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Getting better can be scary

Many times in a patient's journey towards recovery, we start having the conversation of how scary it is to start feeling better. Those stuck in depression can get so used to the feelings of sadness or hopelessness (or no feelings at all), that when new feelings start emerging, they don't know what to do with them. The fear or discomfort that can come with a lifting of depression (or a lessening of anxiety) can manifest itself in many ways. If you've found yourself in this situation, know that you are not alone.

Depression can become a sense of normalcy when you've been in it for long enough. Your apathy or hopelessness or numbness can last for so long that you don't even remember what other feelings are like. Finally, you start feeling better, and you think you should be glad for it. Yet things can be more complicated than that. Because with a feeling of "better," you may realize that all of a sudden you can see a future, and you don't know what to do. Or you may feel scared that you'll fall back into old feelings. "What's the point of getting better if I might feel bad again? Wouldn't that be worse?" Or maybe you've been depressed for so long, it seems like a part of you, and you aren't sure who you are anymore if not "the depressed one."

This is a normal part of recovery. Even if it doesn't fall into one of the categories above, the response to getting better that isn't all joy and thankfulness is a normal part of your recovery. It's weird, and scary, and exciting, and terrible. You're going to feel a lot of emotions, and that's what we want! But in the moment, a part of you might fight against it, and prefer to stay in the "known" world you've been living in, even if it's depressed or anxious. This is also something we can work through together.

Everyone's journey towards better mental health is their own. If you're ready to start yours, or need someone to be on the journey with you, contact us! We're taking new patients and are here to help you through every step, the good, the bad, and the scary.

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