One thing that I see a lot online are people who have had bad experiences speaking very broadly about the negatives of mental health care. I read these generalized statements about the mental health system, medications, and different forms of therapy. It is hard for me, as a therapist who has seen so many instances of remarkable progress, to keep finding individuals showing real interest and concern being met with such negativity.
It is important to remember that there are many treatment stories, but only one is your own. Whether someone else fared well or poorly with a certain medication or approach does not dictate how you will do. It is also worth noting that we are often more vocal about what we see as negative, as opposed to touting the positives. Generally, there is a very low risk in trying – maybe you find that you don’t click with the therapist, you give up a few hours to treatment you don’t find very beneficial, or you have a side effect from a medication that you can then stop to remove the effect. The risk is low, but the potential for benefit is great. I have seen for myself how fully lives can be changed with the right approach, therapeutic alliance, and sometimes right medication.
Not every therapist is the right fit for every client. Not every technique will be as effective to each person. But if we focus on our own stories, and use others’ only as guidance (as opposed to taking them as the rule), we can find what really allows us to feel best.