“I got hijacked at gun point infront of the psychologist’s practise at her house in Cape Town…”
The journey of mental and emotional wellness looks different for every single person…
For the past 8 years or so I have been struggling on and off with bouts of anxiety and depression which was mainly linked to certain significant life events/experiences (Situational depression/anxiety).
The 1st time I went to see a psychiatrist almost 8 years ago, she “diagnosed” me with an anxiety disorder and gave me a script for an anti-depressant – that’s it.
I spilled out my heart to her for an hour – about how I was starting to feel generally down, almost like I was looking for more meaning in life and starting to struggle with regrets and my current work and relationship situation. I was hoping for some advice, some tips… but no – just a piece of paper and off you go.
That’s where my love hate relationship with the world of psychology and psychiatry started.
After the psychiatrist visit, I tried out about 3 different psychologists – to talk it out. They call it talk therapy – and together with exercise, taking your medication (if you are on any) it was supposed to be the best way to manage anxiety/depression.
Well, psychologist number 1 kept on referring to her text books and showing me diagrams of how my parents kept me under their protective wings for too long and how that has affected me negatively.
…A lot of talking and getting nowhere.
Psychologist number 2 – I rocked up at her house in Mowbray and got hijacked in front of her house leaving me standing on the side-walk after having been robbed of all my belongings including my car at gun point.
…Funny thing is – she seemed rather calm and not too shocked about the incident – and I decided NOT to start a relationship with her – go figure?!
Psychologist number 3 – I had high hopes. She seemed like a nice enough soft-spoken afrikaans lady. Sympathetic eyes. I gave her 5 sessions. Did it help me – no. We unpacked and unpacked and unpacked (my past life) until it felt as if all my “clothes” were strewn across the floor – all “deurmekaar” – and I felt worse and couldn’t make sense of anything.
Everytime I asked her, so WHAT CAN I DO NOW TO MAKE THINGS BETTER, what kind of action plan can I take going FORWARD, like practical LIFE SKILLS… – she seemed a bit confused and unable to answer me. The last straw was the day I left ALOT more depressed than I was before the session. I actually let her know afterwards and she was oddly unsympathetic and too professional.
Since then I havent been to any psychologist purely because out of my experience I have come to the conclusion (for ME) that seeing a psychologist is a lot of money and a lot of talking and digging into your past (and yes getting some form of insight) – BUT getting you NO WHERE. But I am sure there are psychologists out there who have adopted a more practical approach, and I also have a lot of time for experienced life coaches.
I really want to help people in the future who struggle with similar issues like I do, especially new moms – I really want to help people overcome and live a better quality life. I want to empower women of all ages as well as teenage girls and give them hope at a point where they might feel hopeless. I want to help them to start believing the TRUTH about themselves and reject the lies that they have been believing about their identity.
I am trusting God to show me how and when I can start helping others on this journey of mental health. I have decided to not push it and to rather just open myself up to opportunities and open doors and trust that things will fall into place in time. Perhaps do some further studying, although I doubt that the formal route of Psychology is the answer for me…
For now, I am still learing every day. I get up every morning and realise it is something I have to manage actively (more so on some days than others).
For me what works currently is a combination of watching what I eat (more on this in my next blog), exercising, trying to do things that I like (aka “self-care”) and most of all watching what I am thinking about.
What is very important to me is to try to walk closely with God every moment of every day. To incorporate prayer into my daily life. To ask Him for guidance, grace, favour and strength for every moment. To help me to live mindfully in the moment, to be grateful, to love, have mercy and grace for myself and others, to forgive easily…
Chat soon, love Helene xxx