I got well through proper treatment, which includes a therapist and a psychiatrist. I take my medications, which really do work. Although it took me a while to find the right combination of meds that work, today I am virtually symptom free, when I used to have panic attacks, depression, and hypo-mania. But, the medication is not a magic bullet cure-all. I have received intensive therapy with few interruptions for the past fourteen or so years. The reason that I go to therapy is not because I have had severe trauma in my life. I look at therapy like I look at doctor’s visits; regular therapy helps me maintain my wellness.
Now, there are therapists, and there are therapists. Some are certainly better than others. So, how do you pick one that is good? Well, it’s kind of like dating. First, you talk over the phone, and then you meet in person, and see if it clicks. I am a very intuitive person to start, so I can say that in the first session with a therapist, I can tell whether or not it is going to work. Everyone needs different things from therapy. Some need someone tough; some need someone who is very gentle and empathetic. Someone once told me that a good therapist will pat you on the head and kick you in the a@#$ at the same time. For me, this was 100% true. I need tough love and validation in equal amounts.
There are also many different types of therapy. I thrive on Cognitive Behavioral therapy, and more specifically, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT. DBT really saved my life. I would love to explain it, and will in subsequent posts, but in the meantime, you can learn about it by going to this website: www.dbtselfhelp.com.