Therapy for Clinical Depression: Day 1

I’ve decided to write an online blog about my therapy sessions to address my major depression and social phobia. I had a break down in May and was hospitalized in June. From there I have had six highly controversial Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) sessions. Here is an example of the process:



Finally I am able to attend therapy after much delays, that is being stuck in traffic and not being able to get through to the therapist. I was relatively calm on the way there. I thought I’d be panic stricken but it was to the contrary. My panic attacks come in waves and fortunately I did not have one in the therapy session.

I was early so I waited in the therapy room for about 10 minutes, sipping my coffee. The therapist, Nasreen, came in shortly and asked me how I was. Before I could answer you said, “In a bad way?” obviously noting the fact that I was shaking a bit. “Yes”, I squeaked.

“Have you seen your doctor?”

“I have”, I replied. “But there is only so much pills and ECT one can take. It doesn’t address the psychological issues.”

The rest came into the room shortly. She had to gather them from their wards. When I saw the 70 year year old, I was taken aback. Do 70 year olds need psychological treatment? Aren’t they supposed to have reconciled with their pain years ago? I don’t what else he should be doing. Rocking in a chair on the verandah, enjoying his retirement?

“Hi, I’m Simon*”, he said, extending his hand to me.

“I’m Claire”.

I was a tad bit disappointed that I was the only woman attending the session but they were a diversified bunch, the six of five of them. I felt anxious, too, because I have do not have good relationships with men because of my suspicion of them. Thanks, dad.

Before we came we had to write letters to ourselves addressing what we cannot accept about ourselves and how we can remedy it. No one read theirs out aloud but I gave my letter to the therapist and scuttled off. I won’t divulge what was in the letter but it is something I am struggling to reconcile with and I concluded that my only way out is therapy.

I could not help but notice how the one gentleman, about 45 years or so, resembled a guy I had briefly dated a few years back. I also thought it was curious how he had his wife’s name tattooed on his ring finger. Her name is Claire with the exact spelling as mine. Unusual coincidence. I also thought that men could deal with pain more than women but it is amazing to see how vulnerable they get when the layers of their shield they had constructed around themselves to cope become pealed away. It is exactly the same thing that has happened. I have never in my life felt as vulnerable as I do now. In fact, I think if someone blew at me, I’d topple over. I have dropped the weight of feeling guilty about not having a job, of trying to be brave, of trying to be a infowar warrior only to get massacred for it. I thought I could take every insult with bravery, not realizing I was absorbing it like a sponge. Now the sponge has been squeezed and the tears are now coming like the water being released from the sponge. I have also ceased to care about my father who is a complete psychopath, literally. My psychiatrist says so. Consciously, though, I have ceased to care. Subconsciously I am still hurting.

I soon learnt that I could identify with these men in some way or other.

Michael*, whose wife is Claire, said that he was in the army and that is wife Claire was not prepared to listen to his horrific stories and so he had no one to talk to. He had taken to alcohol to drown his pain. I told him that I started to develop an alcohol problem. It is genetics. My father is an alcoholic. He never had the courage to address that disease because he is a coward. It is only because I was transferred to another anti-depressant that curbed it because it has the effect of making one intolerant to alcohol. Perhaps I, too, would be too much of a coward to address if not for the anti-depressant? There was Oliver* who claimed to be too honest and honesty is not a trait that is appreciated in this world. He assumed the role of saviour to his friends and family and paid little attention to himself, helping them out emotionally and financially. I also paid little attention to myself because I am well off compared to others. For example, at least I’m not starving like the Somalians, etc. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sorry for myself either. It is unhealthy to not take care of oneself. Honesty is also a trait of mine, which makes me lonely because people don’t want to hear the truth about the world. The next patient was Carl*. He was a handsome young man and I was surprised to see him. I have all these preconceived ideas of what men should be like. I also presumed that young men were sure of themselves. Carl said he had to be his own parent. He never had a yardstick and so he conformed to the ways others were. I saw tears welling up in his eyes and that prompted me to shed a few myself. I don’t like seeing others cry. Simon said he had dad issues. You won’t believe how many people have parent issues, especially regarding their fathers. He said when he was 21, he was walking in a cemetery with his father when he father told him, cruelly, “You know, I never wanted children.” He then slapped him across the face. To that day, Simon never visited a cemetery again. I was consciously aware of the fact that my father was disappointed that he only had daughters. He once said of his “stepson” (not technically because he isn’t married to his mistress), “Jason is the son I never had.”

I said, “Being a parent is the most important role a person will ever have in their lives. Unity between the mother and father is important for a child’s security. My mother and father would have arguments but, ironically, not really arguing. My dad was like a brick wall. When you told him off, he’d just sit there without saying a world. That is typical of a psychopath. My mother would counter-act that by ignoring him. That tore my sister and me apart. More than anything I wanted my father and mother to love each other. My mother loved my father to a certain point but my father never loved my mother. He was a 22 year old man when he married my 29 year old mother and saw her as a meal ticket because she was earning and he was not. He believed that meant he could play around in university, which resulted in him failing three times. My father is disappointed in me because I am not worldly successful. He got a bit encouraged when he discovered my singing talent because of a song I sang at school which was well received. I was obliged to enter Idols in 2002 because I “had” to utilize my talent, only to get knocked out in the preliminary rounds. The next year my father coaxed me into doing a sound engineering course in 2003. My mother said, “I don’t think this course is for her.” “I agree!” my father said. “But her voice will be discovered.” He would show me Robbie William DVDs, pointing at the TV saying, “One day that will be you.” The sound engineering course was a completely disaster and my dad went back to ignoring me again.

I am looking forward to more therapy sessions in the future. Writing what I feel is going to heal me, for sure.


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Comments 12 comments

ThompsonPen profile image

ThompsonPen 5 years ago from Bellingham, WA

I think that writing about therapy sessions is a really good thing and most certainly a strong way of dealing with your response to it. I hope you get from this what you need, and I hope that this helps other dealing with similar issues as well. take care friend


Claire Evans profile image

Claire Evans 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you very much for your comment. It is very nice to receive encouragement. What you wrote is what I am aiming for. :)


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Personally I think we all have psychologial problems to some degree.Psychology is still in it's infancy as a science.Using electro-therapy apparently is an attempt to erase memories we don't want to remember.That's why people drink alcohol.To forget or to blunt their emotions.Rather than learning to come to terms with them and move on.We are all here to learn what it means to be human.Some of us can't control their emotions as well as others do.That doesn't necessarily mean we are inferior to those who do.Just,less strong willed or forgiving of others as well as ourselves.

Every day is new day and we should all try to make the best of it as well as we are able to.Forgive yourself for your faults and try to learn from them if you can.

Good hub ! Hope lives Eternal.

Life is full of surprises. Isn't it!


Claire Evans profile image

Claire Evans 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks very much for your response. Perhaps we all do have psychological problems but I think they are buried in the subconscious mind. When we have a breakdown it comes to the surface and we address it. ECT doesn't erase the memory unless it is not administered probably. It is not the intention. The memory loss is short term. The purpose is to make the brain secrete more seratonin which is needed not to be depressed.

Thank you!


aiisxedcj 4 years ago

Good afternoon here

claireevans.hubpages.com is a good forum

I spent 8 hours searching in the network, until find your forum! I think, I shall stay here for a long time!


Claire Evans profile image

Claire Evans 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks! Hope you enjoy the rest of my hubs.


Kari Lipe 3 years ago

[quote]8192 characters left.[/quote]

Thanks. An excellent amount of information!

You actually revealed it adequately!.

Great content, Cheers!


Claire Evans profile image

Claire Evans 3 years ago from South Africa Author

Thank you, Kari. I'm glad you found my info helpful.


waxi 2 years ago

I read this hub just Now and its awesome I am also clinically depressed and spent some time in Hospital last year and I was reduced to a skeleton Every one who knows me says I am a lucky devil to be alive

I like to add : Some times the bearer of depression doesnt know that depression is silently hiding in the system and eating away That's the most important and Alarming aspect of depression I learnt

I am not sure how long I ll live cos I am not what I was then So I try and make the best of what I have

I ll read this hub again and in meantime I ll try not to be depressed

Waq


Claire Evans profile image

Claire Evans 2 years ago from South Africa Author

I'm happy you got through you ordeal. I have accepted that depression will be with me for the rest of my life. I just have to learn to cope with it.


Claire Evans profile image

Claire Evans 23 months ago from South Africa Author

Thank you.


Yassine 23 months ago

Hi Lindsay and Amy I really hope you reply even tghouh it has been 2 years since you've posted on here I'm so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of My friends went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I've tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be ok one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can't you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache It's become a way of life and although I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I'm sorry those did not help you either NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can't work as much, I can't run around and just be free, I can't take a full load of classes at a time Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I'm not the only one to suffer from this and that I'm not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole

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