Sunday, September 2, 2012

Employee Assistance Program

I've had three appointments with the therapist thus far.  In most EAP programs, it probably would have been my final, but the one I'm with is really good, so we'll be able to continue for several more.  I've been very clear with M (the therapist), what it is that I'm in search of: eventual diagnosis, action plan for long term mental health - whether that involves just therapy or drugs as well.  She's informed me that she tends to lean more towards not medicating (which I respect.  I think most therapists worth their salt try not to recommend pills unless necessary), and that she's going to try to help me develop a healthy self-esteem before the EAP funds run out.  Here's where it gets murky, and I get nervous again.

Self-esteem is certainly a huge issue for me, especially lately.  However, in the past, when I've done work on my self-esteem, my mood tends to swing aggressively to the other side.  I tend to think I'm invincible (socially, anyway), I'm the hottest woman in the world (right now I feel below average, depending on which part of London I'm standing in at any given time), and everyone wants needs my opinion.   This could make for some hilarious problems, particularly if she just builds me up then dumps me on the side of the road, leaving the world vulnerable to my swollen ego and mania.  If I have any sense in those moments, I'll just go home and smear both my arms and some paper in pastels until 2 am.  If I don't have any sense I'll just go down to Dundas and make sure I buy at least 10 books from every used book shop, making some very superficial friends along the way ("I love her, she's crazy!" I'll overhear).  These are just projections, of course.  It may be only 8 books per store.

I would like to continue working with M so that this issue doesn't come up.  Near the end of the last session, I tried to get a solid answer out of her regarding her fees, and she kept saying "we'll talk about that after the EAP runs out. Let's just focus on your mental health right now."  It didn't bother me at the time, but that's not a fucking answer.  I can't rearrange my budget for a new apartment with that in mind.  Although it's not an answer, I'm now certain she's out of my price range.  It may be rude, but I may have to ask her if she can recommend someone cheaper.  When I first started talking to her, I made it clear that I was trying to build up a network of help.  If my conversations with her don't lead to conversations with others, I know I will be frustrated.

Overall, it seems to me that as long as your not drawing attention to yourself or hurting others, the availability of mental health care isn't all that impressive.  Shouldn't we be working on prevention rather than rescue?

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