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Do therapists have their own issues?

Updated: May 18, 2022

I’ve experienced depression on and off for years. The last time was pre-pandemic, so this is the longest I’ve been able to manage my mood for so long, without any support from therapy or antidepressants. Lockdown helped me cultivate some good coping strategies; I started cooking daily (there was nothing else to do), going on daily walks (again, there was nothing else to do) and working out regularly (once again, there really wasn’t much else to do).

These habits stayed with me, until the last few weeks where it’s felt a massive struggle. I never really managed to get back on track fully after Christmas, but the past two weeks have been the worst as I’ve had some difficult personal circumstances which have really impacted my mood.

For someone who was consistently hitting 12k steps daily, I’ve been nowhere near this for the last 2 weeks. My mind has been telling me that I am a burden on those around me. That I’m going to fail, and it will be my fault. I’ve been eating mainly junk food (the Deliveroo driver has seen me more than anyone else) and have stopped going on as many walks. The difference between how I feel this time and how I have felt in the past, is that I don’t feel hopeless about my situation. I know that my thoughts are not facts and I am confident they will pass in time. I know I am having a rough time but that it is temporary. I can see the negative cycle I have fallen into. I know I have the power to change it, and I am working on it very slowly, at a pace that feels right to me. I am gradually trying to increase my healthy behaviours like going on daily walks and improving my eating habits. I know I won’t be easy, but the alternative would be to keep feeling how I am now, which is much worse.

After experiencing depression on and off the past 7 years and being a therapist for over 10 years, you learn that these times will come and go and you get better at dealing with them. But there is no magic cure of switch to change it overnight.

So if you think that therapists always ‘have their shit together’, I’m here to tell you we are humans first, therapists second. We are all in this together but knowing the tools to break your own cycle is helpful for when these times come back around in future.

If you are struggling with your own negative cycle and are having a hard time turning your life around, speak to a therapist. I will be posting on my social media (Instagram and Facebook) about how I am getting on with my walks and eating habits, so if you want to come along on my journey, follow me for daily updates. We can try to break our cycles together!

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