Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

How to find the right counselor?

AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened OptimistRegistered User regular
I'll cut to the chase: I am fairly certain I need a counselor. Not medication at this point, but someone to talk to and lead to improvement. How do I do this?

Personal issue wrap-up beings here:
People who know me know that I've got fairly low self esteem. I don't have much independence despite having my own apartment (thanks to not having a car), I'm not healthy in terms of exercise, and in general I find myself desiring things without any clue how to do it - such as a relationship, which I've never been in despite being 30.

In the past, I've been diagnosed with ADD (Junior high) and Seasonal Affective Disorder, which reaches its worst... well.. about now. A couple years ago General Anxiety Disorder was added to my medical rap sheet, and the psychiatrist at the time said there was a chance I had a mild case of OCD regarding some subjects as well.

Lately, I've been noticing my anxiety has been getting worse. At work I mask that by rushing into things headlong without proper planning (in an effort to prove myself), but after that proved nearly disastrous last year I've toned that back... and have started going the opposite way, where I worry over all the consequences to such a heavy degree that things take much longer to get done. I'm nervous about calling vendors or asking for outside help, for fear that I'm going to be called out for doing something wrong.

In my personal life, my procrastination is getting much worse, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with simple tasks such as cleaning. I don't cook, which leads to me spending far too much money eating out, and from there I have no ability to save, which means I don't have a car - and thus I am pretty much a shut-in.

I was exercising and walking and the like starting in March, and seeing a doctor enough to get on a CPAP and some blood pressure medicine that caused me to dry cough really bad. But due to work I've stopped all that, not finding time to take care of myself.

I'm finding myself drifting away from my friends, mostly because the person I used to hang out with all the time no longer lives close.

So here I am, knowing I need help of some kind. My family tends to frown on counselors and psychiatrists, dismissing them anytime they are brought up. My mom likes making "jokes" about how we are all mentally scarred thanks to her, and how all we are going to do at a counselor is bitch about her. That's... not why I want to go. I really want to get better. I want to feel better about myself, and stop having a low self esteem, and genuinely feel like all the compliments and kudos I get are genuine. Sometimes it sinks in.. but often I don't believe people.. and I hate that feeling.

So where do I even start? Some coworkers have suggested some people in the area, but I'd feel awkward talking to them. I believe my insurance should cover the counselor visit with a copay/deductible under the heading of a specialist, so that shouldn't be a huge issue. And then there's the hurdle of not having a car. Where exactly does one go to find quality counselors who won't just throw me on drugs at the drop of a hat?

And no, I don't feel like I'm whining or being lazy, despite my family being a "bootstraps" kind of place. I broke down last week over something trivial and outside of my control, and I realized then that I need to get help. (The clingy/controlling girlfriend thread is helping too - good God I hope I'm never that way with whoever I eventually meet... you know.. when I learn how to meet new people).

I know I make these kinds of threads every few months around here, but I've yet to find a more intelligent crew of people than I've found here at PA, and that's why I turn to you guys.

Official member of the Grilling Gentry
"Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
Rarely-updated Collecting blog
He/Him

Posts

  • milehighmilehigh Registered User regular
    I was at a loss to find a grief counselor earlier this year when my father passed away. I started by looking at a list provided by my insurance. I was able to sort by location, as well as specialties (grief, substance abuse, anxiety, stress, etc). I found one near my work and after a few visits I had made a lot of progress and had a lot of methods to practice to get through the rough spots. Also just having a neutral third party helped me a ton.

    Not sure how your insurance works, but mine actually paid for 5 visits free, and if I decided that wasn't the counselor for me? They paid for the first 5 with another one, and another, until I found one that I clicked with. That said, don't feel bad for seeking this out. I sought mine out for grief, but have ended up working through a lot more and now have strategies for approaching a lot of other situations that caused me issue before (including some borderline social anxiety). It was the best decision I could've made at the time and I feel I'm a significantly better person overall because of it. Also, my counselor never suggested drugs, but was able to advise me of the pros and cons of what was available should I seek out the option.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    "Counselors" will not put you on drugs at the drop of a hat. Now admittedly it sounds like you have actual, diagnosable conditions that may benefit from the right medication, but even so most of the time that's not something someone titled as a counselor is even qualified to do. They may tell you they think you should consider it, but most cannot prescribe you anything to get in your grill about.

    Why would you feel awkward talking to the people your co-workers recommended? A really good way to start is actually to call around to these recommendations and talk a little bit on the phone, telling them what you're looking for out of counseling and asking if they provide it. Most will either say "yeah, I can work with/have some experience with that" or "you know, this isn't really what I do, but I know someone who does exactly what you're looking for and here's their number." The answer to the question "Where does one go to find quality [anything]" is the same for pretty much everything: word of mouth, the phone book, or Google.

    If you live anywhere with any kind of public transport, not having a car is an excuse, not a hurdle. :P If you can find someone relatively near where you work, you can go after work and get home however you would normally, just a little later.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    The public transportation issue is kind of killer. I know it means getting home, but basically I have to add 2 hours to my work day on either side of actual work.. so a 9 hour work day becomes 11. I know that isn't anything compared to some people, but the bus system around here stops running at 9, so I basically only have 3 cycles of the bus system before I am stranded. That's a pretty big fear of mine.

    Oh, and they ere planning on getting rid of my bus route as of January, making the nearest bus stop a mile away. Thankfully we all rallied and showed the city how stupid an idea their changes were going to be, and got that stopped... It was terrifying and exhilirating to stand in front of everyone and plead my case. I'd like to be more assertive and do that kind of thing more in the future, and get involved in politics. But again.. anxiety, procrastination, all that.

    As for feeling awkward about my coworkers recommendations.. I know it's all confidential, but there's just something about talking to someone who interacts with someone else in my life that feels all sorts of weird. I don't know if I can be open.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Listen to ceres. I was going through similar things earlier this year and she helped me figure out what I needed to do. She knows what's up.

  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    Oh, I am. Ceres is an old friend, or at least I like to think she is. (That's the whole anxiety bit). The thing is, I'm trying to lay out my excuses so I can kind of see how stupid they are.. because that's usually my problem. I build up tons of excuses or "what ifs" and talk myself out of doing things. I've never found a good strategy of combating that, save for talking up myself.. and I'm really bad at that, especially when I'm feeling down and hating how dark it is and all sorts of things like that.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • AvrahamAvraham Registered User regular
    I've found that when I'm building up a bunch of endless excuses, it's because I know very clearly the real reason I don't want to do something, it's just a reason I don't want to admit (I'm scared)

    :bz: :bz: :bzz:
    MentalExercise
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Avraham wrote: »
    I've found that when I'm building up a bunch of endless excuses, it's because I know very clearly the real reason I don't want to do something, it's just a reason I don't want to admit (I'm scared)

    This is exactly me.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • khainkhain Registered User regular
    Go to the most confident counselor as and if you don't like them or feel uncomfortable, then go to another one. Rinse and repeat until you find one that you like.

  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington Registered User regular
    One place to get good recommendations on counselors is from other counselors. Like the advice above, a friend of mine's insurance pays for the first 5 visits. The first counselor ended up being the right one, but now she's moving. Before she left, she gave my buddy a list of other counselors in the area that met certain criteria.

    A good counselor will want to get you help, even if it doesn't end up being with them.

    SrUxdlb.jpg
  • chromdomchromdom Working on having a better attitude Oh yeah, I movedRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    I'm at work so can't search for the specific site right now, but Psychology Today has a very good search engine to help find therapsists/counselors that may fit your particular needs.
    Location, specializations, pricing, etc. Probably worth a look.

    Ah-ha! Found it!

    EDIT: Thanks, should be fixed now

    chromdom on
    Mr. Rogers wrote:
    You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There's no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Athenor wrote: »
    The public transportation issue is kind of killer. I know it means getting home, but basically I have to add 2 hours to my work day on either side of actual work.. so a 9 hour work day becomes 11. I know that isn't anything compared to some people, but the bus system around here stops running at 9, so I basically only have 3 cycles of the bus system before I am stranded. That's a pretty big fear of mine.

    For the addition of hours to your work day, get a kindle and learn to love that commute. As for the stranded part, you need to make sure you have a backup plan in case things go bad. If that means having a bit of extra cash to call a cab then so be it, but it's good for you to get out and "see the world" as it were.
    As for feeling awkward about my coworkers recommendations.. I know it's all confidential, but there's just something about talking to someone who interacts with someone else in my life that feels all sorts of weird. I don't know if I can be open.

    I don't know much about where you work, but I have two things I want to say about this:

    1 - You may consider no longer talking to your co-workers about this stuff. If they are good friends outside work then that's up to you, but I would be concerned that the information could get around to people who don't have your best interests in mind (i.e. a bad manager).

    2 - Talk to HR at your location. A lot of businesses have an Employee Assistance Program that will connect you with councilors and sometimes arrange for the first visits to be free

    As for how you trust a councilor, well, you don't. Not right away. It takes me a long time to open up to people about my life. I started going again at the beginning of this year (for something I posted about on here, actually), and it took months to really dig into my past again. The important thing is that a good councilor will push you just enough to help, but still keep things at your pace.

    Edit: your link is broken, @Chromdom

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    Thanks for the link. And I trust my coworkers quite well, as well as my bosses (even if I don't share many of their personal beliefs). I have a Kindle, but I find myself sleeping on the bus more often than not. In fact, I find myself sleeping a ton overall. But I think that's more of a health issue.

    Honestly, I'm feeling a lot better thanks to this thread and talking to some personal friends. I am still 100% planning on going through with this, but I'm finding myself getting more active other than the sleeping weird hours bit.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Lots of good advice in here. I would echo checking with your insurance first before you see a counselor. I saw a therapist once on someone's recommendation, and he was very nice, but he was out of network, and my insurance was like "oops, we're not paying for that, grats on your 3k bill," and I had to stop seeing him.

    One piece of advice I would tentatively give, is if your parents don't believe in therapy, don't tell them you're going. Now, some people in here might say that's a bad idea, and it might be, in which case I'm sorry, but my gut feeling is simply not to tell them. Don't lie, but don't bring it up. Your health is too important to let other people's misconceptions get in the way.

    If you're worried about meds, see a psychologist, and express to him you're uncomfortable with meds if he brings up referring you.

    silence1186 on
    V wrote:
    Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Whereabouts do you live, Athenor? If you don't mind posting or PMing your area, I have a lot of friends in the counseling field and I'd be more than happy to ask them for recommendations for you if your geography happens to overlap.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Lots of good advice in here. I would echo checking with your insurance first before you see a counselor. I saw a therapist once on someone's recommendation, and he was very nice, but he was out of network, and my insurance was like "oops, we're not paying for that, grats on your 3k bill," and I had to stop seeing him.

    One piece of advice I would tentatively give, is if your parents don't believe in therapy, don't tell them you're going. Now, some people in here might say that's a bad idea, and it might be, in which case I'm sorry, but my gut feeling is simply not to tell them. Don't lie, but don't bring it up. Your health is too important to let other people's misconceptions get in the way.

    If you're worried about meds, see a psychologist, and express to him you're uncomfortable with meds if he brings up referring you.

    I agree with this completely and wholeheartedly because you are not 10 years old. You're an adult, and your health and treatment of it is your own damn business. And if your mother is saying that sort of thing to you (with its associated pressure) whenever therapy comes up in conversation, she probably IS worth a mention during therapy, IMO. :P

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
Sign In or Register to comment.