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.