Editor’s note: Tempus Bell is a continuing contributor to the Share Your Story feature on The Good Therapy Blog. Tempus Bell’s previous article is Stigma: Come at Me, If You Can!
Just the other day I made a choice to stop going to a therapist that I haven’t seen in over three months. I stopped going to this therapist because they told me when I called to make a scheduled appointment that they were going to have to ask the therapist if they wanted to see me again because I have a record of canceling. This made me feel really uncomfortable to go back to them. It made me feel as if I was more of a dollar sign then a person with a mental illness.
I am in the process of finding a new doctor, but until I do I am looking online for free help, at the urging of my previous therapist. Did you know that there are workbooks online that are for specific mental illness and mental problems? Why do you have to pay all this money and insurance and doctor fees when you can go online and find the same kind of information you would get from your doctor?
It’s hard for me to find a therapist because first I have to like them, second I have to feel like they understand me and like me, and third I have to feel like I’m not a money bank to this organization. If those don’t line up, then I won’t go back. I have seen a total of three therapists and two psychiatrists in my life. I do not have a history of going to a lot of doctors and messing up the relationship. I’m actually really skeptical of doctors and hospitals because I feel like it’s always about the money and not really about my illness and me.
So to help myself in the meantime, until I find a doctor, I have downloaded some cognitive behavioral therapy workbooks to help me understand where my anger and depression come from, other than my mental illness. CBT therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. So it’s a therapy that helps you understand why you think something, how you think it, and how to help you try not to think those thoughts anymore. CBT has been helping me since I never understand where my anger comes from. It seems to come over me out of nowhere and I’m just always angry for nothing. But by writing things down and going through the workbooks, I can look back and actually see the trigger of my anger or depression.
When I was seeing my last therapist, she gave me handouts from a skills-training manual for treating borderline disorder. While she said she didn’t think I had borderline personality, she thought that the worksheets and handout she gave me would help me in my situation. I recently rediscovered them and thought to myself, if she can print out something from a website and give it to me as homework, why can’t I do the same thing?
I started to search Google for bipolar worksheets, anxiety worksheets, and anger worksheets, and that’s when I came across cognitive behavioral therapy and related worksheets online. I printed out two sheets: one for anger, and one for depression. The worksheets have homework that takes a whole week to do, and after that week you go back, look at what you did, and try to put together the pieces of how you feeling the week before.
Consistency is not my strong suit, but I know that I need to figure out what my triggers are and why I’m feeling the way I am. These worksheets haven’t cured me, but they have put in perspective the possible reasons for my anger and depression, other than my mental illness. I can’t do anything about my mental illness other than take medicine and go to therapy, but if I don’t want to take medicine and go to therapy what else can I do?
I find the trigger and let it go.
Here are some websites that I’ve found for worksheets on CBT training and other worksheet help. Good luck my friends, and please tell me if you know where I’m coming from!
OhTemp writes a blog called Bipolar, Unemployed, and Lost, which you can read at bipolarunemployedlost.com.
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