Tag Archives: Therapy

Update

Whoops..I’m Awesome workbook by Melissa Villasenor

I saw my current therapist telehealth last week. He moved me back to as needed. He seems to think I am fine but I don’t feel that way. I am on a waiting list for a new therapist who does internal family systems therapy. I don’t know how long that will take.

I stopped keto last year when the Virta program stopped because my insurance changed. I have since gained some weight and don’t feel as well. I am going to try doing keto on my own, after Thanksgiving. I am going to try an app called Healthi that helps count calories, carbs or what they call bites that are like WW points. I did not do well on WW but I did not stick with logging food.

I have been making chia pudding with coconut milk instead of yogurt. So much easier but you don’t get the probiotics. I have been eating fruit which I will miss when I go back to keto, I can still have some berries.

I watched a webinar with Dr Christopher Palmer about keto and mental health, he uses it for treatment resistant patients. My meds work well, but it can’t hurt to add it. He has a book releasing tomorrow, called “Brain Energy” I am going to get the kindle version. Hopefully, it motivates me for when I start keto.

I used to love to read. Now, I have a bunch of things on kindle but I don’t read often. I think I need to put it on my to do list. I got a journal called “Whoops…I’m Awesome” by Melissa Villasenor. It has activities and stories. I have not done anything with it yet but it looks fun.

Internal Family Systems Therapy

Image: Workbook titled Self-Therapy Workbook by Bonnie J Weiss

I am reading a book, self-therapy by Jay Early. I also have the workbook pictured above that I will get to next.

I have some sort of dissociative disorder, not DID. I have experienced sensations and parts talking through me, but that was years ago. Some people think it is all delusional. I have a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

I am reading the book on internal family systems. The author suggests everyone has sub personalities that they can access. I was skeptical. My stomach tightens while I am reading. The author encourages noticing thoughts, feelings, sensations

I know I have a loud inner critic, like a drill sergeant, telling me not to mess up.  If I make a mistake I feel like a complete failure and my mood spirals downward.  I am trying to think of him like a motivator.  I think the purpose is to make me more productive, but it is not working for me. I feel something constricting my stomach.  I am not sure why.

I don’t know if these parts are real distinct sub personalities, but if it helps I will use it as a tool. my therapist says it is a different perspective.

My therapist pushed my appointments further apart because I run out of things to say. In May he moved me to as needed, that I can call if I need an appointment. I told him about the workbook. He does internal family systems therapy with clients with dissociative disorders. I wanted to set up an appointment to work on this but he told me to see how it goes and then if I need I can make an appointment to contact him.

I feel like the therapist is blowing me off. I feel better checking in with someone at least once/month. I found a different therapist who seems nice and willing to work with me. She knows of this therapy but does not practice. I have an appointment with her on Saturday.

A Long Overdue Update

Image: blank wordle computer game board

I just realized I never gave an update on my Covid experience. After 19 days of isolating, I finally tested negative and was feeling better. I had given a month’s notice at work, but I was out for 3 weeks. I only worked 2 days/week, so I went back for my final 2 days. They quickly improvised and had people sign a card and ordered cupcakes. It was nice.

I am not sure what I want to do with my time, now. I have been going to an activity center that I used to work at, as a member now, and participate in a group. It is a course that ends in 2 weeks. I think I will continue going to one or two groups/week after it ends. I give talks for NAMI, National alliance on mental illness. I did one over zoom and they played it on the tv at the center.

I do want to do other volunteer work, but I don’t want to commute or commit too much time. I have some opportunities already. I stopped working mainly because I was having trouble hearing. I got hearing aids at the beginning of the year but it has been hard to adjust, I am having another hearing test and they will clean the hearing aids in November. I want to get to where I can hear well, before I commit to any type of peer support.

I like playing little computer games. I finally tried wordle and I think it is fun. I usually can get the word but it takes a number of guesses. I find it relaxing.

About a month after I got over Covid my husband and daughter caught it. My husband travels and I think he must have caught it at a conference. My daughter is super careful, but she still caught it. She felt pretty lousy, lost taste and smell. She isolated for 10 days. My husband did pretty well, he took Paxlovid with no rebound. He was better in 5 days.

I have given up on making the coconut milk yogurt for now. I am making chia pudding with coconut milk instead. It tastes pretty good. I add fruit and granola.it is really easy to make. I have a recipe for a small volume but I make more. If anyone is interested I will post the recipe. You can use other types of milk.

I saw a video on internal family systems therapy. It looked interesting. I don’t know if I would be able to connect with other parts of myself. I searched for a therapist and found one but she does not work at the company anymore. They recommended a few other therapists. I don’t think the woman on the phone understood what I was asking for. I have a zoom appointment with a therapist on Saturday. She is on my insurance plan. I like the therapist I had/have?, but he only wants to see me as needed and I think I would feel more comfortable seeing someone on a regular basis. I can’t find much on the new therapist through google. Just on the company’s website.

I had an issue finding a psychiatrist my insurance would cover. I saw one who I liked, but I they first denied the claim and eventually changed to covering. I saw a different psychiatrist in the same office. I had a bad experience the first appointment. The next appointment was better. But, I found the other psychiatrist is in network now, so I switched back. I go in November. He does therapy, too, so that could be an option and I always have the one, as needed. I think he will retire soon, also,

Inviting the Dragon to Tea

I don’t have an appointment with my therapist since I am seeing him as needed. I emailed him the dragon slayer story. He suggested that I should invite the dragon in for tea. When he starts saying I am worthless, a failure, no good, I will argue with evidence to prove that is not true, I wrote something, listing some of my qualities. I can’t get out of the values assignment.

Dragon silhouette

I saw an ad on Linked In for a site called Share Well, sharewellnow.com It is a site for hosting video support groups. I went to one on depression tonight. It was pretty good. After you go to one, you can sign up to host. I made one for psychosis and/or mood disorders for the 15th. I am going out of town the 6/8-6/14. I set it for one hour. I am hoping people want to talk but I will prepare some things in case I need. They are free sessions. If you are an expert, you can charge people to attend.

I went to a family gathering, my husband’s side. I went off by myself quite a bit. His family is friendly, no one was bothering me, I just did not feel social. At one point I left and sat in the car just to get away.

My car airbag light turned on. We had to get it fixed at the dealership $1000. I was not sure if we should get a new car but my husband pointed out that we can’t sell a car like that. I do want a newer car, but everything is so expensive right now.

Dragon Slayer

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My therapist decided that I am doing well enough and run out of things to say, so he will see me as needed. I was feeling down earlier this month and he was able to give me a phone appointment.  I had an epiphany of sorts, maybe obvious to others but it struck me.

Image: Dragon silhouette

I was raised that you were valued for performance/achievements. So, any time I feel I did an inadequate job I think  I am bad/worthless.  So, little things can spiral me into depression.  

I emailed that to my therapist and this is what he wrote back:

       ”  do two things:

first, list the values you would choose to measure your life by then how you see yourself adhering to it…..

second, would you use the same standards that you grew up with to measure your children’s worth or value…..

write this out…..

lastly keep the things you have written out to re read anytime you begin to experience these thoughts….. and shame that comes with it”

There is no time limit since I don’t have another appointment set, but I have started thinking about it.  

I went to a journaling group on zoom last night. Everyone has some kind of illness so I can talk about mental health and it is not weird,

They have different prompts and you choose one and write for 10 minutes, then you can share. I usually share,

The prompt I chose was fighting your metaphorical dragon.

This is it, It is really rough but I like the imagery. 

The dragon in my life is negative core beliefs. I was raised to believe that how you performed was related to your worth. Whenever I think I did an inadequate job, I think I am a failure and worthless, I fall into a pit rapidly.

To fight my dragon, I would face him head on at first. I would yell and stab at him to get my anger out.

Then I would turn away in disbelief.   The dragon is not real, but I am keeping his image alive.  When I stop believing he will get smaller and smaller until he disappears.

I will rejoice and not miss him when he is gone.

Update

Image: Yellow smiley face

My therapist was able to fit me in with a phone appointment on my lunch break Monday. He validated my feelings which helped a lot. Then, he gave me cognitive behavioral therapy homework to find evidence about being worthless, a failure, etc. There is no deadline. I don’t have a scheduled appointment. I will let him know if I need an appointment. He is going to retire soon.

Then, I talked to the assistant to my boss, I don’t know her title, and told her how I have been feeling. She said she has had no complaints from anyone about me. That helped, too. I made sure to document my encounters this week and this month already looks better.

I have a LinkedIn friend, I don’t know if we have met ever, who volunteers in my field. She mentioned she was looking for work. I told her we had an opening, part time and how to apply. She jumped on it and got the job. I think today is her first day. I hope it goes well for her.

I saw my new psychiatrist. He works in the same office as my last one, but he is covered by my insurance. I don’t know what to think of him. He barely spoke to me, just checked boxes while I talked which was off putting. He took a personal call. I am maxed out on the meds I take and he thinks my antipsychotic is too high, so he decreased it and told me how to taper down. No one has wanted to change my meds because they are working. He does not want to see me for 3 months.

I am a little worried I will destabilize in that time. When I made the appointment for August, I asked if they can switch me back to the other doctor when they get the insurance worked out. They put me on a list.

Sad

What do you do when all your coping skills only help a little?

Image view of blue sky from hole in ground

I am in a pit. I know it will pass, but it feels agonizing. My dog and husband try to comfort me, it helps some. I had thoughts of not existing but I have decided against that. I am here to stay, even if I am miserable. I want to quit things that cause me stress. My husband wants me to wait a month to make Important decisions.

I am not sure what I would do with more free time. My therapist moved my appointments further and further out because I was doing well and had trouble coming up with things to talk about. So, he moved me to “as needed”. Now, I need it but I have to wait for a time he can fit me in. I see my third psychiatrist this year next week. My insurance has been denying claims.

If you have any tips on how to ride this out please comment

Therapy PRN?

Image: dinosandcomics cartoon I hate leaving the house, why are you here then, well…, I have to have something to talk to my therapist about

I started seeing a new therapist when my insurance changed in January.  He started spacing our sessions further apart because I am doing well and run out of things to say.  Last month he told me he thinks I just need to see him, as needed, and to contact him if I need an appointment.

I don’t know what to think.  I am happy I am doing well but did not know I could finish, with a chronic mental health condition.  I do like checking in with someone but I have a psychiatrist and support group and people around me.

When I ask people about it they think I am unhappy and tell me to speak up, but that is not the issue.  I am unsure how I feel.  I am getting used to the idea now.

 

I also changed psychiatrist with the insurance change. But, I am having more insurance issues. He is part of a medical group that is covered but they are not recognizing him in their system. They covered the first appointment but denied the second. I filed a grievance and the psychiatrist office says it will be taken care of.  It still makes me nervous.

 

Work is going fine. I work 2 days and they hired someone to work the other 3.  I was wondering what he was doing. Work would be piled up for me when I came in.  I just found out he has not been working there for over a month  I feel silly for not knowing, but no one told me.

 

Weight watchers is going fine.  I had a birthday and celebrated with some desserts.  My weight has been going up and down but at least it I have not be gained.  I am getting back at it. I got a recipe book when I signed up and have made a few recipes.  I made slow cooked oats with fruit and a hash brown and egg meal.  I have coconut milk yogurt cooking overnight.  I plugged in a blueberry muffin recipe and it is 6 pts which is okay for a treat but I have to limit to one.

 

 

New Year, New Docs and Parenting Woes

Image man lying down on therapist couch

My health insurance changed in January. My primary care is the same, but I had to get a new therapist in January. I was approved continuation of care with my psychiatrist, but that fell throug, so I had to find a new psychiatrist, too.

I saw the new psychiatrist on Thursday. Fortunately, he did not want to change my medications. I have been on this combo for years. A friend had recommended a different doctor in the practice but he was booked up so they assigned me to this one. I googled and found him but did not get much information. He seems nice. He ordered refills. Our next appointment is over the phone next month.

I like my new therapist. He makes me think. I asked him what he meant by that article on brain hemispheres and he said just that you can change your thinking at any age.

My daughter is 23 and lives with us. She graduated college last year and plans to get her teaching credential. But, she has not applied, yet. She is afraid to learn to drive and is afraid of Covid. She has a job at the library. We drive her back and forth, which is okay. She just goes to work and home and spends a lot of time in her room.

My therapist suggested we are enabling her to avoid self awareness, and how satisfying is her life if she is isolating? Another thing that is making me wonder. I don’t go out much myself and I feel content. It is not out of fear, I am just fine at home. I mentioned her at a support group and they said we are enabling by driving her and that she may stay home until in her 30s. I don’t know what to think. She seems fine, rarely complains. We did not get along for years and we are in an okay place now.

I don’t know what we should be doing, if anything.

I have joined an art journaling group. It meets once a month. The teacher is a therapist, but it is not therapy. She just charges a donation. She brings up a subject for inspiration. This week she wanted us to bring light to Ukraine. We worked with mandalas which is a circle. I like the way mine turned out. I am not artistic but it is still enjoyable.

Image: blue and yellow circles with yellow heart and sunflower in center. Words: hope, support, power of love

I also joined an online journaling group. It disappeared and I thought they weren’t going to have it anymore, but it is back at a different time. It is enjoyable, too.

Brain Hemispheres and the Rest of My Week

Image Brain: colored hemispheres , right pink, left blue

My therapist emailed me this link on a man who learned late in life, through therapy,  how to use his right hemisphere and feel.  I asked why he sent it to me and he said he was sharing the importance of working with the right hemisphere. I am still confused.  Does he think I don’t use half my brain, that I am unfeeling? I see him Wednesday.  I am not sure if I should ask more or just let it go.

https://www.psychotherapynetworker.org/blog/details/1245/its-never-too-late

I have a cold. I took a test and thankfully it is not Covid. I left work early the other day and have been taking it easy. I will be fine before Monday.

I was contacted on LinkedIn to write something on anxiety for choosingtherapy.com.  I wrote a bit about coping skills.  I hope it is what they are looking for.  If anyone is interested in submitting a story,  this is the submission link https://www.choosingtherapy.com/share-your-story/

I don’t know if I have a psychiatrist. I have new insurance and mine is not on the provider list, but I filed for continuation of care which was approved. So, they agreed to cover him. Now, they are asking him to file more paperwork than he is comfortable with. They denied 2 claims. He is only charging me copays. He called my insurance provider , I called, but I have not heard anything yet. I am supposed to have an appointment this week but he will cancel if it is not covered. I did get the name of a psychiatrist on my insurance who is taking new patients but I don’t know much about him, except that he charges a lot if you don’t cancel 24 hours in advance.

My friend turned me on to a hair product. The company is Olaplex. My hair frizzes and it helps tame the curl. I am 57 and finally learning to manage my hair. My daughter has beautiful spiral curls. I just have waves but at least it is not frizzed. I don’t have any stock in the company and I am sure there are other similar products, I am just happy I found something that works for me. And, it goes with my showering habits. I wash my hair 1 x / week and shower without dealing with my hair in between.

They run support groups where I work. I asked about starting a harm reduction or moderation group or SMART Recovery, but they said they are full and they seemed to equate 12 steps with recovery with no other options. They said they will get back to me.