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    • #11127
      Kathleen Sheffer
      Participant

      Seeking therapy can be daunting. Over the years, I have had therapists who were a bad fit for me and only increased my anxiety. The hardest part of receiving therapy is starting it. Columnist Mike Naple shares his experience addressing mental health issues in this post.

      What has stopped you from seeking therapy? Or instead, have you benefitted from seeing a therapist regularly? I share my mental health journey here. For a few years now, I have seen a therapist weekly, which has helped me control my anxiety.

    • #11370
      Kaye Norlin
      Participant

      I loved both of these articles! I have used therapy when I was in my 20’s for something completely unrelated to PH. Depression and substance abuse (usually alcohol) runs in my family; and I didn’t escape it. So I sought therapy. When I first saw the therapist assigned to me, my thoughts were “this isn’t going to work; he has a flat-top (it was the 70’s but still), and he wears wing-tip shoes. I gave him a chance at the urging of the scheduler and it was the best thing I had done for myself at that point in my life. That 18 months led me to so many great things: job, boyfriend, real friends, new confidence, resilience, and a voice that I lost somewhere in my early 20’s. I know that women seek help more often than men do and I am sad that I lost my older brother at age 42 because he wouldn’t seek help. I see people close to me struggle with all sorts of issues and refuse counseling; I feel helpless. I think doctors should offer services or referrals and Medicaid should pay for it. I believe that we need to focus more on the biopsychosocial components of illness and wellness.

      • #11427
        Kathleen Sheffer
        Participant

        Kaye, I’m so glad you sought help and had success. The loss of your brother is heart-breaking. It really seems like therapy can only work if the patient wants to be in therapy. I had a lot of miserable sessions as a teen when my parents forced me to see a therapist recommended to them who was a terrible fit for me. When I was older, I made the decision to go myself, and had an entirely different experience.

    • #11419
      Margie Novak
      Participant

      I would like to see a psychologist who can deal with my PH issues but it is so hard to find one. I have called various hospitals and clinics and I am always connected to the “palliative” care person. I just want to talk to someone who can kind of relate to the mental issues I am dealing with (not being able to do things, always being on oxygen, always relying on someone to help me, being young (55) and having to go through this. I have a psychiatrist who prescribes my prescriptions but not someone to talk to. It is hard to find a good listener.

      • #11426
        Kathleen Sheffer
        Participant

        Hi Margie,

        I too have struggled to find a therapist who is a good fit. You are totally right that the wrong fit can increase anxiety. When I look for a new therapist I first go through my insurance to find a list of providers and I make a bunch of calls (leave a bunch of messages). I ask if they are taking new patients and I explain my special circumstances. The calls I get back are usually a filtered down list already, and then I schedule a first session/interview with them. I know it is a lot of work and emotionally draining, but it’s all worth it when you find someone you feel safe talking to on a regular basis.

    • #11434
      Kaye Norlin
      Participant

      Hi, People do have to want to change in order for the therapy to work and it can be very difficult to find the right fit. A good psychologist (I have a Masters in Psychology but I am NOT a therapist) doesn’t really need to know about PH; they just need to listen. It is called Unconditional Positive Regard and is part of their training. None-the-less, I have seen some bad therapists who are judgemental and they should not be practicing. Margie, I don’t know where you live and I don’t normally do this but you can look in the yellow pages and make some calls or Kathleen’s advice above is spot on.

    • #11435
      Kaye Norlin
      Participant

      P.S. You have to interview them; just like you do when finding a doctor who will listen to you and treat the illness you know you have.

      • #11439
        Kathleen Sheffer
        Participant

        Great advice, Kaye! You seem to have experience in every field! Thank you for your help and contributions.

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