More than my fair share

According to my Medicare records, I’ve attended ten psychologist sessions with R so far this year. Luckily for me, the cuts to the number of subsidised psychologist services per annum have not been put into effect. Yet. Until November this year that is. It’s just interesting for me to note that at this point, under the new restrictions, that’ll be it for the year.

There is still a part of me that is rather disgruntled about all this. But a new feeling has emerged as of late, a feeling of ambivalence. And also guilt.

I don’t like to admit this when asked, but I’ve found little to no benefit in all the therapy I’ve attended. I don’t know why this is. Is it me? Is it the psychologist? Is it the type of therapy? The length of it? Or just therapy in general? Whatever the reason, it just hasn’t helped.

And so not only do I feel dissatisfied, but also guilty. Very guilty. Not everyone has the opportunity to receive treatment for their mental ill health. In fact, according to this article, 70% of young people don’t seek help for mental health or substance abuse issues. So what makes me so deserving to be part of that 30% who do get some sort of help? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’m a leech who’s already sucked $586 from Medicare this financial year purely on psychiatrist and psychologist fees. It’s not even been a month. I’ve already wasted so much money, I don’t think I deserve any more when no benefits have been glimpsed. Someone else should get the chance to get better. Someone who can recover with ten psychologist sessions. Someone who will make the most of it. I think I’ve had more than my fair share already.

12 thoughts on “More than my fair share

  1. I think you’re being a little harsh on yourself. How are you a leech when you were looking for help? It takes time to find the right doctor or therapist. And how else can you find one who is right for you unless you see one for a few sessions? Ive had tons of therapy over the years from a variety of specialists and only 2 were any good. Anyways, just my 2 cents.

  2. I agree with Jill. It takes time (unfortunantely) to find the right “fit” for you. I have had many different doctors, therapists, and dieticians – and only less than a handful were ones that I felt understood me, and was a good match for me and who I felt truly helped me.

    Try not to get discouraged because you WILL find the people who are on the same page as you. You will! Just keep focused on recovery. And everyone, EVEN YOU ;), deserves help. It’s easy to let those negative thoughts in and let them convince you that you don’t need help or you don’t deserve help… but try not to let those thoughts in. Try to keep reminding yourself that you DO deserve help.

    Take care, and keep on truckin 😉

  3. You’re not a leech… You deserve to ask for help… And you got it, you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

    As for the therapy not helping, tell me about it.

    I’ve spent 8 years in therapy and it never helped. Until I attended a group for the suicidal once, there I got in touch with a great therapist specialized in dealing with suicidal people… In 3 months I’ve made more progress than in the 8 years before that. When he adviced me to write down my feelings, I started blogging.. and that has been another great tool in my journey…

    Don’t feel bad, if the therapy doesn’t feel right… look for another therapist… they all have their own way…

    Better luck next year I suppose … :S

  4. Maybe a different approach is in order. You’ve only had women right? Would seeing a man be a possibility? Also, what about trying someone outside of the psychiatrist/psychologist realm? Do you have social workers in Australia? They cost less too. They say that it’s not the approach or the educational level of the therapist that makes therapy successful, it’s the relationship that is the healing part. XX

  5. i understand the guilty feeling-but you really shouldnt. i know its hard-i struggle with feeling i need more support than i have-and then i think, well, i see a psychologist from the ED service weekly and have a cpn-so i already have ‘enough’ and have so much more than a lot of other people. i rationalize this by thinking-well i did wait YEARS to get this help. but that doesnt help with the guilt much.

    it really does make a difference who you see. my psychologist is LOVELY and i feel comfortable talking with her, and safe enough to be really honest about things. This hasnt been the case at all with other people i have seen in the past.

    dont be so hard on yourself. therapy is a long process. it takes time to feel ok to talk about things, and not automatically become defensive, and keep everything inside. so i think it depends on how comfortable you feel with the person-and how motivated you are to get the most out of the sessions.which is the hard bit. and thats the problem with seeing someone you dont like-because you just dont want to talk with them.

    try not to feel bad.


  6. “So what makes me so deserving to be part of that 30% who do get some sort of help? Nothing.”

    Everyone deserves to be part of that 30% who get help when they need it. Just because some people don’t doesn’t mean they deserve it less, or that YOU deserve it less. And hurting yourself by stopping therapy will not make other people who need therapy more likely to get it. It will just make you one of the 70%. And that helps no one.

    Wishing you well,

  7. In the literature I have read about BPD is on average it takes between 9-11 years to be completely symptom free, w/at least 1 session a week. Add extra diagnosis and you lengethen the time most likely. I don’t agree with the 9-11, I have found in myself that it needs to be a good fit (the gut feeling) and you have to feel comfortable (which is difficult with many of us.) this is my 4th year with my case manager and we are finally getting places and working on the “issues.” You aren’t a waste to the system, and you are legitametly trying to get better since you are taking the opportunity to engage in the services; even if you don’t see much results. I wish you the best, health care sucks a lot of places, here in the US too.

  8. There’s no law that says you HAVE to have got benefit in [specific no of] therapy sessions. It’s what works for you. And you are a person, someone who deserves to feel better than you do. I agree with others that it takes time to find the therapist that is the right one for you. You just have to keep looking. If one drug didn’t work, you’d expect the doctor to prescribe another that might – so same with therapists.

    Mind you, I should reread what I’ve just written, and aim it at myself and try to take heed. It’s SOOO much easier to say this stuff to others and make them believe it, than to accept the same for yourself. So I guess it’s something that lots of people battle with.

    shit isn’t it??? we feel bad, seek help, then make ourselves feel worse cos we’ve actually got the help that we know we need……aaaaggghhhh minds!!!!

    keep going, hang in there.

  9. You are not a leech. The system is there to help people who are ready and willing to receive it. I think it sucks that 70% of people that need the help won’t ever get it, that being said… just because it’s there, doesn’t make it easy.

    You may not have found the right person yet. Just because they have an MD, or LCSW next to their name doesn’t make them automatically fit to your needs.

  10. I don’t think you are a leech, you have braved the system, asked for help. Not many people can or will do that. Everyone deserves help, they just have to get through the system.

  11. err, going to be rubbish again-still can’t manage to get my stuff together for the references on what I cite, but the only reliable predictor on outcome of psychotherapy is quality of therapist relationship.

    DBT/CBT/psychoanalysis, whatever, the jury is still out on whether the treatment itself does the job (and whether one model is better than another) and it’s more likely that it’s the therapist interaction that matters.

    saying this because it’s not *you* failing at therapy. It’s *them*. They’ll bang on about ‘our relationship’, but the ‘relationship’ is NOT equal; they are in control, and if they can’t respond to you effectively, that’s their fault.

    Maybe if you clear the decks the whitecoat will have another chance to improve their success rate by getting another client they are able to work with better. but don’t let them have the satisfaction saying “oh, the next client I had- worked wonders with her, it must have been BtF being non-therapy-compliant”. Next time you see them, ask what they are doing *for you*. What they think they’ve done *with you* that has been successful. It’s what I’m gonna try (if only for a laugh at how crap they are).

    And the fact you’re questioning your deservingness, just makes you a better person, deserving of better. I’ve been feeling shit about my £100k pa for two years therapy costs. But the idea (huh) of that is that I’ll return to be a productive member of the community. Elderly care homes cost £1000/week per patient. That can go on for 10 years +, will only be managing decline, and for a sector of the community whose numbers are increasing rapidly, and who, at the end of the day, aint gonna contribute no more. $586 is surprisingly low. You haven’t really had so very much.

    sorry for long comment!

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