Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Judge and Jury

I felt so stressed out and scared in my therapy session today. I have been severely depressed (even more so than usual)and have been feeling really paranoid about being abandoned...both physically and emotionally, by Dr. X, by my family, by my friends, basically by everyone.

In regards to Dr. X. I am both scared he thinks I cannot be helped (I am starting to wonder myself) and afraid he is giving up on me. I spoke with Dr. X about my having difficulties with our therapeutic relationship because I see him so much like an authority figure. My Dad(authority figure) was a policeman(extreme example of an authority figure). I think my reaction to authority is very much related to my interactions with my Dad while growing up. I was gardening just now and I had an "ah ha" moment while thinking about what went on in my session this morning.

I have a great deal of anxiety when I am around authority figures, especially if I feel I am being judged in any way, or if I feel I might disappoint them. I will go out of my way to please and placate any authority figure, because I am afraid of the consequences of not doing so.

Therein lies the problem. The nature of a Dr's position is such that they are always judging, categorizing etc. your health...so I am intensely fearful of being misjudged and thereby being abandoned because I am seen as not needing help. I am also deeply ashamed of my inability to "snap out of it", or make some progress in my therapy. This shame and fear are intensified by my feelings of guilt for remaining so depressed for so long and my self blame for believing I made myself this way...that I somehow did this to myself, made myself sick.

Dr X. made it clear today he will not abandon me. Not now, not in the future, not even if I decide to see someone else for therapy. He said, I will always be free to see him as well if I decide to see someone else too.

He asked me if he was doing anything that was making me think he would abandon me? The only things I could think of were his taking me off the medication I was on and then readily agreeing with my not wanting to be on medication. I felt like "...well if he is so laissez-faire about the medicine, then he must think I do not need it, or it will not work for me, which MUST mean I am not sick, which must mean he thinks I am fake. Also, I sometimes sense a change in tone when I am having a really hard time...like he is frustrated with me. He says I do not frustrate him...

In the garden this morning I realized I am projecting my frustration and ambivalence about my treatment, my medication and my depression's resistance to treatment, onto him. It is me that is trying to abandon me.

I have set it up so if Dr. X. is too much an authority figure (tells me I need to do more, sleep less, take meds, set up a schedule, drink less, try doing the things I like to do, etc) I freak out with anxiety and panic because I feel pushed and fearful I will be unable to complete what is expected of me (and will be punished for not doing so).

If he does not act like an authority figure (ie. gives me no feedback, or does not react positively towards me) I feel like he must not care about me, or thinks I am beyond help, or do not need help...or I go to the opposite extreme and think he thinks I am a completely lost cause and there IS NOTHING he can do to help me.

It is a no win situation...unless I can stop seeing him as an authority figure, or learn to not react to that aspect of the relationship, or learn to "feel the fear and do it anyways". Dr. X. said to me today to try to do the things I am afraid of despite feeling fearful I will be judged. Do the things I am afraid of in spite of my anxiety. Acknowledge the anxiety in the moment and forge ahead like no one was watching.

I will try.

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