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Sick Of Feeling This Way

Question:

I have had a few people tell me that I seem depressed and to be honest, I am sick of feeling this way. I am always sad, always tired, always think I am not good enough, pretty much always want to be alone and unhappy with the person I am. I have not had boyfriend or a date in 5 years. I am tired of spending every night at home watching tv and eating. What can I do. The one friend that I have managed to not push away takes me out sometimes, but I am so worried at what people might be saying about me that I do not have a good time nor do I meet new people. I will be 26 in 7 days and I just want to be happy and live a life that I can be proud of. I do not have insurace, so I cannot go to a therapist. (nor do I have the extra money to pay for one) I don’t know what to do, but I am tired of being me this way. What can I do?

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

While many therapists are expensive, there are some cheaper alternatives available. Various community agencies and religious institutions will offer subsidized therapy or ‘sliding-scale’ therapy – whereby patients can work with a therapist and pay a more reasonable rate. Some full-price therapists will occassionally offer ‘pro-bono’ or sliding scale rates to patients who can demonstrate an inability to pay full rates. In Hartford Connecticut there is a not-for-profit group called Volunteers in Psychotherapy that offers free psychotherapy in exchange for you agreeing to do volunteer work in the community. If you’re near a major university or in a big city, there may be a therapist training program offered through the school of psychology, education or social work which will likely have a low-cost student-therapist program where you might pay only $15 or $20 per session. If you can’t afford this, you have to wonder how much you want to do it. I note that you have money for television (cable tv?) and for snack food. If it is really important to you to make a change in your life via therapy, you’ll find a way to save up for it, or in some way sacrifice some luxuries so as to make a way to get what you need.

There are also books you can read that can help you to understand how to break out of depression. While there are some very good books on the subject, and while some of them are even free (see Clay Tucker-Ladd’s online Psychological Self-Help at http://www.mentalhelp.net/psyhelp) it is most helpful to work with another human being because another human being will be able to help you to stay motivated in a way that you may not be able to do for yourself.

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p> Community mental health centers and public health centers were originally founded as safety nets so that people in various communities who were poor and didn’t have insurance would still have access to health care. While there is less money available for these programs these days, you may still qualify depending on your circumstances. Look in your yellow pages for the government pages for your city and see if you can’t locate one of these health centers. You have options if you can get motivated to take advantage of them.

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