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First counseling session
April 20, 2000
11:40 am
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halfpint
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I went to my first counseling session at my colleges counseling center this morning. I feel a little better because I talked to someone but I also feel like there is so much more she needs to know. She suggested that I wait on taking any meds and try some other things like exercise and journaling for now. I know that those will be helpful but I feel like I need something more. Although I knew it was nearly impossible I guess I was still hoping for a "quick-fix". I will meet with her again next week. I think I am doing the right thing, but everything still seems so unsure. Is it normal to feel this anxious and uncertain after beginning counseling?

April 20, 2000
4:45 pm
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AMYR522
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Hi Halfpint

First let me say "way to go" on taking the first step. I have only recently started counseling myself and I was extremely anxious before and after my first appointment. I know I still have a long way to go, but I've been diagnosed as severly depressed, and anxiety is one of many symptons of depression. At my first counseling session I was given a bunch of tests and question/answer type things to fill out, which was what was used to come up with the diagnosis. The counselor then referred me to a licensed psychiatrist, as the counselor is not able to prescribe medications, and he definitely thought they were needed. I met with the pysch. yesterday and she asked me just a few simple questions about my bouts of depression (how often, how severe, how long they've been going on, etc.) and my answers along with all the test results led her to a quick decision to put me on Zoloft. I was extremely apprehensive about this, as, like many, I've always seen anti-depressants as a bad thing, or something only totally crazy people have to take! She gave me some literature and assured me that these meds are not addictive as I had been led to believe by others, and that all they really do is replace and/or create levels of certain chemicals that your brain is not producing for whatever reason. Well, I feel much better about taking them now. But she also said it was very critical for me to continue seeing someone for counseling, as there are many issues that could be causing my depression besides the obvious family history. I just started the pills last night, so I can't tell you if they're working yet or not! It will take a few weeks, I guess. Anyway, my advice is to keep seeing the counselor, at least a few times, and if you don't feel you are getting anywhere, perhaps try someone else. There's plenty of them out there, and I think it's important that you are comfortable and are able to be completely honest with whoever you are talking to. Stick with it, Halfpint, you've already done what I considered the hardest part, you made the appointment! Good luck to you.
Amy

April 21, 2000
10:05 pm
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TRosciano
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Hi! I have also just had my first session with a counselor last week and I am due for another session this week but will have to cancel for financial reasons. Anyway...I have been lashing out alot, not sleeping well, heart papaltations, a feeling like I can't breathe. I was also hoping she would give me something because sometimes it feels like I'm having a heart attack and I told her this and she said it sounds like you have anxiety but didn't give me any advice or medication and then I have another attack after I left the office. The appointment didn't make me feel better but worse. She got me thinking about all my problems even more with no solutions. I thought to myself I could have worried about this at home and not spent any money. That was only a small degree of the problems I told her.

April 22, 2000
8:50 am
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janes
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Bravo to all of you for starting to take charge of your own emotional lives. THIS IS A MAJOR STEP!!!

There are things you can do at home to improve too. Writing things down is a great idea. So is exercise. It is amazing how much better you can feel when you are personally in charge of yourselves...in various aspects of your lives.

Feeling nervous about counseling etc.is normal. You are opening up to a stranger and that can feel"dangerous.

Remember...even with medications there is no Quick Fix. Living normal, happy fulfilling lives with or without a mate is WORK. Knowing yourself and haveing a good life is work. Many many people seem to "go through the motions" without ever seeming to be "aware"

If you can't afford a lot of appointments with a counselor visit a good book store or library and read about the numerous ways we can help ourselves.

My daughters couns. suggested she take vitamin B to help her stabilize her moods. I myself take St. John's Wort and a host of other vitamins to ensure I get what I need.

All three of you that have posted have started on a great journey..the journey of knowing who YOU are...it's worth the work and time and even the money.

Good luck and keep in touch

P.S. You can all search out other websites on the Net that are inspirational, informational and helpful. There are specific sites for depression and other things. The more you know the more you will be able to be a responsible person about your mental health. Don't stop here. Keep up your search. If you are interested many pastors and ministers offer cousneling as well some even have advanced degrees. There are many ways to get help and they are at your fingertips if you have a computer and a phone.

April 25, 2000
11:46 pm
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halfpint
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Thanks to all who responded. I have another session scheduled in a few days and I am hoping I will feel a little more satisfied this time. I think the journaling and exercise are helping more than I expected. I had previously considered ST. Johns wart and I will ask my counseler what she thinks about that when I go. Thanks again.

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