I finally started seeing a therapist slightly over a month ago and it’s been great and I love my therapist but I’m not really sure to say whether I’ve been making progress or not. I say this because while I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth just within the past month, I can’t help but have some concerns. I’ll start by saying that this year has been a lot for me. I dropped out of college in May due to stress that inhibited me from functioning for months after (to this day I’m still trying to get my life back), after months of persistent mood swings, anxiety, and mild psychosis I went to see a psychiatrist in September (I think) that completely dismissed my concerns by saying I had “mild depression and terrible coping skills”;despite me mentioning I’d attempted suicide over 4 times!; which subsequently sent me into a severe depressive episode after the session. My mood never really lifted, and in November, 2 days before my birthday, I broke up with my boyfriend of over a year. The experience in itself was gut-wrenching and the week following even more so. I had a really bad breakdown one night, broke a bunch of things, wanted to kill myself but blacked out before I could do any damage. I figured things would only get worse until the next week when my mood did a complete 180 and I suddenly knew the answers to life, the fact my ex wasn’t talking to me no longer bothered me, I spent over $200 in 2 days (and the rest throughout the following week) etc. etc. (insert various symptoms of mania here). My therapist told me I seemed more bipolar than just depressed but it seems she dropped the diagnosis as she hasn’t mentioned it since our first session and gave me a diagnosis of “anxiety disorder” upon our second meeting. Anyway, the episode of what I’d call mania lasted for basically a month up to the point I was certain I was god and was considering starting my own religion, but then on Christmas night depression slapped me in the face and I’ve been very down ever since. I feel like I’ve lost all my direction and drive and my hopes for my future are once again slim. (From the USA)
I believe staying with your therapist is the right thing for now. These swings are likely to have a pattern to them — and in the beginning the therapist is just getting to know you. The psychiatrist only made an assessment of what was seen in the moment and this was inaccurate. Give your therapist now a chance to see you move through these swings. This will help determine what the pattern and triggers are. Give yourself several months and let the therapist know about all of these shifts.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Don’t Know What to Think. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/01/11/i-dont-know-what-to-think/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 11 Jan 2018) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.