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Today I went for my first therapy appt. with a counselor. Monday's appt was actually an "intake" appt where they determine if I should see a counselor and if I want meds, to see a psychiatrist. I didnt know that you needed to see a psychiatrist to get meds. I thought a therapist could prescribe them.

 

The appt went ok. The lady was nice, open, and listened to me. I outlined some issues that I wanted to work on, namely my attachment issues and my anxiety issues and my self-esteem problems. She did mention that sometimes when anxiety gets really bad, one can lose interest in doing things that one used to like to do.

 

I kind of have problems opening up to people I dont know because it just isnt my style. In addition to therapy sessions or other than therapy sessions, the lady suggested group stuff. Apparently my health plan offers has group programs that deal with certain issues like anxiety, dependency issues, panic disorders, eating disorders, etc. She suggested that I could consider that, in addition to or in place of therapy sessions. Have anybody here ever done group programs? Do they help? I am not sure if I can feel comfortable doing that since I have never done stuff like that.

 

I am still hesitant about doing all this. Maybe all I need is medication and then I can feel calm enough to make decisions and do things instead of being so afraid of everything.

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renaissancewoman,

I am so proud of you for going to your appt! I just started counseling myself and am really loving it. I have never gone to a group session but a previous roommate did for an eating disorder and she really enjoyed it, I went with her to 1 meeting to support her in her efforts, and it was nice, people were very friendly and uplifting. I would definitely give it a try. Try to work through everything without meds at first, because some of them can be addicting, unless you actually have an imbalance of certain chemicals and require them. Congrats on taking steps to find out who renaissancewoman really is and bring her to complete happiness!

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I think its great that you went to an appt. I think group can be a great experience. I think if you have attachment issues or anxiety about sharing perhaps you should start off with the one on one therapy first. Ease into it first off then add the group aspect when you have a focus on some of your issues.

 

Good job on taking that first step.

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Ren,

Don't put all your faith in meds, because knowledge is key to understanding your problems. It doesn't come in capsule form, but meds can ease you into a good experience you'll grow with.

 

You'll do well if you put in the effort, just as you have in school.

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Hey renwoman!

 

Glad your first session went well. Group therapy has been suggested to me, but later on the therapist thought I wouldn't benefit from it. It's a personal decision. I think at this point, if I were to decide for one more round of therapy, I'd opt for group, because I KNOW were all the issues are coming from and hearing how others deal with them in a more successful way could really help me.

 

About meds, I'd say always combine those with therapy. I am about to start another 6 months of effexor, but I already used that in the past, so I know how it works and how I respond to it. For the first time, I think you should be monitored carefully, but I think your therapist will take care of that.

 

Take care and keep us posted,

 

Ilse

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I'd say to have a couple more sessions with your counsellor before you make more of a decision about group therapy. I know it works for many people, but it may not work for everybody, and I'm sure you need to have at least a certain comfort level before it could start to work for you. See how you feel about it in a bit.

 

As for meds, I'm not sure if the best way to approach that is to have them if you want them. It may be better for a doctor to sit down, have a talk with you and see if he/she thinks they are necessary. In some cases they can help, particularly if there appears to be a chemical imbalance. But it's also possible for some people to get into a "down" cycle that they think they need meds to get out of, but in reality don't.

 

All that aside, I'm glad you're going to see somebody to talk to about things. That alone is a big step and I hope is a huge help. It's nice to talk to somebody who is non-judgemental and listens to what you have to say. Well done!

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Good for you for checking out your options!

 

Some centers have a general group that's an intro to the dynamics of groups in general and therapy groups in particular. I did one called "About Groups" and we all ended up not liking the leader too much ... which I later read was a sign of a healthy group! Keep in mind that you don't have to talk/open up much to benefit from a group. Sometimes just observing the general interactions and hearing what others talk about can be helpful. Testing the waters by talking about something that's not your key issue can be informative as well.

 

If you have a specific concern, look at your health plan's options of course but keep in mind there are feasible alternatives if you aren't getting what you need from the plan. It's all about YOU and your needs, not about fitting into a plan's grid. But I think you know that already!

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