May 3, 2019
Since May is mental health awareness month, I thought I would talk a little about how I sought professional help after my son Joey died. I am not and never will claim to be a mental health expert of any kind. I am just a Mom who would like to tell you how much it helped me. I talk a little bit about seeking professional help and the grieving process in my book. But today I would like to share a more personal story which still warms my heart every time I think about it.
When my son Joey died, he had been seeing Dr. Peters, who was a psychiatrist, for a few years for anxiety. So it just seemed the logical thing for me to do also, since I felt he could help me too. I would see the Doctor about once a month for as long as I was taking medication which he prescribed for me. Those visits and the medication I feel really helped me, especially through the earlier days after Joey died.
Because I probably wasn’t eating very healthy since I was so sad, and also because I was taking the medication, I did gain a substantial amount of weight. This did bother me physically and emotionally. So usually one of the first things Dr. Peters would do at my appointment was weigh me. I truly dreaded it! He never commented negatively about my weight at any of my visits. However I guess I was just feeling bad about myself when it came to my weight.
So at one of my appointments, when Dr. Peters said that it was time for me to step on the scale, I didn’t say anything, but I must have had a look of distress on my face. So he asked me if doing so bothered me. So I truthfully answered yes. He immediately put the scale away and never weighed me again. This may not seem like a big gesture to you, but at that moment I truly realized how much he cared about me as his patient, and probably every other patient that he saw.
So the moral of my story is this. If you have thought about seeking professional help with a psychiatrist, psychologist or any other mental health professional, do it! It may turn out to be the best thing you did for yourself. Unfortunately, Dr. Peters died a few years ago. He was an excellent psychiatrist and I used to recommend him to anyone who asked for my input. But I know there are other wonderful mental health professionals out there. If you go to one that doesn’t help you, don’t give up. Try another until you find one that does help you.
Have a beautiful day and a great weekend!