Let’s talk Therapy
So, as I mentioned in my Reflections on 2017 post, I experienced a pretty significant bout of anxiety and depression that really rocked me to my core and left me wondering about where my life was going, hence my Where2Next handle. While I truly believe that Travel is my Therapy, I’m going to keep it 100% real and let you all know that traveling alone, wasn’t the way out of my darkness. The truth is, I sought the help of professionals and highly recommend that you do too if you’re feeling depressed or anxious.
Did you know that African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems? Did you also know that only about one-quarter will seek care from a mental health professional? Well, I’m not one for being someone’s statistic. Nope, not me. I’m the type of person who if you tell me I can’t do something, and it’s something that really appeals to me. I’m like, I can show you better than I can tell you. Don’t believe me, just watch! Hell, I remember using that position as a driving force for me to push forward when I found out I was going to be a Mom at the age of 18. I would defy those perceptions and prejudices against teen Moms.
Humph! Look at me now! Thriving!
So, back to addressing my mental health. I am fortunate enough to have great medical coverage through my employer. Note, this is truly a blessing. What I have found through my research is that approximately 15% of African American women have no health insurance. That’s tough, and my heart goes out to them. When I recognized that I could no longer cope with my anxiety and depression on my own, I went to my family practice doctor and discussed at length what I was feeling. She ran a series of tests just to check hormone levels (some studies have shown depression amongst perimenopausal women) and other factors. I’m lucky that I have had the same doctor for over 10 years. We have a great relationship and she knows me well. After a couple of follow up visits with her, she referred me to a psychiatrist. At the time, I didn’t think I was depressed. I just felt overly anxious and off and it was now impacting my daily life. The slightest things would upset me and I felt anxious and restless. I could not function on what I believe is a ‘normal’ level. It wasn’t until weeks into me seeing my psychiatrist did I fully understand that not only was I suffering from anxiety, I was also severely clinically depressed. It was a slow and silent process that transpired over the last year or so. I stopped doing the things that I enjoyed and if I did do them (even traveling) my heart wasn’t in it. Career-wise, I was overextended and maxed out. I pushed my feelings down deep, I woke up every day and proceeded to just act like everything was okay. Thankfully, I got help. I’ve been seeing my psychiatrist for about 6 months now and getting back on track and it feels good. I’ll be sharing more tips that helped me make a way out of the darkness in future posts.
My name is Stacy, and I suffered from anxiety and depression. I am a survivor and I love to travel and ponder Where2Next?.
Love & Light