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Where to get emotional help?

Old 07-28-2011, 05:35 PM
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Where to get emotional help?

I mentioned this in another thread but decided to make it it's own since it's something I've needed advice on for some time.

I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately due to a lot of the changes going on in my life. I've been really struggling to be honest. And having more "bad" days than good as they say. I do think my feelings are at the point past being an occasional slump and now something that I should seek help for.

I feel depressed, but I don't think it's because of a chemical imbalance, rather as a reaction to what has been going on in my life. So I've really been leaning towards seeing a therapist as a better solution to my problem as opposed to taking medication.

The only problem is that I really can't afford to pay my copay for a regular visit to a therapist. I just needed advice on if there is anywhere else I can go to get counseling or other help that is more affordable? Are there any other routes of dealing with the depression too other than medication/therapy?
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:14 PM
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First of all, have you considered Al-Anon? Getting a sponsor? It's way less expensive that a professional therapist.

Secondly, I am in the camp of medications for a purpose and am not afraid to admit I've been on mild anti-depressants since last fall. Mild being the key word...not anything heavy as what I was experiencing was definitely situational depression. I was beyond the slump and truly in the dumps...helped to pick me up and shake the fog of fof me so I could proceed forward with putting my life back together. Talk with your healthcare provider or a primary care provider.

Lastly, I can't recommend reading highly enough. Go to the library self-help section and start reading. It is the cheapest therapy available, and lots of good books out there to help you put your life into a different perspective. Because it isn't just a physical issue, its an emotional and spiritual issue.

Hang in there, bruingirl. It will get better!
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:18 PM
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I second the Al-Anon vote - great place for support and to provide structure to work through things.

Also, yoga works wonders on how you feel! If you can't afford classes, there are used CDs on eBay or Amazon.

CLMI
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:19 PM
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Do you have employee assistance program where you work? My work has free counseling sessions up to 8 a year for staff/family for this kind of stuff.

I am getting ready to start a therapy based school program in the fall, and sometimes they have practice sessions set up (a student with a trained individual in the session). I don't know that the wait is appropriate though.

Sometimes if you are in school the school wellness program can help.

I found out that I had a significant vitamin deficiency while everything was hitting the fan. Treatment for this was high dose of this vitamin and I later realized that I was not as depressed as I thought I would be and found out that adequate levels can impact depression (all tests and subscriptions done by my MD).
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeRecovery View Post
I found out that I had a significant vitamin deficiency while everything was hitting the fan. Treatment for this was high dose of this vitamin and I later realized that I was not as depressed as I thought I would be and found out that adequate levels can impact depression (all tests and subscriptions done by my MD).
Do you mind sharing what vitamin that was? I don't have depression issues but I'll want to make sure I'm eating plenty foods contining this vitamin (I think).
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:01 PM
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As LifeRecovery mentioned universities oftentimes offer very affordable counseling (and you don't necessarily have to be a student there). In my town we also have "the women's center" (just google it) that offers very affordable counseling. The problem with these places is that the waiting period can be very long (I waited probably 5-6 months to get into the women's center and the waiting list was even longer at the university).

All in all, I've come to realize that the best thing to do to fight depression is getting out and doing things. Which is easier said than done! I had to drag myself out several times in the past and it's not always working so well for me (I have a tendency to isolate when I'm down). Also all types of physical activity (sports, yoga, running) can be a mood booster.

This too shall pass... you'll get through this and will get better in time! HUGS!
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:52 PM
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Al-Anon is free or $1, depending upon whether or not you put any money in the basket. (When I first started going to Al-Anon, XABF had spent so much of my money that I was literally emptying out my coin purse and putting in random amounts like $0.41 and $0.18 until one of the ladies there told me that I didn't have to put anything in if I didn't have anything.)
Al-Anon has helped me a lot, especially with the people I have met there.

Some therapists offer sessions on a sliding scale, as well, which may help. Also it is up to you how often you want to go see the therapist, you do not have to go every week. (Mine currently varies between every other week to once a month depending upon what we're working on at the time.) I have heard that some therapists will also offer the first session free, I guess so you can determine if you like the therapist or not. There may also be government assistance programs available that you might qualify for. In my case, since XABF was also abusive, I am eligible for five sessions of abuse counseling and unlimited group session, all free at the local woman's shelter, if I choose to use that resource - and there are no strings attached regarding my current financial situation, I was abused and that's all they look at.

While I do not currently take antidepressants, I did go to a regular physician one summer during college who prescribed them for me. I wasn't able to take them long - my mother discovered them and I was not 18 yet - but you can get them from a doctor. I had never seen this doctor before, either - she was very patient listening as I told her what was bothering me before deciding I should take them and even gave me enough samples so that I could start taking them without the prescription appearing on my parents' health insurance before deciding whether or not they worked for me.
So that's an option, if antidepressants are what you feel you require.

This forum is also a great help, and it's completely free as long as you can access an internet connection.

There are options. Some work better than others, and everyone's needs and requirements are different, but if money is an issue you might as well investigate all the cheap/free options first. Sometimes they even work better than the others, depending on what you need.

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Old 07-28-2011, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bruingirl View Post
I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately due to a lot of the changes going on in my life. I've been really struggling to be honest. And having more "bad" days than good as they say. I do think my feelings are at the point past being an occasional slump and now something that I should seek help for.

I feel depressed, but I don't think it's because of a chemical imbalance, rather as a reaction to what has been going on in my life. So I've really been leaning towards seeing a therapist as a better solution to my problem as opposed to taking medication.

The only problem is that I really can't afford to pay my copay for a regular visit to a therapist. I just needed advice on if there is anywhere else I can go to get counseling or other help that is more affordable? Are there any other routes of dealing with the depression too other than medication/therapy?
First off, I have to congratulate you on recognizing what is truly going on and addressing it. This is a big first step that many people simply never take.

There are places where you can get free counseling but it depends on where you live. My friend receives counseling from a private college where they train psychologists. You can also go through the city or county. If you are religious, you may want to seek out a church as they usually offer free counseling.

I went to therapy for many years off an on. It helped me. But now I prefer to do my own sort of therapy by reading, journal writing and meditating. I really recommend reading books by Carl G. Jung. He is one of the founders of Psychology and his approach has helped me more than anything I have ever read. He was the one who first coined the terms "introvert" and "extrovert" and coincidentally his philosophy is the basis for AA.

If you need any more recommendations on good books or anything, private message me.

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Old 07-29-2011, 08:37 AM
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Hey all, thanks so much for the very helpful advice! I will try those things out and research places to get counseling in the new area I'll be moving to.

I did have a question about Al-Anon though. I had been going pretty regularly right after the breakup with XABF, and it helped me GREATLY. I did eventually stop going though because I realized that the only qualifier I had was XABF, and since he's pretty much out of my life I felt at some point like I wasn't qualified to go to Al-Anon anymore. I also sort of was unsure whether or not I could talk about non-XABF problems. Because while XABF makes up some portion of the pie, so do many non alcoholism related issues in my life.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:46 AM
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Go to a Whole Foods or a health store and get Vitamin Stress B with C. When we're under a lot of stress we lose the B vitamins which helps in the area of depression so try this first it just might help.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bruingirl View Post
Hey all, thanks so much for the very helpful advice! I will try those things out and research places to get counseling in the new area I'll be moving to.

I did have a question about Al-Anon though. I had been going pretty regularly right after the breakup with XABF, and it helped me GREATLY. I did eventually stop going though because I realized that the only qualifier I had was XABF, and since he's pretty much out of my life I felt at some point like I wasn't qualified to go to Al-Anon anymore. I also sort of was unsure whether or not I could talk about non-XABF problems. Because while XABF makes up some portion of the pie, so do many non alcoholism related issues in my life.
One of my qualifiers is my AF. He died several years ago. Doesn't mean the baggage I picked up during those times disappeared when he died. Your life has been affected by your A, gone or not.

Recovery is a process that lasts a lifetime. I am sure you would still be welcome.

Your friend,
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:03 AM
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Sure, keep going to Alanon. It does not matter that the alcoholic is no longer part of your life.

Although he is gone, you are still feeling the effects on some level. That affects your reactions, decisions and how you handle other issues that have nothing to do with the alcoholic.

Don't worry! You will be welcome.

And if you feel recovered from XABF, the newcomers in Alanon will appreciate your E,S & H. Pass on the gift!
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bruingirl View Post
I did have a question about Al-Anon though. I had been going pretty regularly right after the breakup with XABF, and it helped me GREATLY. I did eventually stop going though because I realized that the only qualifier I had was XABF, and since he's pretty much out of my life I felt at some point like I wasn't qualified to go to Al-Anon anymore. I also sort of was unsure whether or not I could talk about non-XABF problems. Because while XABF makes up some portion of the pie, so do many non alcoholism related issues in my life.
I didn't start going to Al-Anon until after I had broken up with my XABF. I have no contact with him, and I am moving on with my life. I still go to Al-Anon at least once a week.
There are members of my home group that are no longer with their qualifiers - due to breakup, divorce, or death - and there are members in my group whose qualifiers have been sober for the last 20 years.

There's no expiration date. The program isn't about the alcoholic, it's about us, and so if you feel it helps you to attend, then by all means - go!

Heck, I heard a story about someone who was attending Al-Anon even though she never knew an alcoholic in her life, simply because she liked the whole approach to life that Al-Anon taught.

Al-Anon is a group of people who are trying to improve their own lives by working on themselves, and one of the favorite topics of my home group is to discuss how the Al-Anon principles can be applied to anything else, whether or not there is an alcoholic involved. Most of my sharing now talks about how I deal with situations at work, and I'm not the only one either.

If you feel Al-Anon is helpful in your life for any reason, you are welcome. It's a group of people journeying to their own recovery together, regardless of where they're starting from.
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