February 23, 2011

back to the counselor I went...

I had an appointment with a counselor at school today. I am not sure quite how I feel about it. I am sort of extra stressed out about it all right now. I feel very vulnerable and out of control right now. I mean I know I don't have to talk about anything I don't want to, and that I am the one who signed up for the appointment in the first place, but I just am feeling in a really bad place right now. I made an appointment with her because I have been in a really bad place lately, and I am worried that I might be depressed. I come from the idea that I would like to keep from being medicated if at all possible, so I want to try out some other options before resorting to medication.

The last time I had been to see her was near the middle of spring/second semester of last year. I had gone because I had had a really close time when I was feeling extremely triggered and wanting to self-harm, I had kept from self-harming but wanted to talk to the counselor. When I came in earlier today, she basically asked me why I had come in and I told her how I was feeling depressed, and just not good lately. After discussing that in general (symptoms, how long had I been feeling that way, any life changes that could be causing it, any medication changes, was I suicidal etc.) and some ways to help combat depression (without medication, things like more regular exercise, trying to be more involved in events, spending less time alone and more with people, etc.).

She then told me that she had looked over the notes from our previous sessions and wanted to talk about self-harm. How long had it been since I last self-harmed? I told her it had been about a month give or take...then she asked me how many times during the school year I had self-harmed thus far, I took a rough guesstimate and told her that I had probably self-harmed 6-7 times in the last school year. She looked down at the sheet she was writing on and jotted something down (as she had been doing the whole time) then looked up at me and said with a sort of disappointed tone, "that is a lot more than last year". The way she talked about the self-harm in general is sort of bothering me. She almost seemed sort of dismissive of it, and sort of said things to the effect of well don't do it again before our next meeting. It is just causing me to sort of freak out about it. Because, not saying that I will, but what if I were to self-harm, how am I supposed to come back and be honest about it afterward and face all the disappointment in her voice? I guess going to counseling in general sort of stresses me out, I find it so hard to talk about these sorts of things, and it is really taxing for me to be talking to a stranger about them.

The whole confidentiality thing sort of freaks me out too. The form we have to fill out at the counseling center has the confidentiality rules on the back and you have to sign the paper to agree with the terms, usually there are three things on there, first is that if you tell the counselor you are planning to harm someone then they have the right to break confidentiality and tell the person you say you want to hurt, and also to tell the police to protect that person, if they suspect abuse of a child or of a dependent elderly person, and if they suspect that you are going to harm yourself. The first two are pretty straight forward to me, but the last one really freaks me out. What do they mean by harm myself, what happens if the counselor suspects that I will self-harm, will she have to tell someone? Or is it only if she thinks I will kill myself? I just don’t know and that is what worries me.

So basically, all in all, I am just feeling a lot more vulnerable and out of control since the talk today, I feel closer to self-harming than I have in a while. I am in general a people pleaser, and the pressure I am feeling to try and please her by not self-harming is sort of causing pressure that I would normally relieve by self-harming…it is sort of crazy really.

Anywho, I really need to head to bed now, it is getting late. Hopefully I will be back soon enough. My next appointment is next Friday, so I will probably want to blog again then. One last thing, I mentioned to the counselor that I used to journal a lot, but it doesn't seem to do as much good anymore, and she said maybe we could talk about journaling next time and more ways to journal that might help.

Emmy R.

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