Monday, January 12, 2009

Counseling #1

Today was my first counseling appointment. I desperately tried to find someone who deals with infertility, no luck, but at least she deals with all of the affects of it. I've never had counseling before so I wasn't sure what to expect. She took me to her office and then asked if I would mind if an intern observed. It was the intern's first day. I'm such an open book I didn't mind.

Today was all about her learning about me. I did most of the talking while she asked questions and took notes. I spilled my guts and cried a few times. Half way through I noticed that the intern was tearing up and by the end she had tears rolling. She then spoke up and asked if she could say something. She announced that she dealt with infertility for 14 yrs and never did conceive. She adopted two children and loves them as if they were her own, but that she still has that pain of never being pg or giving birth. She confirmed that all I was saying was so true and that I made the right decision to seek help. She then said that she was thinking of specializing in infertility and I encouraged her to do so as there are so many of us and so few of them.

I do not for one moment believe that was a coincidence. Prior to my appt, I was so upset and prayed I would find someone who could understand and relate to my pain. God's good! I told the intern she's welcome in my counseling session anytime.

The counselor made the observation that I kept saying "I failed". She wanted me to understand that I have not failed at anything. True, but my body has. My assignment for this week is to get some exercise everyday. She believes this will help with my stress and sadness, I agree! She also wants me to get out of the house more. I work from home so some days I never see sun light. Again, I agree!

She diagnosed me with Adjustment Disorder. Below is from WebMD, I'm including it as many of my readers are dealing with the same misfortune.

Adjustment Disorder is a short-term condition that occurs when a person is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss or event. Because people with adjustment disorders often have symptoms of depression, such as tearfulness, feelings of hopelessness and loss of interest in work or activities, adjustment disorder is sometimes called "situational depression". Unlike major depression, however, an adjustment disorder is triggered by an outside stress and generally goes away once the person has adapted to the situation.

The type of stress that can trigger adjustment disorder varies depending on the person, but can include:

Ending of a relationship or marriage.
Losing or changing job.
Death of a loved one.
Developing a serious illness (yourself or a loved one).
Being a victim of a crime.
Having an accident.
Undergoing a major life change (such as getting married, having a baby or retiring from a job).
Living through a disaster, such as a fire, flood or hurricane.

A person with adjustment disorder develops emotional and/or behavioral symptoms as a reaction to a stressful event. These symptoms generally begin within three months of the event and rarely last for longer than six months after the event or situation. In an adjustment disorder, the reaction to the stressor is greater than what is typical or expected for the situation or event. In addition, the symptoms may cause problems with a person's ability to function; for example, the person may be unable to sleep, work or study.

Adjustment disorder is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD generally occurs as a reaction to a life-threatening event and tends to last longer. Adjustment disorder, on the other hand, is short-term, rarely lasting longer than six months.

What Are the Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder? An adjustment disorder can have a wide variety of symptoms, which may include:

Feeling of hopelessness.
Frequent crying.
Anxiety (nervousness).
Headaches or stomachaches.
Palpitations (an unpleasant sensation of irregular or forceful beating of the heart).
Withdrawal or isolation from people and social activities.
Absence from work or school.
Dangerous or destructive behavior, such as fighting, reckless driving and vandalism.
Changes in appetite, either loss of appetite or overeating.
Problems sleeping.
Feeling tired or without energy.
Increase in the use of alcohol or other drugs.

Symptoms in children and teens tend to be more behavioral in nature, such as skipping school, fighting or acting out. Adults, on the other hand, tend to experience more emotional symptoms, such as sadness and anxiety.

How Common Is Adjustment Disorder? Adjustment disorder is very common and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, race or lifestyle. Although an adjustment disorder can occur at any age, it is more common at times in life when major transitions occur, such as adolescence, mid-life and late-life.

How Is Adjustment Disorder Treated? Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is the most common treatment for adjustment disorder. Therapy helps the person understand how the stressor has affected his or her life. It also helps the person develop better coping skills. Support groups can also be helpful by allowing the person to discuss his or her concerns and feelings with people who are coping with the same stress.

Most people with adjustment disorder recover completely. In fact, a person who is treated for adjustment disorder may learn new skills that actually allow him or her to function better than before the symptoms began.

Can Adjustment Disorder Be Prevented? There is no known way to prevent adjustment disorder. However, strong family and social support can help a person work through a particularly stressful situation or event. The best prevention is early treatment, which can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms, and teach new coping skills.

Wow, describes me well! But I had to chuckle at "having a baby" as one of the types of stress that can trigger this disorder! Hahahahaha If only I had that problem. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to learning these coping techniques before my husband needs counseling to learn how to cope with me. =)


  1. I'm glad your first appointment went well. WOW about the intern going thru the same was DEFINITELY a "God" thing!!! I pray that you learn some wonderful copying skills and that this can be a good "sounding board" for you. Keep up the good work!

    love you!

  2. That sounds like a great first appointment, and how great that the intern got it! I think I need to find a counselor too - I'm beginning to accept the fact that I need one.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. What an amazing story! I was going to write and say that get used to those tissues - counseling always makes you cry!- and then I read about the intern and just can't believe that it is a coincidence! I agree that probably many, if not all, of us have adjustment disorder. I wonder if I'll ever get adjusted to being infertile. And, like you, I wish my problem was having a baby. But- I'm glad it went so well.

  4. What a great story! I'm so glad you found a counselor AND the intern. I hope this is the start of a healing process for you, where you can find some peace and joy.

  5. That is great you took the first step and found someone you could talk to about this - intern included! I guess that just goes to show you that if you're open to things (i.e. having the intern sit in on your session), you never know what will happen. I remember feeling so relieved after my first good therapy session - someone FINALLY understood and told me that I wasn't crazy for feeling the way that I felt. I'm so glad you felt better after talking to them.

  6. WOW! What's the chances of the intern going through the same thing? That's truly amazing! I'm so glad your 1st appt went so well! Good for you for finding someone you click with and it really sounds like it's meant to be! I have never heard of "adjustment disorder" either..interesting. I know you will get through this and your dreams will come true!


  7. I'm so glad you found someone you can talk to who can really relate. That's great! Thanks for posting the adjustment disorder info. Very interesting and hopefully helpful to many.

  8. I am so pleased that your counseling appointment went well. I will be reading your blog and hoping that counseling is helpful.

  9. Fantastic that you had such a good appointment! I really hope it helps you. I've considered it too, lately. My DH and I did some marriage prep sessions with a family therapist who was fantastic but I think, as you point out, it helps if the person really gets your issue. How lucky about the intern. I'll be following your journey closely. Hugs.

  10. I truly believe in divine intervention, and I know that God placed that intern in your session for a reason... Maybe as a benefit to you, to her, both, and probably all those she will come in contact with! Reading about adjustment disorder certainly makes me think that we all go through these periods in our lives... I guess some of us (you!) are smart enough to seek some professional help to get through, instead of relying on ourselves or getting into a deeper pit or destructive behavior. I'm really glad you've found someone who can help you through this, and I certainly hope that you're able to see/feel results from her suggestions! KUP on your progress and we'll pray it continues to go well.
    The Other Jill :0)

  11. What a great session! It is truly amazing where we find people who have been there and "get it". I'm glad it was so helpful for you and hope the future ones help to bring you comfort too. Many hugs. What a big step to take!

  12. Infertility...I can only sympathize. I can empathize. I cannot tell you how happy I am that you sought counseling. You are so very strong and so very determined. However, I also feel qualified to say that you are so very strong-willed and can become overly passionate when it comes to accomplishing anything you choose to accomplish be it sewing drapes or sowing seeds.

    To see you in such pain makes me ache and, strange as this sounds, relieved, because now you can move to the next level. I so appreciate what your counselor said about failure. You cannot fail at something you have no control over. Not you, not Kerry, not science. God holds the reins, and now that you have allowed him to guide you to counseling placing the intern directly in your path, He has your attention. And He always has our best interest at heart...Not my will but Thine.

    You use that incredibly strong free will of yours to get healthy....mind, body and spirit. Now let's see what God has in store for you next.

    I love you so much.

  13. This is great! I've been seeing a counselor/therapist on and off for the past three years....truly a saving grace through some rough times. The label of adjustment disorder helps, doesn't it? - it says that OTHER people feel this way to sometimes. To me, that's very comforting....makes me feel less crazy.

    I hope your sessions continue to go well and provide healing and comfort!

  14. Hi Jill...
    Just read your blog... as your mother, I wish I could take the pain away, but perhaps it's something that is necessary to heal, sad as it is. I am glad that you found the right person to help you! I am just a phone call away.'

    By the way, have been really enjoying going to church with you and Kerry.. and Austin. I know I don't have to tell you that if you listen to the music, it can be very soothing. I also love our time eating lunch and shopping.

    I love you as big as the sky! Mama

  15. It's not coincidence, if you ask me. I think that intern was there just for you. I'm so glad that you found someone IRL to talk with. :)


Thank you for your comment! Hugs, Kerry and Jill