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I need a therapist or something and don't know where to begin...

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by BrokenNeedle, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. BrokenNeedle

    BrokenNeedle I am among no one.

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    I first found this forum a year and a half ago. I was going through really bad depression and out of pure desperation I started searching on Google for a message board like this where I could hopefully get help and advice from people who might get where I'm coming from. It took me a while to finally make an account here and it took me even longer to get the courage to make this post, and I don't even know if I'm posting this in the right section.

    When that depression hit and I found this forum on Google, before I even made an account I started typing out this very post no less than 20 different times over the past year (I have a lot of them still saved under multiple text files on my desktop and a notepad app on my phone). I ultimately decided not to post any of them because they go on for too long and turn into me just ranting about my family, none of which you guys know and so probably don't want to hear about.

    So anyway, I've come to the conclusion that I need to see a therapist. It's not that I want to, I just really think I need to. Or it could be a psychiatrist, I don't really even know what the difference is. I've never had to do something like this on my own, this is something I thought my family would help with, but I've found that isn't the case. I reached out to one of my sisters in late 2019, and I specifically chose her because I am closer to her than my other sisters (I have 5 total and I live with one of them that acts as my legal caregiver), and because I figured she'd know what steps to take to get me setup with a therapist since her daughter sees one. She knows that I get stressed out when making phone calls and assured me she'd make them on my behalf. But she didn't, even after several reminders. I've given up on that now, I've accepted that she won't be any help with this. She even mentioned it last year to the sister that I live with (as did I as recently as a few weeks ago) but no effort was made on her part either.

    I was setup with a new primary care doctor a few weeks ago. At the end of my check up I hinted to him that my mental health is not so good these days and if he knew of a way I could get setup with a local therapist and if there are any that might be able to come to the house and maybe we could walk around the block and talk (I know we're in a pandemic and all, but if my only option is to talk on the phone or do video chats I really don't think it will work out because a lot of what I want to get off my chest involves people in this house, and they're almost always home and will easily be able to overhear what I say and that might cause a problem if they think all I want to do is speak negatively of them). Anyway, all he did was print out a list of psychiatrists in the area with their phone numbers and told me to call each number and see who accepts my insurance, despite me telling him that I'm not good with initiating phone calls.

    I'm sorry the post turned out longer than I intended (but this is way shorter than all the drafts that I decided not to post) and I left out some details so it doesn't look like I'm just ranting again. But if you're reading this to begin with then that means I finally had the guts to post it and that's the important thing. I'd appreciate any kind of advice you guys might have and I specifically chose to post this here instead of somewhere like Reddit or elsewhere to avoid comments like "just be a man and pick up the phone and call" when I assume that is easier said than done for a lot of us here.
     
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  2. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    There's a book called Feeling Good which is one of the first CBT books written with regards to helping depression. It could be a good starting step.

    There's a blog feature to this website, which can be helpful if you want to express yourself or vent without feeling like responses from anyone are required. I often end up monologuing on posts on this site and feel like it might not be welcome.

    Google your location followed by therapist. Most should have a website and you can email them and explain some basic info regarding your mental health issues and what you would like.

    I'm from the UK and lockdowns here have been very strict, but my therapist is now allowing face to face appointments, so I'm sure you could find one in your area which would too.

    I've had depression myself for a very long time, and I know how draining and overbearing it can be. Therapy is helpful though. It's good to discuss your thoughts, feelings and problems with someone who is unbiased, as opposed to obtaining advice from friends or family.

    I posted this recently in another thread, it's from the book I've been reading (Feeling Good) and displays common (and unhelpful) thought processes of people suffering from depression. I must admit, the list below is all too familiar to my mentality:

    1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

    2. OVERGENERALIZATION: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

    3. MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that colors the entire beaker of water.

    4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.

    5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. a. Mind reading. You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out. b. The Fortune Teller Error. You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.

    6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”

    7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

    8. SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

    9. LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him: “He’s a goddam louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

    10. PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as me cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.”


    An example of the list above was me fire staffing in a park last night. I saw several dog walkers in the park (over the course of 2 hours) who began talking on their mobile phones once I set my staff alight. Instantly I was in number 5 mindset. I assumed these people were phoning the police to complain about me fire staffing (in an empty park). Followed by number 4 mindset. One of the people who had been on the phone came up to me and started asking me about my fire staffing and seemed very impressed and was smiling whilst she spoke to me. But after she left, I was convinced she was the minority and that every other person who was on their phone was calling the police.

    That event had several other of the numbers above included in it as well - but I think it goes to show how our mindsets can instantly delve into unhelpful and irrational thinking, and the more time we give to these thoughts, the stronger and more surreal they can become.

    The reality of the situation was that I spent nearly 2 hours in the park and no police came and nothing bad happened. In fact, in the past when people have actually called the police on me whilst staffing - they tend to act like everyone else who sees me staffing. They're impressed and often a little confused - but they usually tell me to light it on fire somewhere quiet so that I don't risk having the police called out to investigate unnecessarily.

    Thing is with worrying, when it seems instinctive, it can be tricky to talk yourself down with logical and helpful thoughts and opinions. I seem to do the same with worrying before an event occurs. I end up worrying so much with fears and anxieties and "what if's" that when the actual event happens - it tends to feel like an anti-climax compared to the strength of my anxieties in the days or weeks leading up to the moment in question.


    Ed
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
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  3. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Firstly Welcome to the Forums - even though you have had an account for quite a while.
    Secondly thank you for using paragraphs 0 it does make the post MUCH easier to read. One (of the many acronyms I have leant here is) TLDR which is sometimes used for walls of text.

    I dont get what you are saying here, who do you want to help you? Do you have family who could work with you?
     
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  4. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Try for a psychologist ,psychiatrists are trained in medicine so they can prescribe drugs, but antidepressants are a stop gap,go to the resources section on this forum see what interests you ,definitely look at YouTube
     
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  5. BlueSky Aozora

    BlueSky Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Yes, agree with Streetwise.. psychiatrists will just give you meds, but not the therapy that you need. So do you need some help in finding therapists? Phone calls are indeed scary, but do you think you can try? or write an email to the potential therapist?

    Please make sure that the therapist/psychologist is familiar with autism, because many of the 'professionals' are not.
     
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  6. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Phone and video calls are more difficult, I find, at least, face to face, we can give the medical professional a note to read, save us talking and feeling distressed.
    Congratulations for making the move to post here.
    You must feel better doing that.
    Welcome to the forums.
     
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  7. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In addition to what everyone said, if you have insurance, look up online first to see who is covered that is near you. If you don't have insurance, but if you have enough funds to work with, work it to try someone out who works privately. With the pandemic having hit, more counselors are offering online options. I'd say the pandemic has made therapy more in demand overall probably.

    Even though someone is not in your area, if you're open to video calls, that gives you so many more options within the country (other countries may have language barriers, different currencies, other things I can't think of, lol). Most of these options are not free though- not that there were many free options to begin with. I think the pandemic has limited the number of free options basically, and when the free options were available, it was for a limited amount of sessions and/or time.

    I see a lot of commercials for TalkSpace, and that might be a decent place to start. Earlier last year, they were offering free sessions for a year for people who were unemployed.

    If you want something autistic specific, try to look for autism specific organizations that might have a list of psychologists. Most of them will be very expensive and some of these expensive ones may work with others who will charge a slightly cheaper rate.

    I could personally refer you to a few places if you just want to try a starting point, and that they would do video calls if you want- though they wouldn't be focused on your particular residential area.
     
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  8. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    What kind of insurance are you on? In the US, that is what most dictates the kind of professional care you will receive.
     
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  9. Ronin82

    Ronin82 Dog Trainer Extraordinaire

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    If you are in the US, there is a website with a database of mental health professionals. Got to psychologytoday.com and click on the link to "Find a Therapist". You can mark filters to search for someone in your area who takes your insurance and deals with your issues, and there is contact info listed that often includes an email. This seems to be the most user-friendly and complete database in the mental health industry. I've had some decent luck with it, and its my go-to every time I need to look someone up for research.

    I lucked out and found the best therapist ever at a martial arts class. I've been seeing him for almost 8 years now, but would have never found him if I hadn't gone to this class. Total fluke. There is the web search, but psychologytoday.com is the best place to start the search, IMO. Good luck!
     
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  10. BrokenNeedle

    BrokenNeedle I am among no one.

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    Alright I will go through and try to answer some of these responses:

    That's the thing, I reached out to a certain family member when this first started over a year ago (pre-pandemic even) and it got me nowhere. If there was anyone that I thought would have been able to help with this, it was that person, but I was wrong and it was ultimately a waste of time. I guess what I was hoping to get is help/advice if there is anyone else here that feels in the same boat as me, where you live in a house full of people but feel like you're invisible or that you don't matter, how do you deal with that? Before I felt confident enough to start this thread I had read some other threads here and there to try to get a feel for the community and I get the impression that some of you are able to look after yourselves much better than I'm able to. It's almost embarrassing how far behind I feel in comparison.

    Before my mom passed away in 2014 she made preparations in advance with one of my sisters to become my legal caregiver, because unfortunately I was never prepared for this thing called "adulthood". In the beginning she'd have made these phone calls for me no questions asked, but over the past couple of years that seemed to stop (she said to one of my other sisters something like "he has to start doing things himself"). So I don't expect a whole lot of help from this one either. I don't want to say she does nothing for me, but I feel like she's almost a different person compared to when I first moved in, but that's a whole other story.

    It's called HealthFirst, that's about all I know. I see specialists for anemia and Crohn's disease and I'm hoping that the insurance will cover mental health care as well.

    Yeah, I'm in the US. I will search on that website, thanks. And thanks to everyone who took the time to read my post and reply.

    -
    I do want to give a little backstory here. I've seen therapists in the past even years before I was diagnosed. I don't know back then that I necessarily needed to see them in the same way that I do now, I think back then I was required to see a therapist to be able to qualify for SSI? But even back in my late Junior High School days they were pressuring my mom to take me for some kind of counseling and therapy.

    But those years are a blur to me now. I can't remember the names of any of the therapists I was seeing so it'd be impossible to reach out to any of them now. There also were quite a few of them. I feel like any time I started warming up to one therapist, something would happen that was beyond my control and I'd get switched to someone else in a new location and I'd have to begin the whole "warming up" process all over again.
    The last time I saw one was 10 years ago which is when I was first diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I was in really bad condition and the doctors were putting me on all types of new medications to see what would work the quickest, and the therapist was worried what he was prescribing might interfere with my other constantly changing medications, so he thought it might be better if he stopped prescribing it (I think it was Wellbutrin). I was warned that if he stopped prescribing it to me that whatever insurance I had at the time wouldn't pay for me to see him anymore, and so we went our separate ways.
     
  11. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    If you are in the USA, see
    Autlanders, Thriving Outside of the Box: Finding Support Resources in the USA...
    A "therapist" is a counselor who can offer you wisdom.
    A "psychiatrist" is a physician who can prescribe and monitor medications. Autism cannot be treated by medications, but co-morbid conditions can be.
     
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  12. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Just keep trying, victory brings glory V.I.P Member

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    Hi
    Good job on reaching out, way to go! I think the isolation is the worst part of mental illness. Covid has changed everything, or so it seems. I'm glad you are writing, it helps me so much. I totally hate this typing with one finger on a phone.

    So, i just got off the phone about all this stuff, and I think that you and I may have some similar issues. Here's some free advice, and what i learned today.

    Get a clipboard, they are cheap. Have someone bring you one. Get a calendar too, one thats just for you. There are different kinds, they make some that are like a checkbook in size and some that go on the wall, get both if you can. It helps me to write and post things on the walls but i live alone and can do whatever i want, whenever i feel like it. My phone has something on it but i like a paper one better.
    Before you make any calls, write down your questions, one question to each piece of paper.
    Put all that on the clipboard. I have a map too that i got for free at the chamber of commerce, it helps me to mark things on a map and then trace out routes and all that, but i am old and kinda silly. It does seem to help me remember, to do it the old fashioned way.

    Those are tools i always have both at home and in town. Map, clipboard calendar go in my messenger bag, (used $3 at thrift store) it has a shoulder strap and room for***water*** and extra socks, which i carry wherever i go. Also i have art projects, pens, pencils, and usually a book of philosophy or poetry. And snacks
    Now i can mark my map with a number, write a note by the number on my board and write down an appt on my calendar. Its like a grown up version of a child's back pack for school. Only I pack it myself.
    So as it turns out, even though i have been a patient before, i have to get it all started again, no big deal. Heres how it is going for me, here where i am, it may be different for you.

    I am going to walk into the county mental health office, which is marked on my map. I am going to go into the
    "crisis center" (sounds spooky right, no worries its a safe place) . I am going to tell them that i want to find treatment options for my mental health problems, that i have been a patient before and i need help getting started, again.
    Next for me(you too probably) is an assessment, they have to schedule that in advance, and sometimes you have to wait a while. Now dont get discouraged remember the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and all that. At least begin the begining, then good things will be allowed to happen...


    From there, the people you meet at the assessment should be able to get you all squared away on where to go and how to get there and all that. Where i live we have ppl you can call on the phone to talk with too. This guy Tran is my favorite, he is a great listener.

    I dont know how the therapy works now, but i guess alot of folks do it on the phone or on skype, better than nothing. I will likely need a referal from a CBT counselor to a psychiatrist. Also there are case workers that help with non counseling issues like insurance, bus passes, food benefits, cell phones, work search, rides to anywhere, etc.

    This is important. Be very nice to your counselor and case worker, esp the case worker. Be on time, everytime, express gratitutde, courtesy, etc.

    I hope everything works out ok for you, and that this helps a bit. You are not alone
     
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  13. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Just keep trying, victory brings glory V.I.P Member

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    Oh
    Two other things. I should have mentioned i get welfare, medicare, and public assistance, thats why the county mental health route. If you have private insurance you may well be able to contact the insurance company too, idk.

    My caseworker (that i was nice to) got me the bus pass, the healthcare, the food benefits, and a job referral. Apparently many ppl are really mean to them

    Also thanks to Ed for that list, its fantastic
     
  14. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome. When you say "was diagnosed". I'm assumiing you mean autism? If that's correct, I will share my opinion. I freely admit that it's a strong opinion:

    If you're autistic, make absolutely certain that you choose a therapist who specializes in working with autistic adults. DO NOT choose a therapist that works primarily with neurotypicals. Yes, there is a huge difference. As part of my opinion on this matter I will also add that I think it can even be dangerous to an autistic person's mental health to go to an NT-centric therapist or psychiatrist.

    I would recommend looking up the autism society in your state. Perhaps they are located in close proximity to you. If not, they would likely be a good resource for autism-centric therapists near you.
     
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  15. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Just keep trying, victory brings glory V.I.P Member

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    Thank you for posting this, i did not know that there was that option or that it was important