I have a question for all of you. Do any of you have that one friend who shares the same kind of mental illness as you do??? Have you ever had to help them come to terms with the fact that they need to go into anxiety therapy they were either too afraid to admit it on their own or they were having doubts about it??? If yes, great. If no, that’s ok; this piece will discuss the experience that I had with a friend so you can think about what I went through if you ever have to do what I did.
You see, about a month ago, I had a friend text me saying that after going into anxiety therapy on and off, she was ready to go into treatment as a full commitment I was happy proud and excited for her as I went through treatment for my anxiety three years ago. We talked the night before her first appointment- she sounded anxious and nervous about it. I did my best to reassure her that it was all going to work out and the therapist was only there to help her and not harm her. I asked her to text me how it went afterwards.
The next day, she texted me again. I asked her how the appointment went. She said she felt very overwhelmed and it was a lot to take in. There was also a lot of uncomfterble questions asked to her that she didn’t want to talk about. I explained that every therapist on the first treatment day asks you all of this stuff because in order to treat you in the best way possible, the need to come up with a treatment plan to help meet your anxiety’s needs. She told me she knew that, but she wished that the therapist would have been a little more gentle about it.
That following day, she expressed to me that the therapist asked about her medical history… she explained it but was so mad afterwards. Mad that the therapist forced her to answer the question when she was coming from, I explained it was to have it and look how far it was taken her as well as all of the friends she has been able to meet. She calmed down and was happy because she agreed. I knew I got my point across.
But, then the conversation got a little serious and real one day…..
It was brought to my attrition by her, that the therapist wanted her to go on anxiety medication. Thankfully my anxiety went down without meds- I didn’t need it. So I honestly and truthfully didn’t know much about it. All I know is she told me she was really scared to go on it. I explained again the meds would help her to somewhat hopefully feel better. Also that it would not poison or harm her. I could tell she was really struggling with this treatment thing and wanted to give up. The first few days and months of treatment as she told me she also cried the first day, I said there will be a lot of frustration, anger and tears. If you open yourself up little by little and trust the process, it will be easier as you go.
She was sort of getting it and understanding, but she wasn’t getting it fully enough to come out of the rut she was in and move forward with treatment. At least not yet anyway.
The real serious and “light bulb” moment that made me realize I had to push her more was when she told me she had a bad feeling that the treatment was going to put her in another spiral of depression.
I definitely knew now that I had to push her a LOT more.
So do you want to know what I did to push her hard……that’s right, I used a little trick called “tough love.
I got serious with her after she said that. I said firmly, “No, I’m not going to take that from you. You are way better then that… and I want to see you get better.”
And that was true…..I did want to see her get better.
It sunk it for her. She decided to go on the medication and that next night she took her first dose.
The next morning she told me that the medicine was working and that she was committed fully to treatment.
Those made me feel great and let me know I did my job right.
When some people are going through things and I try to give them advice to help them through it and go in the right direction, I feel like they just thank me afterwards and really take my words to heart. However, this person did and I thank her not only for taking my advice to thought but for putting your trust in me to help you when you needed it most.
The lesson for you guys.-when you can sense or tell someone is going through something, whether it’s a friend or family member, help them. Sometimes they are too scared to admit they need help on their own and may need a little encouragement boost from you. Be there for people when they need it-they will thank you a hundred times down the road. Don’t make everything about you……because it’s not always about you. Other people have emotions and feelings as well as you do. We are all HUMAN. No matter who we are what the color of our skin is, where we come from. Always remember, we are who we are.