Sometimes, no matter how much it hurts, people are scared of seeking help because of the stigma of mental health treatment, or the fear of what they might learn.  People who are in pain come to see us at Bay Area Mental Health.  The pain comes from different places, but the one thing all of our clients have in common is that their pain is affecting their lives and their lives are starting to feel unmanageable.   

Here are a couple of their stories.

Sally works in the high tech industry.  She intelligent and successful, and takes great pride in this, but sometimes she struggles with depression.  She is finding it harder and harder to concentrate at work and she is worried that people will start to notice and that her job might be at risk if this continues.   On the weekends she “crashes” and has a hard time motivating herself to get out of bed and be productive.   She finds that she is more emotional lately than usual and she cries easily.  She doesn’t want to be seen crying at work, though that hasn’t happened yet. 

Sally's boyfriend and family don't understand what's wrong with her and tell her to "snap out of it" and that she should "work harder".  She is worried that her relationships are at risk, and maybe even her job.  She no longer sees her friends and they have started to leave her out of invitations.  

Sally has considered therapy before but she isn’t sure how it will help.  She isn’t comfortable discussing this with family or friends because she’s embarrassed about being “broken”.   

Sally wants to feel better.  She wants to be motivated to do things on the weekends and evenings again, including spending time with her boyfriend and friends.  She wants to feel secure in her job.  She feels that she has to hide her feelings and she feels ashamed and she wants this to change.

 

Laura is early in her career, and though she's doing well she is very unhappy in her job.  She has changed jobs many times, each time thinking she will find happiness, but it continues to elude her.  Relationships seem to be the same way for Laura.  She has no problem finding people to date, but the relationships always fall apart and she can't figure out why.  After each break up she falls into a deep funk.  Laura is uncomfortable being alone, so she tries to keep herself busy with friends and projects.  She often finds herself feeling over-scheduled and overwhelmed.  

Lately Laura has been having more and more difficulty keeping her commitments.  Her friends are starting to think she's a "flake".  She wants to have friends, but feels overwhelmed by them and at the last minute her anxiety overrides her desire to go out.  She is scared to say no to her friends and feels like she has to be a pleaser.  Laura doesn't understand what is happening to her.  She is confused, scared and falling apart.

Laura doesn't have many memories from her childhood.  She feels like she had a relatively "normal" upbringing, but there's something nagging at her.  She feels like something is fundamentally wrong with her but she doesn't know where this feeling comes from or what it might mean.

Note: stories are above are composites, not actual people.

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