General Question

bizzzzmarkie's avatar

Should I go to a psychologist again?

Asked by bizzzzmarkie (13points) March 9th, 2010

I am 19 years old and was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety at age 14. This diagnosis stemmed from drug and alcohol abuse, suicide attempts, and self-mutilation. I started seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist and after about a year of talk therapy and fluoxetine use, I managed to get my life back under control and feel genuinely happy again. I discontinued therapy and my prescription and was fine and completely sober for the following 3 years.

I started college last fall and have been drinking and using drugs again, but responsibly and with control. However, relationships with my friends have been strained lately which is really bumming me out, to say the least. I have started to drink when I am sad again, have disturbing nightmares, intense episodes of anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred. However, these symptoms have only been occurring that intensely in the past week.

I am considering seeking therapy again, but am unsure of my decision. I do not want to go back too soon if I might be able to deal with this myself, but I also do not want to let things get too bad before seeking help. Does anyone have any advice for evaluating whether or not one should seek psychological and/or psychiatric treatment? And if so, is a college counseling center an appropriate place to do so?

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28 Answers

JeffVader's avatar

Absolutely you should go & see them. Even if this is something you could sort out on your own why risk it.

partyparty's avatar

It would seem that you are already starting on a downward slope, with your drugs and drinking, so I would recommend you go back to see your psychologist as soon as you are able. Good luck

Likeradar's avatar

My personal feeling is that you should see a therapist when you want to (I’m a huge advocate of therapy). The fact that you posted this question is a clear sign to me that it’s worth considering.

I don’t know about your college counseling department, but I was matched with my favorite therapist of all time through mine. And you might get counseling at a free or reduced price.

njnyjobs's avatar

First of all, saying that your doing drugs and drinking responsibly is an oxymoron. . .. without a doubt, seek professional help right away.

drClaw's avatar

My rule on this “if you have to ask you should probably go”

gailcalled's avatar

What harm can it do you to go? Let the therapist do the evaluation. It’s his job and not yours.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Anyone who comes onto Fluther asking for serious help with addiction and deep psychological issues should have her head examined.

But seriously, yes, you need to get your depression and addictions handled. As you undoubtedly know, the drug abuse is linked to the depression and they both feed each other.

augustlan's avatar

Go. You’ll feel better just knowing you’re doing something. Be proactive instead of reactive, and things will improve sooner rather than later. Welcome to Fluther, and good luck!

ModernEpicurian's avatar

Welcome to Fluther :-)
Please, go and see a therapist, they can then tell you whether they feel that you need their help.
I feel that allowing yourself to indulge in drink and drugs again was probably a bad move. As the son of an addict I know that if you give yourself an inch, it’s far too easy to then take that yard.

I hope this helps. Please come back to Fluther anytime with any of your problems, that’s what we are here for :-)

loser's avatar

It couldn’t hurt.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

That you’re questioning to see a therapist but first went back into past behaviors that proved destructive for you, c’mon.

kevbo's avatar

I’ve lived with depression for all of my adult life. While I haven’t taken my own advice, one thing I have learned is that it is worthwhile to treat it aggressively, especially for someone your age. You don’t want to wake up 10 years from now feeling as bad as you do now or worse, trust me.

Watch Episode 2 of “This Emotional Life” which aired on PBS. It makes the point above much more compelling. I would give you a link, but can’t find one immediately.

wundayatta's avatar

You already know the answer to this. You don’t need our validation to confirm your choice. Go see the therapist and the psychiatrist, too.

I got off one of my meds for about six months, and then had another episode and was put back on. I didn’t want to be hurt or to hurt anyone. Next, I think, I’ll want to try to handle it myself. Maybe I’ll be able to, but there’s always a point where I’ll have to get help, or risk death.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

I would suggest finding a good doctor that you can connect with so that he/she may help you to help yourself. There are good doctors out there don’t give up. If you need to talk to someone you can talk to me. I may not be a doctor but I will listen to you.

stardust's avatar

Like others have mentioned, if you’ve posted the question, then maybe you need the outlet of going to see someone.
You could try one appointment and if it’s not working for you, then you’ll have tried

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

From my own personal experience, I think you’re ready to go back to therapy and the psychiatrist. Be honest with them about how you’re coping with your problems. In other words, tell them about the drinking.

You might consider trying a few meetings of A.A. They certainly have an office of some kind in your area and can probably direct you to meetings for younger people.

PacificToast's avatar

I say yes, because if you don’t face yourself now. How much worse will it be when you do?

thriftymaid's avatar

Why don’t you just stay sober.

janbb's avatar

There’s no doubt you should go. By your own description, you are starting a downward spiral, why wait until it gets worse? As for whether the college counseling service is a good place to go, they will usually only do short term counseling and will give you a referral to a therapist for more serious stuff. I think it would thus be a good place to start but realize you will probably be referred to someone else. Go – get help!!

Ron_C's avatar

I am probably not the best person to give advice about addiction and depression because I never really had those problems. I have found the advise from this group to be pretty good. If they say you should go back to therapy, I suggest that you listen.

The closest I’ve come to depression was the recent death of my father. The folks here really came through for me. Based on what I have read in this thread, the consensus is that you get help as soon as possible. That’s my advice also. Good luck and I hope you get help soon.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I am a Psychologist (retired).
You should get back into therapy without delay!
You are already “at risk” based just on what you disclosed here.

phillis's avatar

How can one drink and do drugs responsibly? I would really like to know, because if there is an excuse I can use to fool myself, then I can slowly kill myself with impunity! Damn, what a way to goooo! It’s way better than jumping off a bridge, don’t you think?

Your sobriety lasted for three years, and I have to stand and applaud that, even though you may not feel like standing with me right now. That’s okay! I’m still extremely proud of you. And now it’s time to go back and chat with the good doctor once more, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense.

You’ve started college, you have a boatload of new responsibilities, all of which is scary for EVERYBODY. Your fears and doubts are absolutely NORMAL. The advantage you have over most people is that you already know you are an at-risk person, and you’ve handled it. Now it’s simply time to handle it within the context of your new stage of life.

I am hoping that you can see this for what it really is, and not beat yourself over the head with it. It’s simply time to readjust. With a little help, you have the same exact hances everybody else has, of coming out the other side with the same strength that brought you sobriety for three years. Peace be with you, dear, but you have to go find it. Peace isn’t a white dove that is going to seek you out above all others and land on your shoulders.

Janka's avatar

If you are drinking when you are sad, and feeling self-loathing etc, I am not convinced your drinking and drug usage actually is “responsible”. Even if you do not do anything stupid while under influence, it seems to me that the drinking is both affecting your mood and being a substitute for dealing with sadness.

I would advice that with your past, you stay away from drinking, even responsibly, at least for ten years longer, preferably forever.

And yes, to your original question, by all means go for it. Consulting with a psychiatrist does not mean you have to enter therapy or get on medication; it simply means you will ask them what they think.

MissA's avatar

Sweetheart, you are not able to see this objectively. You may ‘feel’ as if you can take drugs and drink alcohol responsibly, but I don’t believe that to be true. Please seek counseling…don’t waste these most precious years of your life. What do you like best about yourself? Let’s concentrate on that one thing…and, find a counselor you trust. Good luck and let us hear from you.

ItsAHabit's avatar

I would suggest that you consult a physician in addition to a psychologist. Depression can have a biological basis in the brain and be successfully treated.

flutherother's avatar

I would give the same advice as above which is give up the drink and the drugs, if possible, as I know how hard that can be. I would try that for a period of time, maybe two months, maybe three and then go and see a shrink if things are bad. Don’t expect too much happiness, a little can go a long way.

A2J's avatar

Yes, you should start therapy again. Feelings of hopelessness are indicative of depression. I would also suggest seeking out a program that helps you address the substance abuse problem. It sounds like you may be dealing with a “dual diagnosis.”

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