Should it just be the facts, or can I add how I am feeling?
After all, it has been nearly 4 years since I was in 5 East. Almost 4 years since I faced my depression and said out loud, “I have depression.” Since then, I have dug into what depression is, how it operates, and how I can understand it better. I have read books and even took SMART Recovery training. All this research has given me a solid foundation for how depression operates.
Should I mention that I will not eat baked beans or brussel sprouts? He probably won’t need to know that. But how I got to 5 East and the 45+ years leading up to it may be useful. Also useful may be sharing my WRAP plan and the high points of what I have learned about my depression. I know that I am going to need to make a list.
Of all that I have learned about myself and my depression, what does my new therapist need to know?
Things to share with my new therapist next week:
- How I currently feel is just OK.
- The tools I have discovered include the change triangle and a wellness recovery action plan.
- Recent events include trips to visit my grandson in Boston and going to Africa to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro, 19,341 feet.
- My current medication, 300 mg of Wellbutrin
- My current doctors, my General Practitioner, and my psychiatrist for medication management
I am wondering how much of my recent trip to the abyss I need to or should share with him.
He will only have basic information about me from my Care Network. This will most likely include my age, marital status, and home address. Giving him the history of my life could take hours. And since this visit won’t be hours, but probably 45 minutes, what do I include that will help him help me?
Technically, it’s my charter and I want to get the most value out of each session.
If he has information that will get him up to speed quickly, then we will be able to get to the real work sooner. So I don’t want to leave out parts, but I know that only some information will be of use to him. I suppose that I can take his lead and have him ask for what he needs.
Doing this will really make my depression angry.
I know it would rather have me do some mind reading and determine, without ever meeting my new therapist, what will be most helpful to him. My depression has 10 unhelpful thinking styles it loves to bring out to keep me on my toes. And my depression is happiest when I am being secretive.
Isolating me is step one in my depression’s handbook.
Sharing is discouraged. Even the thought that I might benefit from another point of view is upsetting to my depression. It likes secrets and is all about how it can make being secretive important to me. My depression is quick to point out that it has my best interests at heart. In fact, if I polled the audience, I would see that depression wants me to know that it is my one true friend.
So depression would have me share very little with my new psychiatrist.
In fact, my depression would rather that I do not go to the appointment at all. Why bother getting all cleaned up and driving 30 minutes to an office in town? I can stay at home and time travel. Once in the future, I can see how the visit will turn out. Depression wants me to think that he won’t like me and won’t be able to help me.
Depression is getting a lot of mileage out of its 10 unhelpful thinking styles.
Of course, this still doesn’t bring me closer to knowing what to share with my new therapist. How far back should I go? How much detail should I give him? What details are important and what can I gloss over?