Once I went to a therapist when I was in severe distress. Like, I’m-considering-killing-myself-DISTRESS. I got into a very bad place emotionally, for a LOT of very good reasons, and I knew I needed therapy right away.
At the time I didn’t have a therapist because I had recently moved to a new area, so I called around and found one. I went to my appointment, and it was all I could do to keep myself together. I walked into his office and began to explain my situation through a storm of tears running down my face.
And he began to … laugh.
Heh, heh. Hmm, hmmf, hmm, hm. Heh.
It wasn’t a big laugh. Not like a loud guffaw. Not like he was watching a funny sitcom or was looking at I Can Has Cheezburger or The Onion. More like a nervous laugh. A chortle.
I’m pouring my heart out, trying to do everything I can to make sure I get back on track and get my mental health together and he’s snickering.
Uh-huh. I see. And why do you feel that way, Katherine? Heh, heh.
I knew immediately that this was not the person for me. Even if he couldn’t help it, it was very off-putting and made me feel less than understood. Needless to say I never went back. I found someone else, someone who was the right person for me.
Not every therapist, or psychiatrist, or doctor or professional of any type should have the job they have. Or maybe they are good at what they do, but it just so happens you don’t click with them. This is why I like this post from Psych Central: 7 Tips for Changing Therapists. John Grohol’s tips are great, so go check them out. There’s no reason to have to go through PPD with a healthcare provider who is making it worse for you.
If you find your current medical professional is not helping you through postpartum depression, or makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to get another one. There are people who can help you. So don’t give up, just go elsewhere.
More stories on postpartum depression and therapy:
5 Common Concerns About Therapy For Postpartum Depression
How Does Psychotherapy for Postpartum Depression Work Anyway?
My BOSS did that. Laughed. I swear, some people are incapable of empathy or proper expression of concern. It's a nervous tic, a way of reacting when they don't know how to react or relate. Sometimes they don't even realize what they are doing. It doesn't excuse it, esp not in that profession, but you are right to find someone else. That is just horrific.
Been with current therapist for nearly 4 years (wow!) Got more done w/ her in 1st 2 months than I did in two YEARS with woman before her. I just didn't know any better. I was young. I'd never been in therapy before. I guess I figured they were all like her. I only changed b/c of insurance issues. Thank GOD for my place of employment switching insurance carriers.
Thank you for the breadth of knowledge that you share on PP. I intend to share your blog w/ my midwife in the hopes that she and the other members of her practice will consider sharing this site with pregnant patients. Your "get help here" and "faq" would be perfect for those freaking out at 2am, 2 weeks after the baby was born, not sure what's wrong with them!
Most "new mommy" materials (inc. ones handed out by the practice I go to) brush over PPD. If even one woman could be spared the agony, then a difference has been made….
What a weirdo. Sorry you had that experience.
As a psychologist, let me just say that is outrageous! It takes such strength to walk in to a therapist's office, let alone switch if it's not a fit. This was way beyond 'lack of fit'–so kudos to you for getting out of there!
Any worthwhile therapist needs to be able to 'help' a nervous habit like this. We are taught to be aware of our behavior, our impact on the client. You are way too generous to suggest he couldn't help it.
The first psychologist I tried to find on my own in the phone book was male..when I mentioned I might be suffering from PPOCD because of my symptoms he asked me if I was one of those light switch flickers. needless to say..we never met again and I called my OB for help.