HOW PSYCHOTHERAPY HELPED- CULTIVATING THE DISCIPLINE I ALWAYS LACKED.

-Part 2, Revelations from my experience with psychotherapy.



Behavioural work with my therapist helped me reign in my mind and body just like physiotherapy and sports train your muscles into healthy patterns. I managed to get myself out of bed to brush my teeth, something I never thought I could achieve after I hit rock bottom.


Yes, personal hygiene may get compromised with depression, but there is no shame in asking for help about it.


Further, "I got to a point of following a fixed meal and sleep schedule".


It was extremely challenging to deal with the urge to overeat all day, sleep in till late, binge eat while watching television till unholy hours because with depression, I felt empty all the time and suppressed the emptiness by binge eating and watching. However, therapy helped me not give up on addressing these issues.


Erratic eating and sleeping can be a maintenance factor to stay depressed, despite your best efforts to get better.


Some patterns maintain your depression, no matter how well you respond to medication. With therapy, I was able to befriend these unhealthy patterns and coexist with them.


Healthy boundaries vis-a-vis our mind are just as important as healthy patterns vis-a-vis our body.


Depression fostered unhealthy emotional and social patterns through which I eventually lost a sense of connectedness with myself.


With therapy, I regained a sense of ownership over my decisions and thoughts. Therapy helped me deal with the guilt and shame of saying no to myself, by making clear to me what I am actually capable of, what my limitations are and how despite all that, I deserve my appreciation and love as much as anyone else does.


It is extremely empowering when you can communicate to your mind that you are not to be taken for a ride.


For instance, when you over-commit to a day, i.e. plan too many activities in a single day, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You have set an unachievable goal and will struggle to meet it, hate yourself for failing at it. By the end of the day, your focus will be on what you didn’t achieve, in complete denial of what all you managed to achieve.


Had you told your mind off when you scheduled so many activities into a single day, you could have achieved more motivating results at the end of the day and carried on with the same motivation the next day as well.


At first, there was shame in accepting how little I could achieve, compared to what I thought I needed to achieve, but therapy helped me believe there was no need for me to be so harsh with myself.


Similarly, I learnt to say no to others - friends, family, peers or even employers. I did not over commit or spread my resources too thin in terms of time, effort, energy and most importantly, my emotions.


Therapy helped me achieve discipline, which helped me learn the art of self-preservation, which helps me tackle mental illness in my day-to-day life.


Watch this space. I will be back next month with more on how I have been helped by therapy.


Disclaimer: Psychotherapy is extremely unique to every individual and CANNOT be generalised. This blog post is merely intended to convey that if it helped me in some way, I recommend you consider it for yourself if you need to. Do not read into it with a personal checklist and think, oh this is exactly what I needed and this is how it will pan out for me as well. It doesn’t work that way. That is also why you should give it a shot. Discover your unique journey with it; your journey of healing will be so much richer with therapy.


If you or know someone who might benefit from professional assistance. Do reach out to us at Manoshala


By

Nistha Singhal, Manoshala


Reviewed by

Bhavya.P

Counselling Psychologist, Manoshala