Sharing my first time at a Behavioral Health clinic. Feel free to AMA

Last Tuesday I had an appointment to the behavioral health clinic. In case you don't know, it's pretty much a mental health clinic, but they also deal with issues such as alcohol abuse and the like, so they gave a more "umbrella" name for it.

I was told to come in 30 minutes prior to my appointment to fill out paperwork. Turns out I should have come in earlier because not only did I have to fill out the form (which, I learned I could have done on my own time, receptionist never mentioned that,) but since it was my first time there I also had to take their "survey," it's pretty much a self assessment so the docs have an idea on where you are health-wise. So I was doing all of that until a bit past my apointment time. Luckily the doctor's appointment after mine was cancelled so my session wasn't cut short because of the delay.

Merting the doctor I was very apprehensive. It's very weird trying to figure out how and what to say to her. I've only met her that day. Also I did have to sit and wait for her to input my info (due to the delay) and go over the "confidentiality" clause, so it seemed a bit too... "Doctory" at first, if that makes any sense.

When I was younger I went to a school counselor, either requested by my teacher or my mother, Idk. She was very nice and I enjoyed talking to her, especially since in that school I was picked on a lot. But at one point when my cousins came to visit they asked me about something which was exactly what I had expressed to the school counselor. The only way they could possibly have known is if the school counselor told my mom, and word caught wind. Any future counselor/therapist visits I went to, I didn't tell them anything. So yeah, very apprehensive about it in the beginning. Plus I was pretty happy that day, which brought concern on wether or not this would have been necessary for me. I made the appointment on my own, and I know my happiness would only be temporary, so I stuck to it.

During the session I pretty much covered a good backbone on what's going on, and actually talking to someone made me feel better. I've never, all at once, brought up everything that has happened in my life to light up until that point. It was quite exhausting.

The current result of that session and the "survey" I took, as it stands, I am very depressed, perhaps in part due to a vitamin D deficiency, and traumatized by past experiences. That confirmed for me that this visit was necessary and now I'm looking forward to the follow-up appointments and moving on from there.

I hope sharing this will help someone else out, and makes for a little "nudge." I've had that feeling of putting of the appointment because I kept thinking "what if there's nothing wrong with me and I'm just being a drama queen" or that sort of thing. If you want to ask about it, feel free, I may answer. It might help someone who is considering seeking help, and it could also help me with what to say to the doc.

I think you are brave for sharing. I myself once tried to go seek therapy but felt intimidated by the questions and such and felt like a drama queen. Its hardest for me in the cold months, do you feel this way too?

Thanks. Yeah, I do get a case of the winter blues, it's been especially bad since I moved to a new country and I don't know anyone.

I enjoyed reading it too. Thank you!

This was very nice to read. I can imagine being in a different contry, you must feel lonely and it would add to the winter blues. What would you say to those thinking about going to therapy?

Honestly I'd say don't put it off until it's too late.

Go when you start feeling depressed?

Depression, if you have it, will return eventually. I say if you think you need to go, then go. If you cannot afford it or you don't want to go as far as scheduling an appointment for therapy, you can look up local hotline (or national) and some churches, when they arent having a sermon and still open, there are some priests/pastors/deacons/what have you, that you can talk to as well. Yes, they'll get a bit religious about it, but some of them do give sound advice on the next challenge. Of course, go this route if religion is something you don't mind. Prayer is actually an effective form of meditation if you take it to heart throughout.


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