I grew up in an abusive household. I have been in and out of therapy for around twenty years. I have begun another bout of depression and find that much of the stuff I have worked on before is plaguing me again. Will these issue ever be resolved? Will I spend the rest of my life crying over the same problems? Will it ever stop? Thank You.

A. The fact the you continually struggle with the same problems might be indicative of having received ineffective or insufficient treatment. It can take years to overcome psychological problems. You did not provide much detail about your issues and how long you’ve been in therapy but a new bout of depression might be a sign that it’s time to resume treatment.

The tone of your letter seems to indicate that you may be minimizing your therapeutic progress. Some of the “stuff” that you have worked through may be causing current distress but it may not be as bad as it once was. Without more details, I cannot know that with certainty.

Have you tried medication? Many people find the combination of medication and psychotherapy to be highly beneficial. Consider undergoing an evaluation to determine if medication would be advantageous. The addition of medication may expedite your healing and growth process.

Understandably, you may be impatient with your progress but with further treatment it should get better. I’ve seen it happen to many, many clients. Creating positive psychological growth takes time. If you restart treatment, choose a therapist who specializes in early childhood trauma. Also, select the most competent therapist with whom you feel the most comfortable. Both are important determinants of successful therapy. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle