Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 565604

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My T takes antidepressants

Posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

I've been in therapy with my T for about a year now. She's been somewhat helpful but I've always felt uncomfortable because she admitted to me quite some time ago that she takes an AD for depression. She's tried to stop taking it, but she relapses.

I realize T's all have their own issues, but I felt funny about her disclosing this to me. I suppose I expect my T to be *stronger* than myself.

Any comments?

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants

Posted by caraher on October 11, 2005, at 8:17:43

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

Hmmm... I guess I wonder *why* she chose to tell you. I don't think the mere fact of her taking them is important, though actually it sounds like it may be to you since you take it as a sign that she's not as "strong" as you'd like. You might think about why her taking meds makes you consider her weak, and to what extent your own need for therapy makes you consider yourself weak.

I would actually find such information somewhat reassuring for two reasons. First, it means I know that the therapist has some first-hand experience with what I'm going through. Second, to the degree that I perceive her as "doing well," it's a hopeful sign that effective treatment is possible.

The other issue is the reason for the self-disclosure, and I'm not sure what to say about that. Perhaps she felt she was normalizing the need for treatment for you?

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by frida on October 11, 2005, at 8:56:36

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33


Hi,
It's difficult to know-
I can tell you my own experience with my T and her reasons for disclosing sometimes.
I find it difficult to share, to tell things,to admit when I'm not doing well, etc, and not to feel shame. The times she has chosen to disclose personal information, it has been to show me that she's human, that she understands, that it is ok, that everyone needs help sometimes, etc.
She has told me that she sometimes takes a mild anti-anxiety medication (this was in reference to me taking medication and how hard it was for me), she has told me that we all feel pain and we all need a little help sometimes...
When she has shared personal things like this, feelings, her own vulnerability sometimes, I've felt closer to her and much much safer and hopeful. I still see her as a very strong person- her own life experiences have made her who she is and I see her as a very strong person especially because of them.

Maybe your T wanted you to feel it is ok to
need help sometimes?

all the best
Frida

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants

Posted by ClearSkies on October 11, 2005, at 9:07:38

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

My T shares part of my dx, and when she told me about it, it created an empathy between us that didn't exist before.
ClearSkies

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by gardenergirl on October 11, 2005, at 9:23:42

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

I take an AD, and I've told some clients about it. I usually do it to normalize the concept of taking meds, and also as a way to demonstrate understanding of depression.

But, your reaction is valid, and it speaks to the issue of the risks of self-disclosure. Sometimes even a well-intentioned self-disclosure from a therapist backfires.

And the standards suggestion: talk to her about your reaction. I'm guessing that since she's been open about it, she will be okay with hearing your feelings and concerns about needing her to be the "stronger one". That's a legitimite and common therapy need.

Good luck!

gg

 

Good for her! Sonya

Posted by Dinah on October 11, 2005, at 9:29:14

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

She takes good care of herself so she can take good care of her clients.

And she has the background to understand depression and mental health concerns.

My therapist has admitted to taking AD's in the past. I think he should probably consider taking them right now. He's also tried to ease my fear of failing by telling me how many times he's failed at various things. That bothers me a lot more than the AD use. :)

What bothers me more is that you've been seeing her this long and only found her somewhat helpful. Do you know why that might be?

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants

Posted by Emily Elizabeth on October 11, 2005, at 10:53:12

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

Wow. What an interesting situation. Thanks for sharing it here.

Actually, it's funny b/c a few times my pdoc has said things about some of the meds that I take that has made it clear that she has never been on them (e.g., is that med in a tablet or a capsule?) That kind of made me feel a little sad b/c it made me feel like the sick patient and her like the one who is okay and not sick. It sounds like I want the opposite of what you want! Although this is my pdoc and maybe it would feel different w/ my T. I don't know.

I agree with what some posters said above that she is probably trying to show you that taking meds is not a sign of being weak, it is a sign of taking care of yourself. I do think that bringing it up w/ her can lead to some really constructive discussion that will help you in a variety of ways.

Best,
EE

> I've been in therapy with my T for about a year now. She's been somewhat helpful but I've always felt uncomfortable because she admitted to me quite some time ago that she takes an AD for depression. She's tried to stop taking it, but she relapses.
>
> I realize T's all have their own issues, but I felt funny about her disclosing this to me. I suppose I expect my T to be *stronger* than myself.
>
> Any comments?

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by Shortelise on October 11, 2005, at 13:12:08

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

That is scary. But I guess the damn fools are human.

Could it be that what you might want to trust is that your T knows herself, and can take care of herself?

And also, it might be something the two of you could talk about, that it frightens you that the perso you depend on for whatever it is you depend on her for might be too fragile, might let you down.

We're allowed to be selfish in therapy. It's a place where it can be "all about me", without shame.

((sonya))

ShortE

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by orchid on October 11, 2005, at 13:29:50

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

Actually my ex T told me that she has been depressed a few times. It made me more comfortable - kind of like "Ha - thank God she would understand".

I think it is much better if they have gone through the struggles themselves. They understand the emotions better !!

And besides, just like you wouldn't expect your family physician to never catch cold, I think it is quite reasonable for doctors to get mentally sick also.

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by orchid on October 11, 2005, at 13:30:06

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

Actually my ex T told me that she has been depressed a few times. It made me more comfortable - kind of like "Ha - thank God she would understand".

I think it is much better if they have gone through the struggles themselves. They understand the emotions better !!

And besides, just like you wouldn't expect your family physician to never catch cold, I think it is quite reasonable for doctors to get mentally sick also.

 

You can say that again! LOL (nm) orchid

Posted by happyflower on October 11, 2005, at 14:49:13

In reply to Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya, posted by orchid on October 11, 2005, at 13:30:06

 

Thanks everyone

Posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 15:02:21

In reply to Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya, posted by orchid on October 11, 2005, at 13:30:06

You all made some very good points. When she disclosed, I didn't want to talk about it because it made me uncomfortable. Since that happened several months ago, I feel it's too late to discuss with her now, plus it would be too nervewracking to bring it up. I'm not at all sure why it bothered me. I suppose I do view my taking psych meds as a weakness...that I should be able to rise above my problems. But, on the other hand, except for my T, I don't consider others who take meds as weak. I guess it's because she's my T and I expect her to be mentally well in order to treat me.

I think this T has helped me as much as she is able, but I think we're not progressing because of me not being able to open up enough. It's not her fault. I can be a pretty cold cookie. I'm going to stop therapy soon.

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by Poet on October 11, 2005, at 18:46:59

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33

Hi Sonya,

I agree with everyone else that your T was being open with you because she thought it might help you see that taking ADs isn't weakness.

You said in your followup post that you don't open up much in therapy. I don't either. My T keeps telling me that she sees progress even if I don't. Maybe your T telling you about her being on ADs was her way to show you that it's okay to trust her. She trusted you with something about her. Just a thought.

Poet

 

Re: My T takes antidepressants Sonya

Posted by fairywings on October 13, 2005, at 0:36:59

In reply to My T takes antidepressants, posted by Sonya on October 11, 2005, at 7:56:33


>
> I realize T's all have their own issues, but I felt funny about her disclosing this to me. I suppose I expect my T to be *stronger* than myself.


I'd tell her how you feel. This issue was discussed in the book "Trauma and Recovery", how some ppl expect our T's to be heros and rescue us, and when we find that they're not perfect, and our image is tarnished, it evokes strong, and sometimes angry, feelings in us. It's normal, but maybe she shouldn't be disclosing such personal information. Maybe she thought by telling you, you'd feel closer? I think I'd be the type of person to gain from a disclosure like this, it would make me feel less "defective", but I can see where the other reaction is more common.

fw


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