A lot of people believe therapy and counseling are for severely mentally ill or “crazy” people. I have found out this is not true. Don’t let shame and fear stop you from getting the help you need. Good mental health is part of your overall health and wellness.
“In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.”
Dr. Michael Unger
On January 19, 2011, I was in a meeting at work at the FBI. My supervisor and the Agent in charge of the unit were interrogating me about the allegation made, saying that I had destroyed Government records. I sat in a chair against the wall, with my hands firmly planted on the arms of the chair to keep from losing my temper, thinking what in the hell is this about.
I had no idea, so I had nothing to say, except
Where is all of this coming from and what proof do you have to prove your accusation?
Ken, the unit chief, was talking to me like I was a liar. “Just tell the truth.”
The meeting was very, very stressful; I knew that I had done nothing wrong. So, I didn’t try to admit or deny any of the accusations made against me. I sat there listening to them, go on and on about what I had done waiting for them to produce evidence to back up the what they said. They never could, and were trying to coerce me into admitting to their outrageous accusations.
“The way I see it, our natural human instinct is to fight or flee that which we perceive to be dangerous. Although this mechanism evolved to protect us, it serves as the single greatest limiting process to our growth. To put this process in perspective and not let it rule my life, I
expect the unexpected;
make the unfamiliar familiar;
make the unknown known;
make the uncomfortable comfortable;
believe the unbelievable.”
― Charles F. Glassman
My body went into protective mode; fight or flight, the acute stress response a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
I became :
- My heart was pounding
- Shallow, rapid breathing
- I could not speak clearly
Dog and cat showing acute stress responses
I was taken out of FBIHQ, on a stretcher to George Washington Hospital Center. Where I remained for two days. The doctor asked what happened to me.
After being released from the hospital, my discharged orders were to seek mental health counseling. Which, I did….sitting in my primary doc tors’ office telling him my story, I could tell that a part of me was gone, I felt violated, I felt like someone else,
and I just wanted to go into a place where no one else could go. I suppose it was clearly visible, my husband was saying, “come back to me.” How was I supposed to do that when I no longer had the desire to come back! Finally, I made a choice to seek therapy and counseling, to help me find my way. I spent 13 months in treatment. And saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with major depression (without phobia) and anxiety. For the past nine years, I have continued taking my medication. However, I don’t see any mental health professionals. My primary doctor monitors my mental health issue and continues to prescribe my medication. I don’t know where I would be had I not attend counseling.