One of the worst things about chronic depression is the knowledge that few people understand what you are going through. How many times have you had someone tell you to just “get up and keep going.” If you have been in the throes of depression, you know all too well just how difficult it is to simply function on a day-to-day basis. Keeping going is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest with no gear or preparation.
A strange paradox with depression is that you both hate human contact and long for it. The people you can connect with the best are others going through the same hell you are, but you would rather hang out with “normal” people because maybe their “normalness” will rub off on you. The trouble is, when you are feeling down, you can’t help but compare yourself to others. It’s a losing game in which you will always come up short. I have had many a day when I was feeling a bit better quickly go south because of someone unintentionally reminding me of all the areas in life where I am currently falling short.
Choosing a therapist can be daunting. I have found that it is best to go for three appointments. By that point, you will know how comfortable and open you are with the person; those are two key areas in a successful therapeutic relationship. Never, and I mean never, continue seeing a therapist when the two of you do not have a rapport or the therapist’s views are not in line with your own. There is nothing wrong with a therapist challenging you, but there has to be some common ground. For example, if you are bisexual, seeing a therapist who does not believe bisexuality exists will certainly not help you.
Fortunately, there are some very good, open-minded therapists out there who can help to get you back on track. Most recently, a friend had a very good therapeutic experience with this service, and regularly sees a therapist there. Good luck!