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Sunday, August 8, 2010

You are Not Broken, You are Not Damaged

Question: I have been in therapy for a while now, more than a year. I am trying but I am not as well as I would like to be. I have PTSD, anxiety and depression and self-harm issues. I have a history of childhood sexual and physical abuse. So obviously it took a long time to become this broken person I am, but how long is too long for it to take to get well? I wonder if it is just not going to happen for me. I am on medication as well for anxiety and depression by a psychiatrist and I see my therapist once a week. Not all the therapy is directed at the past, as employment, health and major family changes have occurred during this time as well. I just don't know if I am too damaged to get better. So how long is too long? I don't want to give up but I don't want to keep going without some significant changes. Thanks for reading this.

Click on comments to read Laura's advice.
Laura NP


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Diedre,
You write that you would like some significant changes and to "get better." I'm wondering what kind of changes you are looking for. Maybe for your mood to be less depressed? Maybe to stop hurting yourself? Therapy is a wonderful way to gain insight and to help you put your life in perspective. Medication can be very helpful for depressive and anxiety symptoms, but ultimately, only you can "change" things about yourself. First, stop calling yourself damaged and broken. If you keep calling yourself that, then that's what you will be. Start calling yourself a good, caring person and an excellent employee. Remind yourself of all the things you are successful with. Sit down and make a list of all your accomplishments...everything! Include things such as paying bills on time, being responsible, keeping a clean house, getting to work on time, helping family...I bet there are many, many things you have done to be proud of. Those are the things that define you now. Take control of your thoughts and emotions. I would suggest attending DBT group therapy. It is a very specific technique that will give you coping tools and you may meet other people who have similar backgrounds. It will teach you how to appreciate all the good things that you have right now. It sounds like maybe you are too focused on the past and too focused on the future...maybe you are missing out on the here and now. Good Luck and let us know how things go for you.