I can’t help but be afraid that I may be giving a good friend of mine the wrong advice. My friend has been considering going to Menninger because problems with depression and anxiety have become too much to deal with outside. My friend has been to treatment centers before, but they were focused on addiction treatment, and they didn’t really help with the depression or anxiety.
Now, I have been dealing with severe depression for 14 years. I’ve tried to commit suicide twice; been in three acute care facilities; been on over a dozen anti-depressants; had plenty of ECT treatments; even had surgery to implant a Vagal Nerve Stimulation device. When I initially went to Menninger, I was a little cynical that they would be able to help me; almost 14 years of not-terribly-successful treatment. But after 8 weeks there, I felt so much better than I had a few months earlier that it was hard to express.
That’s what Menninger did for me. But like I’ve said before, it has to be one of the great problems of being in the psychiatry/psychology field that patients with similar, or even identical, symptoms might have nothing in common for treatment. What worked for me might not work for my friend; where I found group psychotherapy extremely helpful, it might not be the same for my friend.
I don’t want my friend to have to go through another stay at a residential treatment facility and be disappointed. Two unhelpful treatment centers is more than enough for anyone, and a third would be, if I were in the same situation, pretty disheartening. Depression is such a hard illness to treat – not that there are easy mental illnesses to treat. I don’t want to be a part of that disappointment because I gave my friend advice that went badly.
It may not be a huge thing to be afraid of, but I really hate letting my friends down.