I fired my therapist yesterday.
Well, more laid him off. It wasn't for immediate cause, but because therapy's inability to make a dent in my mental state made his position redundant. I don't think this is his fault - he's a smart guy, he was honest with me, and he tried a variety of different approaches. At the end, however, he settled into what I consider one of the really unforgivable assumptions of the New York therapy model - the notion that long-term therapy, measured in a duration of years and years, is an acceptable and effective option for someone like me.
News flash: It fucking isn't. For so many reasons, not least of which that insurance had told me they weren't going to pay for most of it and I couldn't afford it, really, at all. I'd been sucking up the debt since around June, when the insurance company cut me off, because I felt that abandoning the treatment just because they decided it wasn't cost-effective was a bad idea. But six months later, I'm forced to admit that I don't feel I have received really any benefit over the past two years, and continuing the therapy would just plunge me fairly deeply into debt (whereas when I started, two years ago, I had a fairly comfortable chunk of savings I was willing to allocate to the attempt). I'm not saying therapy alone drained my coffers, but it surely hasn't helped, and I still owe the man for several months of treatment. I'm obviously going to pay him, but I couldn't afford to let that number continue to rise.
His primary argument against me quitting was always "what other option do you have?" My counter-argument is "None, but I can't afford to choose this one anymore." I don't think he was charging me unfairly; based on what I know about New York psychiatry, he was being quite reasonable with his charges - but the whole model is so fucking broken that it doesn't matter how reasonable he was being, I (as a 99%er) can't fucking afford it. If I had felt it was making a significant difference, I might have been willing to sacrifice my fiscal well-being (and it probably would have been the right move) but it wasn't, so I wasn't.
What's really sad to me is that I think he was genuinely trying his best, but he ran up against the same thing I've run up against time and time again - modern psychiatry really has a shallow and fairly pathetic bag of tools. Not, like some will tell you, because they are charlatans; not because they don't care - but because the science of the human mind (not brain, mind) is so poorly developed that they're basically reduced to trying the equivalent of leeches and cupping. Modern psychopharmacology and an actual scientific method (people think psychiatry doesn't have a scientific basis, but they're wrong, generally - it's the tools that are lacking, not the method) means that they do have a bag of tricks they can go through other than the incredibly fuzzy talk therapy genre. They will, too. I've been on more drugs and drug combinations than I can count. The reason I don't feel betrayed by the profession is because with one exception, my therapist has always observed me carefully and said "No, this isn't working" and taken me off them again. The one exception was Zoloft, which actually did work for me for a few years and pulled me out of a dark place, but eventually (as apparently can happen to many) lost its effectiveness.
So what now?
I really have no idea. I have no idea what to try next. I have had people suggest all kind of pseudoscientific or even completely woo-based bullshit to me - well-meaning people, I mean - but I won't do that kind of shit, because that would mean fundamentally violating some of my deepest-held tenets.