Episode 17 – Paying for Treatment, Trust in Relationships, and Gender Issues at Work

Episode 17 – Paying for Treatment, Trust in Relationships, and Gender Issues at Work

This week on the podcast we discuss the stress of weighing the costs of treatment, how to manage trust issues in relationships, and coping with being the only woman in male-dominated work environment. Finally, we talk about what it means when your anxiety symptoms come and go.

Introduction

Christine and Chris discuss how they’ve “had” to eat large amounts of candy as part of Halloween, and are both recovering from consuming too much sugar. They discuss the liking vs. wanting aspects of addiction and how once you become addicted to it, you continue to use it, even though it’s no longer really enjoyable. Christine encourages listeners to call in with questions related to addiction and/or substance use.

Question 1

I deal with depression and anxiety and some other issues and I’ve had a couple of hospitalizations. I’ve been doing fairly well, but I had a couple of setbacks in the past few weeks. I’ve been considering voluntarily going to a place for a little while to kind of reset and recharge and get my thoughts together, but I keep going back to the fact that it’s not the best move financially. My question is when do you know that thoughts are serious enough to go into a facility and if I continue to decide not to do you have some tips for staying on track in day-to-day life? Mentally, emotionally, at work and that kind of thing. Thanks. I love the app by the way.

  • Christine expresses frustration over the fact that people have to consider forgoing getting the medical care that they need due to financial constraints.
  • Christine notes that deciding whether to go inpatient is a significant step. Usually the decision to seek a higher level of care is related to a person feeling that their symptoms aren’t adequately managed, they are engaging in unsafe or self-destructive behavior, or feel that they cannot keep themselves safe on an outpatient basis.
  • Christine comments that the decision to go inpatient is typically made with a client/patient discussing their hopes for treatment or concerns with their provider (therapist or psychiatrist).
  • Chris echoes Christine’s frustration about financial concerns. He adds that it’s worth considering what you would lose or give up if you don’t get the care that you need and what you might lose in that way. This can be a counterpoint to the worry about the financial expense of getting treatment.
  • He encourages the caller, if she doesn’t want to go inpatient, to lean heavily on her self-care routine. To work each day to eliminate stress as much as possible, and to manage the things that you can.
  • One alternative to inpatient, Christine reports that she likes intensive outpatient or day programs. She finds they can be helpful because, since you are spending evenings at home, the skills that you learn transfer a little bit better. You are getting more practice implementing the strategies that you’re learning in the program in that type of treatment.
  • Both Chris and Christine note that if individuals are having concerns about self-harm, they should not hesitate to reach out by calling the crisis line (1-800-273-8255), 911, or going to an emergency room.

Question 2

For a person who has a lot of negative emotions and negative thoughts anxiety and trust issues in a relationship, what’s the best way to communicate these things?  I want to be able to communicate these things that someone who’s willing to stay there. My counselor told me to communicate with my partner so the partner can soothe me feelings and can pretty much tell me hey nothing’s happening, I’m not seeing anybody else. But I did that and my partner got fed up and pretty much decided to end the relationship. The other option was keeping things to myself which also didn’t work because then I would get those things pent-up inside and so I would act cold against her I would I would I would be upset and just be cold and distant and so that would create more problems. So I’m stuck. What should I do?

  • Chris gives the caller kudos for being open and vulnerable by calling in a difficult question.
  • Chris shares that he’s dealt with jealousy in the past and that usually it’s a reflection on the person experiencing the jealousy, rather than something that the recipient is necessarily doing or not doing.
  • Chris notes that he can sympathize with the caller’s girlfriend’s frustration over being asked the same thing again and again.
  • Christine expresses that she can see how it’s a difficult situation because the caller isn’t sure if he should speak up or not. He wants to communicate his worries, he wants his emotions validated, but when he does this, he makes his girlfriend feel that she isn’t trusted or that she’s done something wrong. This can then make her feel defensive and be upset. It’s a difficult loop to be stuck in.
  • Christine suggests that the caller work through some of his worries or concerns about his partner’s behavior with his therapist. She notes that while his emotions and feelings are valid, it may be that his suspicions about his girlfriend’s behavior are not.
  • Chris has found it helpful to trust people when they give him answers to questions, rather than re-asking over and over and not taking the answers at face value.
  • Christine suggests that it could be helpful to meet with a therapist to work through any previous incidents of ruptures in relationships; perhaps the caller had a traumatic experience in the past. Establishing a balanced sense of trust could mean that you are then able to communicate your concerns with your partner once, but then are able to let it go and accept their response to your worries.
  • Finally, Chris notes that the partner is with the caller for a reason, that she wanted to be with him. He suggests the caller keep that in mind before questioning or challenging her motives or beliefs.

Question 3

Solo girl in a male crew, I feel isolated, that my voice isn’t heard. People talk over me when I bring up things I find important. I’m not sure how to positively deal with this. I try to remind myself that I’m there because I love what I do, but the way others have been making me feel is changing my feelings. I try to be the best version of myself and towards others, but that’s difficult when others make you feel invisible or unintentionally pointless for being there.

  • Christine expresses significant frustration that women, people of color, and sexual minorities have to put up with being treated like second class citizens.
  • Christine is frustrated by the fact that the caller feels that she needs to deal “positively” with the situation. She thinks the caller is totally within her rights to just be upset that she has to deal with it and shouldn’t feel obliged to respond “positively”.
  • Chris notes that even as a white male, when he would start at new jobs, he often question himself and felt like an outsider. He highlights that he can see how this would be a lot harder for women or minorities.
  • Christine encourages the caller to not undermine herself by saying things like “I could be wrong but..” or changing tone of voice to be more female. She validates the fact that this is an unfair and unfortunate situation.
  • Chris feels that the caller deserves to at least get an explanation when her ideas are shot down. Christine responds that what women face is that they often are completely ignored or men take credit for women’s ideas.
  • Christine encourages the caller to stick with it, stand up for herself, and empathizes with her struggle and frustration.

Question 4

I really love your podcast and really appreciate your app. My question to you is I would get a lot of anxiety over the course of two to three days or maybe sometimes even a week and the next day when I force myself to be out there it gets better. Sometimes I keep wondering if my anxiety or my mental health issues are actually real if I can go on having these cyclical episodes. Thank you.

  • Chris talks about how the caller’s experience is consistent with the principle of Opposite Action. He shares an anecdote about how often times, even when he don’t want to do things, if we force ourselves, we actually see improvement in our mood afterward. He validates that it’s normal to not want to do things, but that often taking that action in spite of our misgivings can be helpful.
  • Chris validates that it’s normal for anxiety, worry, and sadness to come and go from time to time.
  • Christine suggests that the caller might actually be doing her own exposure therapy and that that is why she feels better on the days that she pushes herself to get out there.
  • Christine notes that what is “normal” with respect to anxiety depends on the severity and whether or not it’s affecting your functioning. She does feel that it’s totally normal for symptoms to wax and wane across days.
  • Christine encourages the caller to track her mood and activities over time to see what is helpful and what contributes to her good days, so that she can adjust her behavior and activities accordingly. This is something that can be done easily with the Pacifica app.

Do you have questions about mental health for the podcast? Call and leave us a message: 415-855-0553. You can also record an audio note of yourself and email it to info AT thinkpacifica DOT com.