I've recently finished some sessions with a counsellor. Technically he was a CBT therapist but I was lucky in that he was also a warm and compassionate human being. Even better, he treated me as exactly the same. Not as a diagnosis, or a patient that needed 'fixing'; just as me, Fiona, a fellow human being who was struggling right now.

I've never felt entirely comfortable with being labelled as having 'depression' – though I concede that my symptoms fit with modern society's classification system and that we must all fit into a neat box... Oooh, better get back in that box Fiona!

No, I've always thought that the way I have thought, felt, reacted and behaved has been a result of 'stuff' that I have experienced. That my resilience and coping strategies perhaps weren't as honed as they could be. That I wasn't doing the best job of taking care of myself. In essence then, I was just suffering with 'life'!

Sadly though life isn't a formal diagnosis is it, and no one gives us any leeway for living it. Life is full of joy and excitement; new experiences; love and friendship; pleasures a plenty. Simultaneously it's full of challenges, change and chaos; trials and tribulations. Its just not plain sailing is it, and some of us, well, we just aren't very good at sea.

So, to find someone who understood this, and accepted me, made all the difference. It wasn't like going for therapy; it was like chatting to a new friend. A friend who turned round, threw a lifeline to me flailing around in the water and said "Actually; how you're feeling? That's OK. I'm here. I'm listening".

A Moodscope member.


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