Psychotherapy Hurts

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. —-Mary Anne Radmacher

Treatment for depression takes time. Medication takes time to kick in, and it doesn’t work all the time or for everyone. Sometimes it stops working. Therapy takes lots of time. Not just the time in each session, but the time you spend mulling over what you discussed with the therapist, the insights you gained, the history you reviewed and the patterns you identified together.

Right now, I’m feeling somewhat anxious, thinking about our recent discussions about my failed marriage and my relationship choices. I am so grateful that, for all the misery and emotional pain I have suffered over the years, I can appreciate the one good thing that came of all that; my son. What plagues me at this point is, how did I manage to pick a partner who could treat me (and our child) so poorly and be so mean-spirited? And can I put the trauma of the past 15 years behind me once and for all? This is the part where I need the courage to keep getting up to face each day anew. This week therapy was a little deeper than I anticipated. We aren’t just doing cognitive-behavioral therapy, we are getting deep into the past and doing some analysis. I’m not sure I like it all that well as I gush tears and mucus, but I think all the mining the depths of my psyche is a necessary purge for me to move forward in a healthy way.

Health…that is something so many assume is a given in life. Until you don’t have it. Until it vanishes abruptly, or you lose it to a slow, chronic, physical or mental illness. Then you realize it is a precious and valuable thing. And a commodity with a price tag attached. How much can you afford? Is it fair to place a limit on any treatment, including mental illness? Should copays be as high as seeing a specialist? My point is, studies have shown psychotherapy as effective as medication in the treatment of Depression, yet on a weekly basis it obviously costs  more. Are people getting all the help they need? Are we doing all we can to improve the mental health of at least some of those people so they are less likely to become chronically ill? Yeah, those are rhetorical questions.

Psychotherapy hurts financially too. This will likely be yet another year I can itemize medical expenses. For those who have never itemized for tax purposes, you can claim medical expenses above 7.5% of your income. That’s a ton of money to spend on medical care. But without my health, what do I have? (rhetorical again!) Only those who have no health issues and who know no one with health problems could claim that health care reform is not needed. (That’s my political and professional statement as a nurse for the day).

Today I send up a prayer for anyone in need of mental health care. May you find some solace and healing for your emotional pain. God bless. 



One response to “Psychotherapy Hurts

  1. This is a great post! I feel everything you do and more. I feel I failed my kids 2x – once with an abusive “biological dad” and again with a step-dad they loved – until he forgot we existed since his son’s death. I don’t know how to go on, but am pretty sure my frinds are geting tired of me being so depressed. I am seeing a counselor, but only 5 visits thru work – and I can’t afford to pay for additional. Where to go for help is what I need…

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