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Trouble in Headspace - Songs of innocence and of experience [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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Trouble in Headspace [Nov. 28th, 2006|03:34 pm]
Douglas Spencer

So yes, I'm broken. Not just over Susan's birthday today, but also with other bits of brokenness, some of which date back a very long time.

Quoting from something I said as part of an exchange of text messages with someone this morning:
    I wonder occasionally about finding a shrink but I always decide to put up with current levels of brokenness.

[User Picture]From: missfairchild
2006-11-28 04:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry this is such a difficult time for you. Please take what follows as the genuine concern of someone who is aware that you are broken but does not know why or to what extent.

Do you want to get to a stage in your life where you are not merely managing your brokenness? It strikes me that if you want to move past your issues and look forward to a time when they are not controlling your life, you might have to speak to a professional.

I know of two people (not on LJ) who have made that choice this year and have said that it has helped them enormously. I also know of another who had the choice made for him, resisted the therapist, and came out of it no better. So I imagine everything will hing on how badly you want to be not-broken.

If you have been trying to understand and work through problems on your own for years and making no progress, then that could be a sign that you need a professional to kick-start the healing process. Well-meaning friends are fine up to a point, but lack the distance and the detachment needed to help. One can talk to a close friend indefinitely, but how can you be sure that their responses are not coloured by what they think they know and understand about you from years of familiarity?
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[User Picture]From: seph_hazard
2006-11-28 06:19 pm (UTC)
Alison has said pretty much everything that I was going to say, and said it better.

Shrinks can be very good things and they can be very bad things and they can be simply unhelpful things. It depends on what kind of shrink they are and what kind of person you are-and, for that matter, what kind of broken you are.

Buckets of both sympathy and empathy for you, though, darling, and I wish I could do something to help. Let me know if there is anything I can do, and of course please ring me if you'd like to. I'll be in all evening.
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[User Picture]From: sbisson
2006-11-28 04:18 pm (UTC)
Therapy does help - but it's a matter of finding the style that suits you.

Techniques like Gestalt work well for geeks, as they focus on tools and vocabulary - as once you have words for something, you have a handle on it.
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From: pmcmurray
2006-11-28 05:28 pm (UTC)
You seem to me a very sane person who's just a little broken in places. I think you might get huge benefit from some sort of head-doctoring.
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[User Picture]From: watervole
2006-11-28 05:58 pm (UTC)
Swings and roundabouts.

For some people therapy can be helpful, for others it isn't. Some people cope with problems by talking about them and thinking them through. Others work better by shutting them out and blocking the memories. (and for 'blockers' it can be a bad idea to break down the barriers)

You manage surprisingly well a lot of the time, but when things trip you, they can trip you very badly.

I just did a quick Google to see how effective counselling is.

This study suggests it is effective in the short term, but that long term benefits are limited.

This one http://counsellingresource.com/types/effectiveness.html seems to think it effective, but says the results are very variable and tend to depend more on the right councilor for the individual rather than the specific type of therapy. Although it notes that some people with particular mindsets respond better to types of therapy that match their mindset. eg. CBT cognitive behavioural therapy might suit people who like specific advice and instructions.

Basically, if you do go for it, make sure you find someone that you get along with and whose mindset you feel you can relate to.

I'm sure I read a study somewhere that compared the effectiveness of therapy as opposed to talking to friends, but I can't currently find it.
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[User Picture]From: pinkdormouse
2006-11-28 07:28 pm (UTC)
No thoughts, but HUGS anyway.
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[User Picture]From: naxela
2006-11-28 07:44 pm (UTC)
Happy to return some of the listening favours you've done for me over the years. Perhaps on Saturday?
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From: ex_the_major316
2006-11-28 07:56 pm (UTC)
Everyone else is better at the big words than I. But Huggles and the mobile phone is always one if you ever want a talk. Don't worry about the time.
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[User Picture]From: ingaborg
2006-11-28 09:23 pm (UTC)

It sounds like the right kind of therapy might be something that would help you. I have a caveat which I imagine you're already aware of, but I'm going to say it anyway in case it's the sort of thing which sounds more convincing coming from an outside source (i.e. in case it helps you have the confidence to act on it). Sometimes a therapist/psychiatrist is themselves broken or at any rate useless and it's vital to have the confidence to walk away and look for a better one. I can see that resisting therapy would render it useless, but persisting with a destructive "theraputic" relationship is also seriously not a good idea.
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[User Picture]From: frandowdsofa
2006-11-28 10:55 pm (UTC)
It may be of use to you to find a grief counsellor (your GP should be able to help here). That might help you sort out what is you working through what has happened, what is you actually being broken, and what a good way forward would be.

Meanwhile, you know if you need a phone buddy or to come stay for a bit, you just holler.
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[User Picture]From: sammy3ox
2006-11-29 04:54 am (UTC)
I have been very depressed over the past months as well and today brought the pain back yet again.

Susan's last moments with us were at the Mongomery Hospice. The people there did such a good job of ensuring her comfort the best they could, as well as providing comfort for the people with her at that somber time.
I was surprised that a few weeks later I got a letter from Montgomery Hospice, especially since I live on the other side of the continent in California. In the letter they sent their condolences and recommendations on handling grief including finding support groups that many churches and other local hospices provide. This type of group usually meets once a week or so and is open to people who share the loss of a loved one. The hospice even sent me a listing of resources local to me. I have disposed of the letter, but wish I would have kept it so I could quote some of the content.

Anyway, maybe it would help to find a local church or hospice that has a group session where you can share with others who have had a loss. Talking to most people is not the same because they may not share the deepness of your loss, but being in a group with others that are in the same place, emotionally, helps to be able to talk and let your feelings out. It is not good to keep it bottled up inside.

I feel like giving you a comforting hug, but it will have to be a virtual hug for now.

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[User Picture]From: asphodeline
2006-11-29 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've tried the way of the Shrink but friends are much better. I love the post about the benches btw

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