I’ve tried therapy three times in my life.
The first experience was individual and family therapy that I underwent for my eating disorder.
The second was interpersonal therapy, that I went to alone at university for all of a month.
The third and final- was CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) that I tried and have been trying for the last few months- but I can find myself slipping out of the habit of.
So why have I failed to stick with it so many times?
For me, I’m not finding therapy helpful.
It hasn’t turned out to be the miracle cure that everyone said it would be.
From all my research and every bloody thing I’ve ever read about treating mental illness, it recommends a combination of medication and therapy to combat it- but I really don’t feel like I can be alone in not finding any use in it?
I imagine that if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t atune themselves too much to their feelings and finds it hard to talk about them openly- then some kind of talk therapy might be beneficial at coming to terms with your issues.
However, for me- I felt like when I went to talk therapy- I was talking through things I’d already very openly discussed with other people.
I’m a massive oversharer (if you didn’t already know that from this blog)- I’m an open book with my feelings and if I’m upset or angry- you betcha you’ll know it.
I felt like a lot of the time, I was chatting things through with a total stranger- that I had no issue sharing before.
The other thing that I found the first time, was my therapist was clearly trying to unearth some deep issue from a trauma… that basically didn’t exist.
I had a wonderful childhood, I have lovely friends, family- I’ve had nice boyfriends who haven’t treated me badly- and it frustrated me to no end, that she seemed determined that I must have repressed issues.
When I quit that and tried CBT I had hoped for a different kind of therapy and that if I stuck with it- then I might actually be able to see some results.
However- yet again I’m becoming frustrated with the whole concept.
The whole premise of it is to change the way you think about things and learn techniques to better cope with them.
However, for me- OCD is at the end of the day an anxiety disorder.
I don’t find myself doing compulsions at all anymore because I’ve got that symptom locked down.
Most of my OCD happens inside my head.
It’s a loss of control over my thoughts and ya know what- it’s impossible to completely retrain your brain.
I’ve been working on it and sticking with it for a while- but I’m endlessly frustrated that it doesn’t seem to be working for me in the way that it does for many other people.
I think that the “one size fits all” approach is a little unhealthy and something that needs to be debunked. The classic solution to mental health that’s being rammed down our throats is therapy and medication.
For me personally, I find that exercise, diet, distraction, medicine, my job and support networks have done far more for me than spending 50 quid on sitting in a quiet room with someone or filling out bloody worksheet after worksheet on my thought process.
I’m not saying therapy has no value- because clearly, it works for a lot of people.
But I’m afraid for me? It just ain’t all it cracked up to be.