June 2012

Finding The Right Psychiatrist For You

We are entering a mind-minefield here where the only way to find the right help for you is by trial and error, in my own experience I spent so many years doing just that. At times I felt as if there was no one out there that could ever fill those shoes. The key here is to consider other aspects of our lives. Example – we have all been in a position that requires us to shop around; maybe we even go home empty-handed. I myself have returned many items that I thought suited me whilst in the store, only to return the item a day or so later. My point here is that we are all individual, and that goes across the spectrum. We all like to eat in different places; we use different hair salons because we have found the hair stylist for us. We differ in the clothes we feel comfortable in.

You may feel that putting the above scenarios in the same equation as my Mental Health is the wrong thing to do. I grant you Mental Health is not that trivial; it’s a different ball game entirely, where I was clearly at that time playing out of my league. But it really helps if you try to look at it from that angle; looking back it truly made a lot of sense for me at that time. I attended so many appointments, where on leaving I knew that I would not return. Some tried to alter my medication; others sat across from me saying nothing, I guess waiting for me to impart some manner of wisdom on my own condition. There were days when I thought the right person would never come along for me. Someone that I could open up to and ultimately to trust with my life, to be honest it was a very scary place to be in. I am not talking here about the loss of our life that will come to us all; I’m talking about reclaiming my life where I was no longer just trying to exist. We may have been living in the state of limbo for many years, which is true to say with regards to my own situation during that time.

So how do you explain that you need to share the days of terror, whilst not wanting to dip your toe into the water? How do you find the strength you need to relive those years in today’s reality? How do you know that the hand you are holding on to for dear life will keep you safe, trust that they won’t let go when the going gets tough? The fact is that it will get tough there is no getting away from that, but that’s true to be said by us going it alone or by reaching out for the help we need. Why else are we so utterly terrified to enter the lion’s den? Will we be judged? Can we tell someone about our nightmares? Maybe they will share our secrets; we are told that it would be unethical for them to so, but from a learned behaviour we know that people lie. It’s so easy to be deceived which in itself causes our heart rate to race; our secrets are something we thought we would take to our grave. Our secrets are something never to be told, we must never do so or the outcome would be dire. There is a chasm of darkness an abyss where we have stored our painful memories. It’s a place that we never enter willingly; so how can we contemplate asking someone to enter there with us? That chasm it seems has no visible end; but my promise to you is that if you walk forward in that direction, there is a light to be found at the end of that tunnel. The day I found that right person for me stays with me to this very day, I remember feeling just like a child again; all the insecurities came flooding in. It was akin to learning to walk those first tentative steps as an infant. In essence I opened my heart and soul to a complete stranger how mad was that? Answer- it was a completely sane thing to do. I had found that one person that I could trust. How do you arrive at this point and even believe it’s possible? Answer – simply this by shopping around, because there are no quick fixes to be had.

This brings us neatly back to the start of this piece, along with the message of perseverance I am hoping to impart. They say that you may kiss many frogs before you find your prince or princess; well the same equation could equally be applied here. You may walk through many doors before you arrive at the one you feel safe enough to close behind you. Once closed there is way forward, trust in the new life that you so badly want to be yours. This will happen for us all at different times within our journey to recovery but who ever said it was a race . . .