Therapy -- are you ashamed?

Krista - posted on 09/13/2011 ( 47 moms have responded )

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As we all know, there's a continuing stigma that comes with the idea of emotional distress or emotional disorders. A lot of people do not feel comfortable seeking therapy, or are insulted if therapy is suggested to them (in a well-meaning way, not a "you need therapy, lady!" way).

What are your thoughts on therapy? If you've had it, are you ashamed to admit it? If someone well-meaning suggested it to you, would you be angry? Or do you think therapy is the best thing since sliced bread?

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Tara - posted on 09/18/2011

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I am not ashamed to tell people I went to therapy, heck I went to a psychiatrist every week for six months!

I encourage people to seek therapy if they feel they need someone to talk to who is separate from their issues. I think it can be good for most people to have a place where they can let it all hang out. Then put it away until the following session. It helped me cope with the day to day depression and anxiety knowing that each week I had a place to bring it out, experience it, look at it and then put it away for a little while.
I don't think it's the best thing since sliced bread though and I think there are a lot of bad therapists out there who keep people in their state of mind simply to continue to making money off of them.

Merry - posted on 09/14/2011

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Gina, i agree, the 'why are you depressed' question is about as useful as the 'why do you have cancer' question. And both are pretty rude I think.

Ella - posted on 09/13/2011

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It also will only work if the person genuinly ants to be there and wnats to fix something, its something you have to do for you not for anybody else. I do think its sometimes hard to know the right things to say though for fear of judgement and wondring what they are thinking of you, but yes definately worth while

Erin - posted on 09/13/2011

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If anything, I think seeking help from a therapist/counsellor/psychologist is something to be proud of. It shows a level of maturity and personal responsibility that is to be respected.

I had some counselling in my early 20s when I started having crippling panic attacks. It helped me get to the root of my anxiety (intense fear of failure mostly... too much pressure growing up as the G & T kid).

If I ever felt overwhelmed like that again, I wouldn't hesitate to go back. I don't tell every person I meet that I had counselling at one point, but my friends and family certainly know.

[deleted account]

I've been in therapy for over 10 years, I still go twice a month, and I will probably ALWAYS go to some form of therapy. For the most part, I am not ashamed of it, so to speak, but I am guarded about who I tell. To me, it is a very personal thing.



I have an eating disorder that I have been fighting since my early childhood (never force your kids to eat people!). No one in real life knows about that except for my doctors. NO ONE. I am not ashamed of the fact that I go to therapy to treat it (along with my ADD), I am ashamed that I have the eating disorder. Those who know I go to therapy think I go for treatment for ADD, and that is all. Oddly, I'm not ashamed of my ADD.....wonder why.



My husband and I are in marriage counseling. We see a therapist for this, I see a psychologist for the other. I don't tell people because they automatically think that if you are in marriage counseling that you must be having problems. We are not having problems, we just struggle with communication so we go about 4 times a year for "upkeep". Most people I know do it, but no one really talks about it.

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Laura - posted on 09/24/2011

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I wouldn't be ashamed in the least. I'm a psychiatrist, so I do a good bit of therapy. I've also been in therapy myself. When I first started working, I was hearing a lot of traumatic stories and it was really impacting how I was relating to my kids, my husband and the world. I needed someone to help reframe my thoughts and feelings. It was a tremendous experience to be on "the other side of the couch." My mantra is that everyone can benefit from therapy at some point in their life. The more we talk about it, the sooner it will be more accepted by society. I've even shared with some of my patients, and certainly some of my peers, that I have been in therapy, and it really helps people to overcome their fear and the stigma of it. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 09/21/2011

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I have 3 boys that all have some sort of "mental disabilities", ADHD, components of OCD and ODD, and different types of anxiety. All 3 of them are in therapy. We are doing individual therapy for each of them and family therapy with myself included to help all of us together deal with the disabilities that they have.
At this facility, they also are able to adjust the meds that my children take by testing for other disabilities such as bi polar which runs in 2 of my children's family's. I think things would be a lot harder to handle in our home then if we weren't doing the therapy, while changes are slow coming, they are happening!
The kids all like and trust the therapist that they see, I like them and trust them so that makes it a good connection for them.
With the oldest 2, their therapist helps them to develop ways to work thru the anger and how to do things differently, while the youngest one does art therapy due to anxiety issues with abuse of sorts at the hands of his father. While we haven't gotten specific words from him about what has made him so scared, angry and hateful towards him. it has let his therapist see thru the art how he stays protected from the "monster", locks and steering wheels in all of his pictures, locks to lock him out and steering wheels to drive away! sadly this is from a 6 year old. Are we ashamed to go, no, does it help, slowly but yes it is and for that I'm thankful.
I think if you find the right one for yourself and your needs, it would be a great thing, noone has to know unless you feel the need to tell them, not so much because of being ashamed of going, but because sometimes their are some things that have happened to someone, rape and abuse, that you cant see physically, that while makes living your life day to day difficult, if someone cant "see" your reason for going and questions it can set you back in your therapy. Its your choice and sometimes making the call is the hardest decision to make and the more someone has to explain it to someone who doesnt understand, the harder it will be for them to continue to get the help they need.

[deleted account]

Yes and no. I'm IN it and I have no problem posting all kinds of stuff on my Facebook (for my 167ish friends)... I'm pretty much an open book. But.... I haven't spoken a word about any of my messes to my parents. They ARE my Facebook friends, so if they were ever ON it.... they'd know, but that's the only way.

My ex used to always tell me that I needed to be on anti-depressants or something. Pissed me off EVERY time and I was 100% resistant to the idea. I've tried them NOW (now that he's been gone for 3.5 years... lol), but still haven't found one that doesn't make me constantly sick.

Rebecca - posted on 09/19/2011

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I am all for therapy. I've been in therapy since i was 8 years old (i am now 19), and it has really helped alot. I had a very rough child hood, i was abused growing up, ive been raped 3 times, my parents got divorced, my sisters were taken out of our home and put into foster care, etc.. and it all took a big tole on my relationships in life. But i still have managed to get through everything and become a stronger person. if it wasnt for therapy i dont know where i would be right now.

Michelle - posted on 09/19/2011

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When I was pregnant with my daughter someone at work did something horrible to me. He was fired on the spot but I was a mess. At my next appointment with the midwife I told her that my blood pressure was probably high because of what happened at work and completely broke down.

She referred me to the social worker at the hospital and he was wonderful. He made me realize that I didn't deserve what this man did and that by letting it affect me he was still winning.

I never hid the fact I was going to see the social worker and work even gave me time off to go to the appoinments. I guess they felt guilty because they had hired him. I can now talk about what happened without turning into a blubbering mess.

Jennifer - posted on 09/18/2011

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Tara made an excellent point. There are horrible therapists out there! It is important to feel comfortable with the therapist that you choose and if you do not like them, it is important to find another one! My daughter had one that would answer calls and fall asleep during HER time. If you don't "click" with the person you are seeing, dump them and find another.

Jane - posted on 09/18/2011

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I personally have never been to a therapist. So far in my life, I've been able to deal with things by myself or talking with family to work out any emotional things I need to work out. I'm a very outspoken person so I don't bottle things up. HOWEVER, if I needed it, I'd go and I wouldn't be ashamed one little bit about needing it. If someone suggested it, I guess my reaction would depend on whether or not I felt I needed it. I think SOME people are therapy dependent and never learn to work through problems on their own...to me, that is a problem in and of itself. So, if the person suggesting it was one of those people I'd probably take it with a grain of salt. If it were someone who was well meaning and stable, I'd probably say "thanks" and then go home and think about it.

Jennifer - posted on 09/18/2011

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I am now 43 years old and I have been seeing a therapist since I was 15 years old. I think they are wonderful! I am not ashamed at all. I feel that I am better adjusted and balanced because I have sought the help of a therapist!

I grew up with a family that is the "poster child" for the word Dysfunctional. Because I have seen a therapist and learned to do things differently, I don't abuse my daughter because they have taught me another way to parent. I have someone to bounce my idea's off of to be sure I am not following my families dysfunctional thinking. I mean, if you grow up around dysfunction, that IS normal for you! It's important to have an outsider view your responses, reactions and impulses to make sure they are not continuing the old way of things. I still have emotional scars from my youth that affect how I behave but I have learned to retrain many of my reactions so that I am not perpetuating the damage caused by my family on my loved ones.

I think EVERYONE could benefit from therapy if only to be able to see the world from another point of view and realize there is more than one way to do things right.

Sarah - posted on 09/15/2011

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I think therapy can be a life saver! Yes, I've had therapy & no I am not ashamed to admit it. ;) I've had OCD since I was about 10-years-old, but I didn't start seeing someone for it until I was in my early 20's. The therapy has definitely made a huge difference in my life...oh and the Zoloft, too. ;)

I'm not in therapy right now, but I plan to go back once I get pregnant with my 2nd child. My 1st pregnancy was torture (especially the last trimester), because my OCD was the worst it had ever been...due to hormones & the fact that I went off my meds. I want to actually enjoy my next pregnancy & I think therapy will definitely help!

Tammy - posted on 09/15/2011

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I've been to a couple of shrinks in my life, but they were totally useless, in my opinion. One of them would give me useless calming meds and then usher me out of his office 20 minutes before our session was over. The other would bore me to death and I would practically fall asleep in his couch! I am not ashamed, I guess therapy is commonplace in California. LOL

Janice - posted on 09/15/2011

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I have been in and out of therapy for much of my life. It isn't something I divulge to anyone. Yet, any one close to me knows. Depression and anxiety runs strong in my family and I truly believe sometime the chemicals just get messed up sometimes. I can go for many months where stress affects me in a normal way and I can deal. Then all of a sudden I will feel myself slipping and even minor issues feel like the end of the world.
I don't love when I am in therapy but I am thankful for it. Its nice to be able to spill your guts to someone who doesn't know everyone you know.

To answer am I ashamed? Yes and no. I know I need it and I'm glad I can get help. All my close friends and family know. But there are certain people I would be hesitant to let know because I know they might judge me.

April - posted on 09/14/2011

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i never went to a real psychologist, but i did see a school counselor for anorexia. i am kind of embarassed. i feel like i shouldn't have needed to go to that extreme. i also didn't and still don't consider myself to have been a true anorexic. it was college, we lived in a dorm and my sole access to food was the dining hall. i didn't like their food and refused to eat it. as for exercise, i was on the track team. i wasn't this crazy girl getting up at 3 am to exercise and i never cried once that I was fat!

ME - posted on 09/14/2011

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I have an MS in Counseling, and have been in therapy before. I see nothing to be ashamed about...I think it is beneficial to those who need it, but not everyone needs it. I think that people need to be sure they are working with the right therapist for them before making a decision about whether or not is works. I think that medicating people in place of talk therapy is a tragedy...

Jennifer - posted on 09/14/2011

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No. Never. In fact I find that usually the people that are oppossed to it and feel its weak, are the one's who also need it the most. I think its wise to care for your emotional health and its good to talk to people. Its hard as there are just some things you cannot talk with your close friends, or family about and its not only for your benefit, its so you have more insight and encouragement as a mom. I do see though where there can be too much therapy (as in the person cannot even fuction without one). After my brother died I got therapy and I am so glad I drove that hour for myself.. it helped me see so much and I can understand myself and my son so much better. Plus it helps me to be better for my friends and family as well. Its a shame when people allow shame to put them in hiding and depression turns to mental illness and/or suicide. If only they could of felt that they had someone to talk to... No shame, shame on anyone who tries to bring shame to others for caring for themselves emotionally.

Gina - posted on 09/14/2011

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Yes and no. It's hard to explain but I'll try.I've been to therapy because of bad depression, It saved my life,that makes me ashamed that I was so weak, that I couldn't cope.
On the other hand my family found out how bad it was for me, and they supported me through the weeks I needed help with, but because they don't understand depression, I feel they are ashamed of it.I still get asked 'Why you depressed'? Anyone who has depression knows how useful that question is!.
I'm glad my family know that I should still be in therapy,but I keep putting off going back, but sometimes the questions are just to much.
Does that make sense? It does in my head, LOL

Lady - posted on 09/14/2011

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I've had theray before once and it was quite helful but I moved before I was finnished and didn't take it up again which was a mistake.
Depression is something I've been battling for as long as I can remember and it came to a head again a few months ago - I could hadly get out of bed - part of me knew I had to go back to therapy but I have been fighting it and thought I could just pull myself out of it like I have done so many times in the past - I now realise that if I want to not keep sinking into depressions then I'm going to have to face the real issues of what has caused them in the first place - this is something I can't do on my own or with just friends or family - I need to go to a proffesional who's had training and whoes job it is to help me with this.
There is no shame in seeking therapy just like you go to the doctor if your ill this is just another form of illness you need a health proffesional for.

[deleted account]

I had therapy in the past and it didn't work for me. If something major were to happen in my life that i felt i couldn't handle or people around me saw i wasn't handling very well then i'd go back and try again.

Ella - posted on 09/13/2011

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Im cool with it so long as it's approached in a good way. I think that counsellors do not work , but that psychologists are really helpful and know how to get into your head and help you figure out why you are how you are. Apart from the cost I think it is fantastic. I would not admit it for the most part to most people nt my family or anything but thee is a selective few who I would admit it to

Johnny - posted on 09/13/2011

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I had therapy when I was a teen. I was rather depressed, anxious, and extremely nervous. It didn't work, but it was the wrong thing for me. Seriously, who thinks art therapy is a good idea for someone who can not draw. All my issues appeared to be about stick men. My hubby got therapy though, and it worked great for him. My mom, not so much. She has been in therapy for nearly 20 years and seems to just keep getting worse. I think you have to want it to work, you have to have the right match of therapists and techniques, and you have to actually need help for something that therapy can change. But is it something to be ashamed of? Heck no. I think being ashamed of needing therapy or offended at it being suggested may in itself point to a need to work on some issues.

Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2011

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I've been in therapy a couple times. Neither time did it help much. The last time they said I was bi-polar and put me on meds. Turns out I had shift work disorder from working 2 weeks days, 2 weeks nights and up to 80 hours a week. Seems I might have guessed that myself?!? LOL! Anyhow, I do think it can be helpful, I have my duaghter in therapy right now.

Sherri - posted on 09/13/2011

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I have had therapy, nope not ashamed to admit it. However, it really isn't something that works for me.

Aleks - posted on 09/13/2011

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I had therapy.
Had a nervous breakdown for numerous reasons... some which included mild depression and ocd... lump them all in at once, plus 7/10 most stressful events in life to all happen in around 15mths time frame... and presto: lost my mind.
Anti-depressants and a shrink got me to feel like myself again (at least most of the time, anyway).
Best thing I ever did - reached out to help. I wish I did it sooner (ie with the ocd, but I didn't know I had it), then may be I never would have had the breakdown.

Karla - posted on 09/13/2011

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I have been in therapy a couple of different times. I found it very helpful and although I don't tell everyone, but the people close to me all know!



My husband suggested I go again earlier this year after our miscarriage. I wasn't at all offended, he was completely right. Often you can't see how deep the hole you are in is until someone offers to help pull you out:)

Rosie - posted on 09/13/2011

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i've been to therapy and didn't really get anything out of it. i'd be willing to go again if i got someone who did something for me.

Amber - posted on 09/13/2011

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I went to a therapist for ptsd after a really bad car accident. After working through the pts, I was able to work through a lot of the abuse that I faced as a child. It was incredibly beneficial. It took away a lot of my fears and nervousness. I'm a better spouse, mother, friend, and overall person because I'm not always waiting for the worst thing possible to happen and I've learned to trust people.

[deleted account]

No, my parents made me eat people. Now I'm messed up.

haha! Just kidding! ;) Apparently, I left out a rather important comma :P

Krista - posted on 09/13/2011

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never force your kids to eat people

Heh. The difference a comma can make, huh? ;)

And yeah, I agree with all of you. I bring my car in to get its oil changed. I go get medicals every so often. Why not go in to see a therapist every once in awhile to get the emotional gunk cleaned out of my psyche? I've been to therapy -- not because anything huge was going on, but just because I was detecting certain self-sabotaging patterns in my life, and wanted to figure out a way to change my mindset, so that I didn't fall into those patterns over and over. It was really enlightening to learn how to recognize those "triggers" within myself and to recognize when I was heading down a bad path. It's made a big difference in my life.

Minnie - posted on 09/13/2011

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I've never been to therapy, but I see it as a good thing- sometimes we need to reach out for support and help from others.

never force your kids to eat people

I DID have to double check this one ;)

Mrs. - posted on 09/13/2011

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I said in the other thread, that my fiance and I are doing couple's counselling for a bunch of stuff, a lot of it grief over a loved one passing.

I have been in and out of therapy for years. Whenever I find myself in need, I'll go back. I'm not ashamed to say so.

However, there is still a big stigma attached to it, I think. I know in my fiance's family it is for "crazy" people and is really looked down upon. Of course, they have a huge history of depression and suicide in the family, I think, because of this negative attitude. I really is sad and sometimes hard to move around his family without being labelled "the crazy one".

My current therapist is really helping a lot with my residual PPD/PPA issues. I wish I had seen her, and not the other one I saw, before.

That's the thing though, many people make a judgement about therapy based on one bad shrink they might have encountered. To me, that is like saying, "I had an ear infection once before and the treatment that doctor gave to me didn't work. I don't care if I go deaf with my present ear infection. I'm never going back to a doctor - doctors don't work."

Merry - posted on 09/13/2011

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This thread sort of makes me want to go back to a counselor to talk, but then I keep thinking why would I set up. Time to go cry about my mom! I kno it would help but it feels safer to push aside sadness then it is to purposefully bring up all those intense emotions. I'll probably procrastinated a while but mustard insurance covers counseling so I really should take advantage of it while I can........

JuLeah - posted on 09/13/2011

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Dana ... any child psychologist worth her weight will list a child as the 'identified client’.... meaning the kid is usually just reacting to an insane environment

A person has to want change. Therapy is not always for people who need it. It is for people who want it.

It takes guts to look at a pain filled history - to face the fear - to revisit an event you almost didn't live through the first time through .... I am not sure why anyone would feel shame

To stay where you are at, never look honestly at yourself - your choices - your life ... any fool can pull that off

People with the courage to face their nightterrors while awake ... yah, that takes guts

Dana - posted on 09/13/2011

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I saw a psychologist when I was a teen, I'm not ashamed to admit it at all. Turns out my parents were the problem, not me. Sometimes it can be highly enlightening. :D



I wouldn't be angry if anyone suggested it to me again. There are plenty of times in life that we are blind to who we are or how we present ourselves to the outside world. I think that nothing but good can come from any kind of therapy.

Caitlin - posted on 09/13/2011

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I had therapy when I was a teen, I thought it was a joke. I guess the therapist (or psycologist or whatever he was) just wasn't all that great. He didn't specialize with teens/kids and It was court mandated (not the first time). Haven't been back since but I think it may have been helpful after my second baby when I got the baby blues really bad, but I found it offensive when my hubby brought it up suggesting that maybe I should see someone. It's not like I was going to hurt myself or the baby or anyone, I was just not myself and realyl low energy and cried A LOT. I talked to the health nurse in the area and she said it was normal, I didn't need to see anyone, so I figured I was fine, but I probably wasn't. After this baby if I feel the "baby blues" bad, I'll prolly go talk to someone about it, because it was really hard on my family last time, but I woudn't admit to it. The only thing id' reisst is meds, unless I knew I really needed them..

[deleted account]

I went once when i was 16 she was completely loopy im damn sure she needed therapy more than i did. I wouldnt go again my therapy is my friend i can talk to her about anything.

JuLeah - posted on 09/13/2011

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Saved me! My choices were simple. I could repeat all pattrens from my childhood, raise my child as I was raised, be married for 30 yrs to a person who beat me ... OR I could figure out how to do things differently

September - posted on 09/13/2011

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I've seen a psychologist and no I'm not ashamed. It feels great to talk to someone that knows nothing about you, it's refreshing really.

[deleted account]

Therapy is a life saver for many.Its nothing to ever be ashamed about.You know they more people that embrace it, that goes for those who need it or are already in it and talk about it in a good way.The more people that would open up to the idea.It those help.I have seen the affects in people i know very well.I am thankful therapy was there for them as it really was a life saver.It should be seen as positive not a negitive.:-)

[deleted account]

There is no shame in therapy. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and other issues relating to PTSD. I can't go to therapy myself due to severe trust issues but I have seen it be very helpful to others. I don't think that it's the therapy that's the real item stigmatized but the possibility of mental illness.

Stifler's - posted on 09/13/2011

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I've seen a provisional psychologist before. I don't care who knows and people did suggest it, and it was the best thing since sliced bread.

[deleted account]

I had to go to therapy when i was a teen. I didn't have the best childhood and when I was 16 I took a nervous breakdown attempted to take my own life. I had a mandatory admittance to the psyc ward where I underwent extensive therapy. I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder coupled with sever depression. After i was released i continued to see a therapist for years. It really helped a lot. I'm happy now. I doubt i would have ever felt happiness if it weren't for therapy. I sure as hell didn't feel it before. No shame at all in getting help.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/13/2011

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I went after I had Freja because the people around me were concerned. I did it to appease them and I don't have anything against it. For some people therapy is a really wonderful thing. For me, I don't get much out of it. I find that I just really need to sit and process things in my mind by myself and then I'm all good.



I wasn't upset when it was suggested to me. There was clearly something not right and it needed to be fixed so it was a reasonable suggestion to make. I had a miraculous recovery the day after my first session and it had nothing to do with the therapy. I just happened to have an epiphany that night - oh yeah...in 18 years this kid will be moving out. So probably a lot sooner than that my life will cease to be a living hell. Huh. Done.

Merry - posted on 09/13/2011

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Not ashamed! My mom died, I was 15, there's no way anyone could consider me having therapy to be a bad thing. I'm even thinking of starting again since I don't feel healed as much as I want yet. But I haven't told anyone that I'm on ppd meds, I am ashamed of that. I feel like I 'failed' as a mom. I don't believe that, but I feel it.
If someone suggested therapy I would get defensive and hurt.

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