S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

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S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby ladysquid » March 3rd, 2015, 7:16 am

Alright so I wanted some objective opinions on this situation I'm in with my girlfriend of four years. We live together and I won't go into every detail of our relationship but we're generally fine together but we have a couple of things that cause us to argue a lot.

My girlfriend has ADHD, she was diagnosed pretty early on but rarely takes her medication because she says she doesn't want to be reliant on it and she feels like a zombie when she's on it. (I honestly can't disagree) She's extremely intelligent and is currently working on her masters in education and trying to get on the track to get her PHD. Her mom is bipolar and her childhood was pretty chaotic although she tends to downplay it and says it made her a very self reliant person. Her mother was also a child psychiatrist (she no longer practices due to more recent mental issues) so her view on therapy is pretty skewed.

Anyway, I am pretty much a ball of anxiety, invalidating parents, addictive tendencies blah blah blah, I got back into psychotherapy (I went for a few years in my teens) about 11 months ago and I have been going weekly basis. I think I just started out going because I had gotten a new job (something I was striving for) and yet I still felt like a piece of shit. Since starting therapy my girlfriend has had many reservations about me going saying things like...

"therapy doesn't do anything, I know people that have been in it for years and it doesn't make a difference"
"I would never let anyone into my brain like that, you think she's not telling you what to do but she is"
"you're just trading your mom telling you what to do to her telling you what to do, you have to learn to do things on your own"
"you're still drinking and you're still tense all the time, what is this therapist doing to help you?"

...then I went on medication for a little bit and it made me really groggy so I stopped. She wasn't a fan of that either and said that medication was the same thing as drinking, that it will just numb me like how she feels numb with her ADHD meds. Now I've decided to go back and try a different medication and all I feel is judgement from her. I told her that I didn't need her opinion and I hoped that she would be supportive of me trying to help myself and she point blank said "no" and that she didn't want to be with someone that was reliant on meds and therapy and didn't know how to cope on their own.

I just don't know what to do. I feel like I have to hide all of this from her so I won't have to hear her opinions that I'm weak for needing this stuff. My mom supported me going back to therapy but prefaced it with "don't bother talking about all that family history stuff, just focus on changing your behavior" because she wants to be in control even in my fucking therapy. I feel like I have no one. This is really making me question my relationship and my recovery.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby manuel_moe_g » March 3rd, 2015, 2:32 pm

ladysquid wrote:she didn't want to be with someone that was reliant on meds and therapy and didn't know how to cope on their own

Your girlfriend sounds like she is trying to push her own narrative onto your personal experience. That is bad boundaries, I am sorry to say. Please take care, no matter what your decision, we here are cheering for you and for your greatest today and tomorrow.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby ladysquid » March 5th, 2015, 8:08 am

I guess it would kind of alert some red flags. It only seems like when I complain about feeling anxious that she starts pulling out all these reasons why what I'm doing is wrong and then we argue.

I just started a new med this week. She just asked what it was and left it at that so we're OK for now at least. I'm going to bring it up to my therapist, I don't want to walk away so easily from this since I know she has a lot of her own baggage and honestly finding a new living situation/new LIFE would be way more stressful than just trying to work it out - I just hope she can accept that I can make the best choices for myself. I hope I'm not skewing our life together to make myself feel better about "sticking it out" because we often have amazing intellectual conversations but intimacy and understanding is a problem for both of us.

Anyway - hoping this med works out and I'll ask my therapist about a better way to deal with her attitude if this comes up again.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby Radical Goats » March 5th, 2015, 5:55 pm

Based on what you've said I'm really not a fan of your girlfriend right now. I have ADHD and I am in a good place in my life because of therapy and medication. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of time to benefit from therapy and to find the right meds.

I suspect that your girlfriend thinks meds and therapy are "useless" because she didn't stick it out long enough to see any benefits, and is projecting her experience on to you. She may even be threatened by the idea that you'll benefit from therapy and medication yourself - maybe because then she won't have a hold on you? I don't know. In some ways she sounds pretty invalidating, because if she loves you she should acknowledge that your anxiety issues are a problem and should support you in your efforts to seek treatment.

By the way, take it from someone with a family history of anxiety disorders - keep up with the therapy and try to find meds that work for you (it will take some trial and error). Anxiety will burn you out in the long run.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby ladysquid » March 17th, 2015, 8:51 am

Yeah she can be ridiculously headstrong. If anyone asks her to do anything she will do the opposite, she's been to a lot of different therapists and just feels like she can out think them so nothing they have to say is valuable. I had a talk with her about what she said and she apologized.

Right now I'm just having a terrible time finding a good psychiatrist. The one I had was an asshole and the place was just a pill-mill, he just asked me what I wanted and didn't remember the allergic reaction I had from a particular medication. I got Cymbalta the last time but I've only been trying it off and on, it makes me so tired I can't work so I've been shying away. I wish I had the money to pay someone privately. I'm still not sure if I have the energy to keep going with meds but I am not stopping therapy for anyone.

Blah. At least I've been learning to better express my feelings in my therapy, I feel like a couple years ago I wouldn't have said anything to her and just stayed quietly mad. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby Radical Goats » March 17th, 2015, 1:55 pm

Maybe try a lower dose of Cymbalta? If that doesn't work, move on to something else. It can take a long time to find the right meds but your quality of life will be so much better when you do!

Regarding your girlfriend: the fact that she thinks she can outwit her therapists is a bad sign. I've had bad experiences with the kind of people who think they are smarter than any therapist (or anyone else, for that matter), and I think Paul G. would tell you that your girlfriend is not willing to be vulnerable, which does not bode well for her long-term health or her relationship with you.

Other than her attitude toward your anxiety issues, how does she treat you?
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby ladysquid » March 18th, 2015, 4:47 am

It's hard for me to analyze our relationship because she is the only person I talk to on a regular basis. I think that's part of the issue, I've tried to go out and make friends but usually I stay home with her smoke/drink/eat...it just feels easier because of my anxiety but I know it's isolating.

I'm not sure if this is just normal relationship progression, I'm honestly fine with staying in most nights, but it makes me feel obligated to be OK with her cementing herself to the couch all weekend, simultaneously playing a game on her phone, checking emails for work and watching Netflix, getting annoyed when I wash the dishes or start to clean. (our apartment is tiny so living room is the kitchen too, glamorous NYC living) I feel like such a nag and we fight a lot when I ask her to help clean, take out the trash, or help clean the dog's ears (she's a very waxy pup.) Also it literally took me years to get her to help me pay the utilities. She would fight me constantly and tell me it wasn't the right amount even when I showed her the bill and that they didn't need to be paid on time. We got several shut off notices and she finally agreed to give me a check each month.

I dunno, I feel like we go between ignoring all life issues/bills/obligations and having fun together, we make plans for the future, talk about all the places we want to go. The flipside is we're just aggravated with each other. We rarely have sex anymore either... But honestly I just feel like I need to deal with it because there is no way I could afford to live by myself and apartment/roommate hunting in this city is absolute hell. I'm just striving for total financial independence and then I feel like I will be able to take a better look at my situation.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby Radical Goats » March 18th, 2015, 1:59 pm

The staying in together instead of going out isn't an issue, but the fact that she makes you feel like a nag for getting her to pay her share of the bills, help you with chores, etc. is kind of a big problem. It does not sound like a healthy relationship and you all but admitted that you're staying with her because you need someone to pick up half the rent, and staying in your current situation is better than looking for a new roommate/apartment.

Here's the thing, I've been in a similar situation. I shared my first post-college apartment with someone who was bipolar but not taking meds (she informed me of this early on, and I didn't know what the implications were at the time). I had some bad experiences because of that. There were a few times when I had to pay all of the rent myself (out of my savings) even though she had promised to pay half of it, and I didn't get an apology. She criticized and belittled me all the time. Once she attempted suicide and I had to call and ambulance. Afterwards she acted like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. In hindsight, I realize she was taking advantage of me and causing me a lot of stress because she had me pegged as a people-pleaser who desperately wanted her to like me.

I can understand the difficulty of getting out of that situation when you have anxiety issues. Just concentrate on treatment and finding the right meds for now (even if your girlfriend objects). When you're feeling like you have a better handle on your anxiety, reassess your options.

One caveat, though: if she does something outright abusive, like reducing you to tears, hitting you, or making you feel threatened, get out fast.
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Re: S.O. Discouraging Medication/Therapy

Postby ladysquid » March 19th, 2015, 5:20 am

Your situation sounded pretty rough, it's amazing you got out of it. I can definitely relate to the people pleasing tendencies. I'm lucky my girlfriend isn't erratic, she's more covert about her issues.

I don't want to be defensive of all her behavior but we do have really good times together. I just don't think she sees/understands when or why I am upset. She'll always say "you know I love you, you're the only girl I would marry." I guess it should have been a red flag she was a serial hookup artist before we started dating, I know she's not a cheater but she talks about other women and then doesn't understand why I get upset about it like "you wouldn't want to have a threesome with her?" and it's like...I really just want to have sex with you...like at least sometimes without having to beg for it or set up some plan where we both won't be too tired or busy. I don't know, I just feel like it's the easy way out to just leave and that all relationships take work.

I hope I can work on myself to the point where I can make a clear decision. I've just been feeling kind of trapped lately.

Your words mean a lot right now, I haven't shared this with anyone other than my therapist so it's good to get it out somewhere. :text-thankyoublue:
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