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Does anyone ever feel too ill for therapy?

I haven’t managed to go for it today, as I have been nearly bed-bound, unable to get the courage to think, because all it does is make me more suicidal?

Does anyone ever get like that as well?

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Hey friend,

I believe those feelings are not uncommon when it comes to therapy. Honestly, it personally took me almost a decade to finally go to therapy. I made attempts, twice: one when I actually went there then left. Another time when I was so anxious that I couldn’t even cross the door to take an appointment. Last year I finally started to go back to therapy and every single time, the days and hours before the meeting, I thought about many ways and excuses to cancel. Now I’m supposed to find a new therapist and… it’s been hard to find the courage to actually set a meeting again.

Therapy is difficult. It’s a time dedicated to talk about thing that are, for the most part, painful. It’s not pleasant to go to someone and talk about your struggles. It’s actually really uncomfortable. And the effects are not felt in one or two sessions, so it can be discouraging and make us wonder why we actually go there. “It gets worse before it gets better” is how it goes with therapy, for many of us. You dive into painful thoughts, feelings, and overall you deal with the discomfort of talking to a stranger about things that are super intimate. With all of this in mind, it’s absolutely normal to struggle with it sometimes.

Now, a question that remains could be: what could help you to prevent you to cancel your meetings in the future? What could help you to feel safer before, during and after an appointment? How do you feel when your meeting is done? Do you reward yourself for going there? This could be a way to start. Also, maybe actually letting your therapist know about how you feel before a meeting could also be helpful. You could try to give yourself some tangible perspective, such as what you’d like to agree to talk about/work on the next time you see each other. That way, you could eventually prepare yourself, what you’d like to say (such as key points), and be more used to the idea of talking about a specific subject.

In any case, you’re definitely not alone in struggling with this. I hope you’ll take good care of yourself today. Hope you won’t be too hard on yourself for not managing to go there - it happens, but you also learn from that experience. Be patient with yourself, friend. This is a journey that takes plenty of small steps. :hrtlegolove:

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Ok, thanks!

It doesn’t help either how there is only a 1/12 chance each session that my therapist is the same one… Not helpful at all.

Hey @ljet11

Thank you so much for articulating this feeling so well. Yes, I feel that way sometimes when I have to go to therapy. There have been moments that I felt that I was being too depressed to go to therapy, which is such a weird thought to have, because 1 of the reasons I go to therapy is because of my depression. Weird, right? But it’s also a response thing for me. I tend to go into hiding when I get faced with a very difficult task. I become physically ill because my body doesn’t want to let me go to therapy. But it has been helpful for me that it’s possible to do therapy via video call now.

Also you mention something I also recognize sometimes.

For me it’s not ALL that it does, but I understand the feeling a bit. We are being faced with a possibility to either change or stay the same, but both paths that are displayed before us require a lot of effort. Changing the habits we’ve had for years and years is hard. We need to change our way of thinking about ourselves, our habits, sometimes even the relationships with the people around us and that is more difficult than what some people are willing to give us credit for. Not only that but the path is long and it often feels like we’re not reaching any of our goals. But you want to know what the truth is? The truth is that changing a habit and working on your mental health is like walking on a road that goes into the mountains. Sometimes a thing will take you a huge effort and you will see immediate result afterwards, sometimes the road suddenly goes down into a dark cave from which you will rise again, and sometimes it doesn’t look like you’re going any higher on that mountain, but it’s after a while, when you look back, that you can see that you came a long way and are higher on the mountain then you’ve ever been.
These are just some things that I’ve realized on my mental health journey, and maybe yours is similar, or maybe it’s not, I don’t know. What I would love to encourage you to do though, is talking with your therapist about it. Be honest to them about the fact that it’s hard. And maybe start thinking what it is that makes it hard for you? Have you also talked with them about your darker thoughts? And do you know the number of the crisisline in your country? Even though you’re in therapy, it’s still good to know the number of the crisislines because these are made for times of crisis, while therapy is for longterm help.
I really hope you can find the help you need, friend.
You’re Loved.
-Nyntje

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