So, yesterday I went to…

So, yesterday I went to talk to a shrink. This is not a sign that there's something terrible in my life -- in fact, I've been feeling happier in the last few weeks than I have in a long while. Much more stable, much more me. But much of the last two years have been -- well, not so easy to cope with. I've managed, but just barely, and often by leaning tremendously heavily on Kevin, poor munchkin. Throughout that time, I kept thinking, maybe I should go talk to someone, but I just never seemed to have the time and energy to set it up.

So, anyway, yesterday I took a friend's recommendation and went to see this guy Fred. And it went well enough that I'm going to try seeing him a few more times, just to see how it goes. So far, he hasn't said much -- but then again, I didn't really give him a chance, because it took pretty much the whole hour just to give him a brief history of my life thus far, and then a detailed history of everything that's happened in the last super-eventful two years. We did establish that he's poly-friendly, which was a relief, and he doesn't seem weirded out by the whole erotica-writing thing, so that's good.

His basic assessment so far is that he doesn't think I'm actually suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder -- that it sounds like my anxiety and insomnia and occasional crying jags are just a normal reaction to super-high levels of situational stressors in my life recently. Which sounds about right, but it's reassuring hearing that from a professional. We'll give it at least a few more sessions and see how it goes.

It's funny, but it feels weird writing this post, like there's something wrong with admitting that I talked to a therapist. That maybe it'll hurt my chances on the academic job market, or that those of my students reading this will think less of me as a result. Even that it'll make some editor or publisher less willing to work with me. Which is ridiculous, even if true. I think it's tremendously important to remove the stigma around issues of mental health, so we can talk openly about it, and so people don't have to face a social barrier (in additional to all the personal barriers) in getting the help they need. So, here's my part towards the problem. I went to see a shrink. It went just fine.

4 thoughts on “So, yesterday I went to…”

  1. There’s nothing wrong w/ seeking therapy. Sometimes it’s better to talk to a professional. Me, I’m waiting for my friend who went back to school to be a shrink to graduate. Then I get to be her first patient 😀

    Actually, I also wanted to say that I finally found “Bodies in Motion” in the shops over here, bought it, and finished reading it the same night. I think it’s awesome! And could relate to some of the issues, being a displaced , half-ceylonese diasporic. Also, seeing “kunju” in a novel = priceless!

  2. Nin, I’m so glad you liked it — thanks for letting me know! This reminds me that I should probably post sometime soon pimping my book as a perfect holiday gift. 🙂

  3. I saw therapists during two really stressful periods of my life, and both times, it made an enormous difference – it just helps so much to have someone safe to talk to who isn’t personally involved in your life issues, doesn’t have any personal investment in your choices, and won’t be hurt or disappointed by anything you say. I found it incredibly soothing and helpful – my stress levels went down exponentially. Good luck with it.

  4. I wouldn’t have finished my PhD without help from a psychologist. Good friends to talk to aren’t always enough. Our speech patterns and declarations of belief reveal things about ourselves that the people closest to us often pass over, out of both politeness and habituation.

    So basically: yay you for taking care of yourself!

    We enjoyed seeing you in October and have been making your curries lately, so we think of you often.

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