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I Have Struggled for Years

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From the U.S.: My question is, I have dealt with OCD intrusive thoughts (religious mostly),general anxiety, and social anxiety since I was 12 years old (my grandfather had to have shock treatments for the same thing and was in a psych ward for 6 months when he was in his 40s, he has been on Thorazine ever since). I have been to the doctor about it and have been on antidepressants (SSRIs: Paxil, Zoloft and SNRIs: Effexor, Cymbalta) more than those I know, I just can’t think of all right now. None of the meds have really helped a lot. I have also had horrible insomnia for years due to the ocd intrusive thoughts so much so that I would take tons of Tylenol pm just to get to sleep at night, it ended up almost ruining my liver.

I have never been to a Psychiatrist or a Therapist just general practitioners regarding my problems. I have struggled for years and now I feel that I need to see a professional and I’m scared I’m not going to find a good one. I feel I have so many problems that I want someone who can deal with all of them. How do I find a psychiatrist good enough and how do I explain all of this to one person without them thinking I need to go into a mental institution. I afraid (because of what happened to my grandfather) and I have always felt that they would want to put me in a padded room somewhere. I know I need the help, I just don’t know what to do.

I Have Struggled for Years

Answered by on -


You wouldn’t go to a pediatrician if you had cancer. You wouldn’t go to a kidney specialist if you had heart trouble. All doctors are not alike. Sometimes we have to go to the right specialist to get the help we need. In your case, you need both a psychiatrist and a therapist who work together to get the right care.

The treatment of choice for your problems is a combination of medication and talk therapy. OCD and anxiety disorders can be treated and managed successfully. Generally, patients see their therapist weekly and, after an initial period of weekly visits to get the medication right, they see their psychiatrist every few months. When the two professionals are working in the same practice, they are able to confer with each other easily and work together to give you good care.

I understand that you have been afraid to see a mental health professional because of your grandfather’s experience. But treatments have changed considerably since your grandfather’s time. From the little you shared, I also suspect he had a much different problem.

To find a specialist, ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a practice. You can also go to the “Therapist Locator” on the homepage of PsychCentral.

Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment for an initial session. The clinician will listen to your story and will make suggestions. (Take your letter with you if you want to jump start the conversation.) You are under no obligation to follow through with the treatment plan that is proposed. But I hope you do. You’ve suffered far too long.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Have Struggled for Years

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Have Struggled for Years. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 18 Mar 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.