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Re: overattachment is painful and scary

Posted by emilyp on December 28, 2010, at 19:42:55

In reply to Re: overattachment is painful and scary, posted by Annabelle Smith on December 28, 2010, at 19:11:29

Maybe this is just me - but I think many, many people who suffer from mental illness think that their therapists don't understand the pain that is felt. And I suspect, unless that therapist also suffers(ed) from mental illness, it is hard for another person to truly "get it". Even with depression, I am sure I don't understand schizophrenia - it seems foreign to me. Another example: my mother had lung cancer and I could tell it was a horrible disease. But I could never feel the pain she felt.

I am single and would like to get married and have children. It is unlikely to happen based on my age. I will probably be alone my whole life. I used to tell my doctor that he just did not get it - how could he being a married man with three beautiful children. He said that perhaps the only type of therapist that may (and I emphasize may) get it is a lesbian woman therapist, without a partner or kids. He was willing to help me find one but I realized how silly I sounded.

I also think that in several ways, pain is universal - whether it is mental pain or physical pain. That is dealing with pain is hard. It is perhaps a bit harder with mental illness because of the stigma and the lack of being able to identify someone who is sick (i.e. Styron's walking wounded). Previously, I had pinched nerve in my neck. I was in so much pain; it literally hurt to wash my hair or put my hand on the top of the steering wheel. But if you simply looked at me, you would not know. There was no cast or sling or any other sign to the outside world. So, mental illness is not totally unique in that way.

I don't know if my therapist gets it either. Sometimes I think he does and other times I think he misses the mark. I came to the conclusion that I cannot determine or change whether he gets it. I can only decide if he is helping me get through the depression and encouraging me to find ways to improve my life.

Maybe that is the question you be should ask yourself - is he helping?

And whether he uses psychoanalytic terms or not seems unimportant in the scheme of what you are dealing with. Why do you care so much? Again, ask yourself, is he helping when he communicates with me?




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