Posted by: How to? | 2004/02/20

Should I see a psychologist?

Hi Doc,

Towards the end of last year, I think I had a breakdown of some sort - I was crying every day, I even went as far as sitting in my bathroom wanting to slit my wrists. My friend told me I should go and see a shrink 'cause of my self destructive behavior, and I promised her I would. Instead I started drinking St John's Wort tablets, and I didn't feel as down. After being single for a very long time, I met this guy, and suddenly I found myself in a rather serious relationship. I'm starting to realise that I'm not ready for such a serious committment, and it's really bothering me, because he's such a great person - he treats me like gold - something I've never experienced! Yet I don't feel anything for him. Actually, only irritation. And I feel terrible about it, because he really doesn't deserve my irritation. So I think perhaps I should go and see someone - my friend said she has a number of a shrink for me. I'd like to know though, what happens in counselling sessions? I mean, how do you start? And also, how much do sessions cost approximately? I saw a similar posting a while back, but I can't seem to find it!

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Our expert says:
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Dear How To,
It is very, very rarely a bad idea to see a counsellor --- in other words, it is almost always a good idea. Costs vary, and this is something to ask about when preparing to make an appointment. As to how to start, well that's his/her job. You meet in a safe and confidential setting, and talk through the maters that are troubling you. The fact that you responded partly to St John's Wort ( which actually works very much like Prozac only weaker ) suggests that if it emerges in counselling that Depression is a significant part of your problems, it might be worth considering asking your GP to prescribe a generic antidepressant like a stronger version of the Wort, like generic ( equivalent but cheaper ) Fluoxetine ( the prozac equivalent ) or Cilift ( the generic form of Cipramil ).
In counseling sessions, you basically can set the agenda, thouh the counsellor may have suggestions as to how to best use your time. Pleased to hear that you've now made the step, and I'm sure things will work out well.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Romantic coach | 2004/02/20

God bless you How to? You've taken the biggest step already and that is to get assistance. That's very brave. Well done.

Reply to Romantic coach
Posted by: How to? | 2004/02/20

Thanks JP and Romantic Coach. I made an appointment with our social worker at work. It went quite well, I think - although I burst into tears as soon as I walked in!
He's going to organise me an appointment with a psychologist for next week already (if he can manage), and he said that my work's policy is that they pay for the first 2 sessions, which is a bit of a relief! I'm only on a hospital plan with my medical aid, so it's quite a bit of money to dish out hey!! Thanks again! It's really great that there are people like you out there!

Reply to How to?
Posted by: Romantic coach | 2004/02/20

Well done on wanting to take charge. A counsellor is a gr8 idea. Yes intially it may seem as garbage but it is all a process and a prcess takes time. Please just be patient.

Cost wise = anything between R250 and R400 per session.

Please remember to check with your medical aid as well as to what is covered.

Reply to Romantic coach
Posted by: JP | 2004/02/20

It is a great idea to see a counsellor. They help you through your problems and you will come to see why you are experiencing the problems you are experiencing. Sometimes you may feel that the counsellor is talking a load of nonsense, but when you sit back and think about it, they help you see things in a different light, and you find that you can deal with your problems, trust me, I speak from experience. The cost of a session will depend on who you are seeing, some people charge more than others.

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