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I go to therapy because I have to, because I've been doing it for so long that I can hardly remember what it was like to have that cozy, womb-like little room to heave myself into on a weekly basis.Therapy has become a customary part of my self-care song-and-dance, despite the sad truth that I haven't seen tons of progress when it comes to my struggles with depression, relationships, et al.Overall, my experiences on the sites were intriguing but not mind-blowing—none of the free forums felt equipped to help me dive into real issues.They felt more like social outlets than mental health resources. Hokemeyer expresses major concern about sites like Blah Therapy, where "non-trained professionals [are] giving advice to other individuals." "There is just too much room for harm," he notes."The dialogue that occurs online is much more shallow and transient.It's like comparing an artificial sweetener to honey, or instant coffee to slow-brewed." I suspected as much, but I wanted to see for myself. THE THERAPY SITE: is the slickest of the three sites I tried.It's weirdly gratifying each time I get an email notification alerting me to Regina's replies, and there is something freeing about anonymously spilling my guts with no sense of concern about how I "look" to the other person.
In the "How to Manage Stress and Depression" forum, I spill out a paragraph about how Fear of Missing Out and social comparison are making me miserable (hey, it's true). It does sound like you are struggling with your own self-value. " I write back that I have no "reasons" to doubt myself—instead I've got an exciting smorgasbord of your average everyday depressive tendencies and low self-esteem, yippee!Confession time: I've been in talk therapy for more than 20 years (I started when I was 15—today I'm 37).Nope, I'm not proud of that—it's vaguely embarrassing, this commitment I've made to worship at the altar of my most deep-seated issues.I write, "I constantly compare myself to other women—not just women I know, but friends of friends, famous people, etc." before acknowledging that my life is fine overall, save for my obsessive quest to "constantly think about how little I have in comparison to some friends and acquaintances (especially when it comes to my love life)." A therapist named Regina M. "It is so difficult to be a woman in our culture these days," she writes. I explain that I've been in therapy for years and have tried a zillion types of treatment.THE RESOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF) OK, so the therapist's response seems a bit... I wasn't expecting much more, honestly, so I continue my exchange, explaining more details about my mental-health history.