If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .

The process for finding and meeting a psychologist isn’t hard, but when you are depressed it seems like a pathway strewn with obstacles. At each roadblock, it is easy to just give up. Having overcome some of those setbacks, I would strongly encourage anyone who is feeling unusually despondent to stick with it.

With the windchill, today it is -14C (7F) in Edmonton and I have decided, once again, to stay home. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. My walks around the neighbourhood have become less frequent and I am reading far too much about American politics.

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All of this is not doing my mood any good. I have been taking a medication for a mild form of depression for about 35 years, and about a month ago my mood suddenly took a dive. I had reached the “I’ve had enough of this life” stage. I wasn’t suicidal, but I just felt that the best of my life was in the past. At the encouragement of my family, I made an appointment with a psychologist and I’m glad I did. She is a pleasure to talk with and I have felt uplifted by seeing her.

When I am feeling particularly down, it is hard to see the benefit in making any effort to bring myself back up, and I know I’m not alone in this. When the dark mood hit me, I did make a brief effort to find a psychologist online but after a perusal of a couple of appropriate websites, and after finding someone who appeared to be attuned to my needs, I found that her specialty was in counselling LGBTQ people. At that point I gave up.

A day or two later, my eldest son visited me and encouraged me to try again. He knows quite a lot about the various social and health services available in the area and texted to me a link to a government website. It provides information about psychologists currently taking new clients and it has a very usable interface.

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From that website I found someone who identified herself as being conversant with issues of concern to seniors, and so I used the email link to explain my situation and ask if she would make an appointment with me.

The next day I received an email in reply saying that she was not, in fact, taking new clients but she gave me contact information of three people who were. At this point I was beginning to think the endeavour was doomed to failure and I hesitated in contacting any of the psychologists she recommended.

After a few days, though, I summoned more resolve and reviewed their professional information available online. From that basis, I selected one and contacted her. She agreed to meet with me and I have now seen her twice, with very positive outcomes.

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When I first met her, I said I felt like a fraud because since I first fell into that deep dark mood, two or three weeks had gone by and I was feeling a whole lot better. Nevertheless, we continued to talk and I found I had a lot to get off my chest, so I’m glad I followed through with the appointment.

If you are feeling low, your first attempt to find a psychologist who is right for you might not pan out, but there are lots of psychologists out there! If you give it another try, you may find as I did that it is worth that extra effort.


  1. You know me Anne and I decided many years ago that I needed to see someone so I could raise my moods (or whatever). I had several recommendations and chose one and made an appointment. I went up and down mood wise and B was always available to listen. I stayed with her for 10 years (until she retired). We are still in contact but now it’s more as friends. Do stick with it if you two are a fit. It is well worth your time. It’s a true gift to yourself.

  2. I can’t really comment on such a situation without the risk of sounding pithy.
    I am aware that depression is not the same as feeling a bit down in the dumps, and I guess we all feel like that from time to time.
    All I will say is to wish you well, Anne and hope things come right for you.

  3. Anne,

    Oh Anne, Anne, Anne… you wonderful, very worthy valuable person! I can absolutely relate, sympathize AND empathize with your bouts with depression. I am so intimately aware of it daily and weekly. It has been part of my life ALL my life because my maternal family has dealt with it multiple times over the decades and over the generations. And as you may or may not know, I worked for years in the Psych/A&D inpatient field as an Assessment Counselor for possible admission into our rehab programs. I was doing this while working on my Master’s Degree in Psychology & Marriage/Family Therapy. That’s simply my professional and educational background.

    But Anne, I also have personal experience with depression, not just with myself, but also with my family. My Father committed suicide while in major depression and he refused to get any help whatsoever. :/

    Please feel free to contact me anytime via my Contact Me page on my blog. I am happy to talk with you as a Friend who gets it. ❤️

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