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.
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.
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.
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.