Every time I see my psych doctor he tells me about the importance of good support system. He tells me  they can help me  when I am having a rough time. He says he has a handful of people he call at any time when he needs support. I am pretty lucky in the fact that my  psych doctor also is a licensed community service worker. He could be a therapist but he isn’t. It makes our relationship close and trustworthy. I consider him to be a major part of my support system because he always takes my calls. When I am seeing blue devils he listens and helps me out until the next morning when I can meet him at his office.

Friends are a great part of your support system. They love you and want to see you at your best. They listen, but sometimes it gets old to talk to a depressed person every day for a week. It brings them down. And , honestly, they can only take so much. They never complain but I tire of loading my crap on them. It isn’t fair.

The solution? A therapist. I have a love/hate relationships with therapists. There are several reasons I don’t love having a therapist. Number one is finding one. It is like meeting a complete stranger and throwing up all your secrets on them. Then you have to see if you clique. This can take several meetings and if you don’t, it is back to the beginning of the process. Also, it can be quite challenging. They will give you things to try and stuff to do and follow-up on whether or not you took their advice. The best things about a therapist is, chances are, they have heard your issues before. They are trained professionals and in most cases my therapists have been doing it for a long time. My therapists have dealt with issues in clients from bipolar 1 to anxiety. They get it because they have helped many people like you in the past.

Another great thing abut therapists is that though they are in your corner, they care objective. Unlike friends and family, they aren’t going to soften the blow. If you need to hear something, they will be the ones who will honestly tell you. If you are straining your relationship with your mom, they will tell will tell you why and how.

I consider my therapist one of the most important supporters in my system. She always listens. She cheers me on. She lets me cry. Like my psych doctor she has taken my calls in between appointments when I needed help. I encourage everyone, mentally ill or not, to invest in a therapist. The load they can lift off your shoulders is amazing. I always come out of therapy feeling somehow lighter and that part I love.

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Author: Elaina J. Martin