I first sought professional treatment for my depression and severe anxiety issues in 2019 because I was tired of feeling how I did and still do at times, as well as trying to self-medicate, unsuccessfully, often with catastrophic results in my personal and professional lives.
I had no idea what to expect, but a recent encounter with a female who I'm certain was doing her best to drive me to therapy in the short time I knew her succeeded.
Although the receptionists were cold and uncaring, the therapist who greeted me and would become the one I saw regularly for the next few years was the complete opposite. She was kind, warm, and caring. I'll call her Nina for privacy purposes, but I genuinely felt connected to Nina on a deep level from our first session. I cried for reasons I still don't understand. There was no judgment from her, just an offering of tissues.
I could go on forever about Nina, but she was exactly what I needed at the time and I'm glad our paths crossed. She was helpful in ways that are hard to put into words. She made me feel whole and valid again.
The therapists I had at detox and rehab were a mixed bunch. Some were clinically cold; they were there for business, not your feelings, non-addict intake personnel specifically. One answered my answers to his questions by repeating my answers back to me in question form, but with a condescending tone. Not the most appropriate way to treat someone who is 72 hours into kicking the worst habit most people ever have.
There were also therapists and medical professionals at both the rehab and detox facility who genuinely wanted the best for you and would help in any way possible, and I'll never forget any of you. Even there, they are both businesses and one even uses a sign to remind you of such.
Outside of those facilities, however, I’ve found there's little compassion shown to people with addictions or mental health conditions and the like. The two often go hand in hand, which is why I mention them together.
I think emergency rooms see so many people wanting drugs with nothing genuinely wrong with them that the staff typically fails to sympathize with you if you have mental health issues or you’re addicted to drugs. While I understand the perspective of hospital staff, this needs to change.
All people and potential patients deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of how you feel or what you think you know about them.
I think U.S. health care as a whole needs to do better at addressing, diagnosing, treating, and supporting mental health issues and people with them because I think it's responsible for so many of our other problems within our society without most of us even realizing it.
Connect with other people who are living with depression by joining our Depression Facebook Support Group.
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