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rocky pony 01-11-2011 04:32 AM

I've been struggling a whole lot since becoming horseless, with just everyday life, basically. Honestly I can't think of any aspect of my life that hasn't been negatively affected.
I've always considered horses to be my therapy, so now without them I'm having a lot of trouble moving forward. I can't get myself to push to get a job, my relationships are having a lot more trouble, basically I've gotten nothing done and been spiraling downward for months.
Now, I'm not suicidal at all. I don't self-harm (I struggled with this for years before, but haven't at all in years, don't even really have the desire to at this point in my life), drink, do drugs, or anything else like that to self-medicate. Depression runs strongly in my family, and I don't doubt that some form of depression has reared its ugly head at several points throughout my life.

I am just not comfortable with the idea of medication. I'm not willing to go that route unless I were to become suicidal, and I'm not. I'm just very much in a slump (which all started with a long line of long-term injuries that left me bed-ridden for about a year and had strange mental effects on me) and haven't been able to get back on the horse no matter how hard I try.

I'm wondering if I should see a therapist even if I'm unwilling to go on medication. What can they actually do for me? I realize that probably sounds like a silly question to some, but I've only ever had terrible experiences with therapists. My parents' health care plan...don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have it, but I've yet to see a single doctor that actually helped me with anything, physical or mental. The therapists I went to were just hungry to diagnose me with this and that thing that I obviously do not have (or at least not badly enough to have much of any effect on my life), rather than actually addressing the problems I went there for.
Because of this, I have no idea what to do. We're not made of money, and especially at this age when I should be becoming more self-sufficient, I don't want to ask them to not only see a therapist but to see one outside of our coverage plan. I know they'd want to help me and would understand, but that would be really expensive. I honestly don't know if we can afford it.

I'm really not sure what to do, because I have no idea if I can get past these problems on my own. What can I do?

HairyCob 01-11-2011 04:41 AM

If becomming horseless has brought this on then maybe there lies the problem. If there's no way of having a horse of your own then is there anyone you could help out? Just being around horses then may make you feel more positive. Or leading on from this if you have no motivation for jobs ect, is there any stables near you, you could volunteer or help out?

Going on medication for these types of things can be more harmful than good. Pills are complex and can do complex things, it's best to avoid that route.

If there is anyone you can talk to close to you, friend or family just to have a rant and let things out? It's good to get things off your chest and when you have support of your family it can make you feel alot more positive. Talking to someone close can be more benificial than a doctor or therapist, as you see them alot and they're someone you feel comfortable with.

But if you did feel like you couldn't do this then possibly the therapist idea would be the better option. If you're not happy with the ones you've seen research around a bit to find out if anyone has used a therapist and gained positive results.

I hope this helps in some way hun. If you do ever need a chat we're all here.

rocky pony 01-11-2011 05:27 AM

Thanks HairyCob :-)
Well I do have horses to work with, one in particular that I admire quite a bit who I will be working with in the near future, but it's simply not just the horses alone that help, as much as I feel silly to say so, it's a lot more having a horse of my own, to really have that partnership involved, yet I really can't afford my own right now. I'd imagine that board would probably be a comparable price to (if not lower than) the amount a good therapist outside of our coverage would cost (though I could be wrong, it seems that way to me) and I've tried to explain that to my parents but it's just not something they really understand. I'd be a lot more comfortable that way. I wish there were a way to get them to understand that, but it seems that no amount of explaining it will get through to them.

With friends I have had the worst luck imaginable when it comes to things like this. As far as family goes, they are open to listen to me but for the most part I'm just not comfortable talking to them. For one thing my mom always makes it religious, and while I understand that, I am not religious (and she doesn't understand that). I have an amazing fiancee who is very supportive and understanding, but at the same time she is very busy lately and rarely around when I need to talk. For the most part I wind up sending her late night messages that she decreasingly has the time or energy to properly read and comprehend or spill it out someplace online or to a somewhat casual friend, and all of that really isn't working out so well these days.

That is really all what leads me to the idea of therapy, I suppose it's a last resort. It's not even what I want. I am naturally a very self-sufficient person, which really only makes this all worse, because I can't seem to get control of my situation on my own, I beat myself up. I am naturally a very confident person, but now I have no self-esteem. I am naturally extremely productive and hard working, but now it's enough that I get out of bed in the afternoon and onto the couch for the rest of the day (on the days when I am not at the barn or at my fiancee's). It's ridiculous.

HairyCob 01-11-2011 05:45 AM

Prehaps therapy is the best option then. If you find you can't speak to those around you as they can't understand the situation.

Don't let yourself continue on like this though, if you're getting nowhere with friends and family then try the medical route. You could always pop in and see a doctor and just see what options are availible to you, I'm sure they'll explain all the pros and cons ect. And then if you find therapy the best route then prehaps you should go for it.

Are you on any other medications ect that could be making you depressed? Or adding to it?

I know you probably feel quite trapped and angry at yourself, especially if you're self sufficient. But going alone isn't always the best way to go, you'll just feel more isolated.

Adpating positive thinking can help too. Keeping your mind set on something positive rather than negative. Focusing on the horses you will be working with ect. Or possibly if you can't see the horses or aren't around them take up a hobby, that can always occupy your time and does have positive mental benefits.

TaMMa89 01-11-2011 05:59 PM

Rocky pony: there are different kind of therapies and other mental health help, in my ears those people that you've visited sound more psychiatrists (doctors) than some that you can count purely therapists. I'm not sure tho, things can vary between different countries; over here psychiatrists give you a diagnosis and medicines and psychologists and therapists other kind of help like discussion help or shorter or longer therapies. I'm still sure that there have to be latter type psychologists/therapists in your country too.

It should be possible to have a therapy without medication too. Just my very, very personal opinion but I think medication is a good thing if the mental problem is based purely on physical issues behind it, the situation is very acute or if the symptoms are so forceful that them incapacitate your daily life in long run. If you still recognize that there are some kind of traumatical issues behind the problem, having just medicines without solving the problem behind all these symptoms is like having antipyretic without solving the reason behind your fever; the reason will be there till you once just fall down with a disease which has turn worse because you didn't listen your body when it started to warn you with small fever.

Anyways, like I mentioned there are different (non-medical) therapies. Some are shorter (few months) and some longer (years) and the way of finding solution varies depending on the discipline of the therapy. For example, in some therapy types they focus on controlling your symptom(s) and finding power from the current life situation, in some other therapy types they try to find reasons which have caused the symptoms and coevally add your self-consciousness after which you often learn to take over your symptoms. Also a role of the therapist/psychologist varies; in some therapies they can be more like leaders, in other therapies more like a bit more knowledgeable people but still at a same level with you - they don't give you any "ready" answers nor try to force you to accept anything psychological thing, they just mirror you and your thoughts with their knowledge and help you to find the answers. Besides those therapies there can also be some kind of other mental help; may some shorter sessions with psychologists or for example with psychiatric nurses.

Anyways, you said you had that kind of things in you personal history which can affect on your mental health. You also said you've depression in your family. My suggestion is that even you find owning a horse as a relief, it'd be good to solve these things out so you can life full even without that horse. I'd suggest you to probe different choices, perhaps have some opinions from different psychiatrists/psychologists/therapists. I wouldn't either deny medication without considering it as one or part of choices, especially because of that depression thing in your family (possibility of it that it has some kind of physical base). Still, don't settle for a box of bills and some diagnosis if you think it isn't enough! Don't let this problem take over you but listen your inner feelings and ways you'd want to try and commit. If you end up to commit some therapy it'd be also good if you managed to even try to have positive attitude toward it since more committed and positive you are, more better results you'll often reach. Even it can be possible that even your attitude wasn't that good just now, it'll turn a way more positive when going through the process. Anyways, in my very humble opinion having a threapy or any other help in a situation like you have is like putting money in a bank; it'll absolutely be worth of it and pays itself back when you can feel more free in future, despite of it of it can be expensive now.

Like I said, if I was you I'd have different opinions and decide the thing then. I still suggest you to have help since no-one should suffer things like that alone nowadays when there are all kind of help available. Hang on there and stay positive, you'll overcome that!

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