Today I read a twitter post about psychiatrists.
It got me thinking because I see a psychiatrist. I don't talk about it much to anyone, except those extremely close to me - until now obviously. I am not sure why, as I am an over sharer in so many other things....just ask my work colleagues, friends and family. I find no topic taboo to discuss with anyone, at least I haven't yet.
I started seeing my psychiatrist when I was 22.
Twenty two seems so distant now, I am 36 and so many things have changed in my life. Casting my memory back all those years is hard because a) it was a long time ago and b) it was a hard time in my life.
It all started when I began to lose weight along with my appetite and didn't want to get out of bed. I was feeling exhausted and run-down all the time. I visited my GP several times, blood tests were taken and all came back a-ok.
"I don't think there is anything physically wrong with you," she said to me one visit. "I don't think so either," was my reply. She gave me a referral to see Dr T, my psychiatrist.
I never thought at the time that 14 years later I would still be seeing her.
I saw her twice a week in the beginning, now we "catchup" twice a year. I was "diagnosed" with anxiety, depression and mild social phobia. We talked and talked and talked about the catalysts - all of which could be posts on their own.
She had me writing in a diary every day listing events, how they made me feel and my reaction. This helped me a lot, identifying my thoughts and reactions was a great place to start in changing my thought processes.
I kept these diaries for many years, even moved them with me to a couple of places. Until I was about 29 and I read through them and cried for that 22 year old girl but was also proud of how far she had come. I cut them all up into tiny little pieces and put them in the bin, never to be read again.
Over the years, Dr T taught me Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, relaxation techniques, and meditation. We even did some hypnosis sessions. I did Yoga classes, acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
She has been such a wonderful addition to my life. I certainly wouldn't be the person I am today without her help and support. Even now when I am having a rough time (which I was when I had Little Miss 4 and suffered PND), I can call her to chat at any time.
I bet you in another 14 years I will still be seeing her for our "catchups".