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 The old idiom states that every picture tells a story — this is one particular story that I'm very pleased to tell:

No more meds

This marks the end of the current stage of my mental health journey.

Still surviving.

 This time last year I was having blood tests to check for long covid.

Fortunately I didn't have it, but that concern ultimately lead to my diagnosis of depression and comorbid anxiety.

While no one wants to be so diagnosed it did me a favour — got me to accept where I was, mentally, and properly do something about it.

I'm glad the doctor took the time to truly pay attention 1 and follow his gut instinct.

  1. when under pressure to stick to ten minute appointment times 

 The question of whether to have therapy came up over at yours, tiramisú:

I'm also not sure what a therapist could do to help me, especially now that I can pinpoint the causes of my unhappiness to multiple sources.

I have been resistent to therapy in the past but am glad I finally underwent the process. I, too, could pinpoint the causes of my unhappiness but didn't have the ability to deal with them. Knowing is just the start, dealing is the real work.

As I wrote previously, frustration was (is) one of my big three triggers; frustration with a number of things but usually with myself. It came up a number of times that the therapist wasn't really telling me something I didn't already know but gave me different ways of processing it, different strategies to handle my thoughts and feelings.

I would previously feel stuck, trapped in the same old ways of doing things and not knowing how to move ahead. Just being able to discuss things in a safe, non-judgemental environment was invaluable. The way forward often presented itself purely through conversation, re-affirmation from a stranger is a wonderful device to give you the self-confidence to deal with things and know that you have at least some of the answers within you.

I think entering therapy with only specifics in mind is too limiting a way of approaching it. Personally, I feel that therapy should be a holistic process during which you have to go with the flow. There may be certain areas you wish to target but the willingness to explore wider and deeper is essential as it might not be immediately apparent where your sources of pain, anxiety, upset etc. reside.

 Further to Monday's good news I have now been officially discharged from mental health care with a plan to come off the meds over the next few months — the usual reduction in dose.

It feels good. Another very positive step.

The psychiatrist was running through statistics around the likelihood of relapse (it jumps up significantly the more depressive episodes you have) but I definitely feel in a much better place to avoid triggering another and spiralling from things that may have gotten to me before.

 Today was a good day.

Today was my last CBT session. I can officially say I'm no longer in therapy. \o/

When I woke this morning I realised that we had reached a point where I had discussed all things I needed to and had been given the tools required to help maintain my improved mood and outlook. Going on any longer might have been self-defeating as I would just be digging for things to talk about and creating problems that didn't really exist.

I have an appointment with the psychiatrist on Thursday in which I think he will discharge me.

I am under no illusions that everything is suddenly perfect (over thirty years of living with mental health issues has taught me otherwise) but I feel that I am now better equipped to deal with things as they arise.