression so far.  Granted she will need more time with me to decide if I have BPD.  The really frustrating part, however, is that my new psychiatrist (who I’ve only seen once, and who I will see this coming Monday) told me within 10 minutes of meeting her that she thought I might be Bipolar based solely on my medications that I am taking.  That made me really frustrated.  The only point in her favor was that she said she would wait until she got to know me better to actually diagnose me.  That’s good.  I was just so upset that she made such a bold statement based only on medications.  Now, I don’t know if I have Bipolar disorder.  I do know, that I don’t have mania, but I know there is another type of Bipolar.  So I’m just going to wait until Monday and see how it goes, I suppose (haha, that rhymes).

We may have discussed some other things, but I sure don’t remember (I have a terrible memory ever since I got depressed).  I do remember the final question I asked her as I was about to leave.  I asked her if me not being able to remember most of my childhood could be a kind of dissociation.  She said that with dissociation there is usually some sort of trauma.  She said that also some people just have better recollection than others and that medication can also be a factor.  She also indicated that Bipolar and/or depression could also contribute to that.  So this is what I am going to ask my psychiatrist when I see her next: “What are the factors that contribute to me not being able to recall my childhood events/school/remote memory?”

Whew!  That was a lot all at once!  Basically I have a lot of goals and little goals going on right now.

  • Work on my book a little bit each day
  • Take steps towards finding a part-time job
  • See my friends more often
  • Work on my self-validation/inspiration journal
  • Start exercising and getting fit

Well, I’m taking a deep breath, getting myself ready, and soon I’m going to dive right in!

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