An Open Letter to the Therapist I Fired

Dear Licensed Clinical Social Worker Herd:

You don’t know me.

Sure, I sat on your couch for 45 minutes and talked to you about my parents and my job and my boyfriend and my self-esteem issues, but you don’t know me.

Maybe you’d have gotten to know me, if you’d taken the time to listen to me. Which, quite frankly, seems like a reasonable expectation of a fucking therapist. But you weren’t as interested in getting to know me as an individual as you were in collecting another data point for your hypothesis about how all anxiety disorders work, in all cases, 100% of the time.

Does that sound unfair? Let’s review.

You told me that anxiety is always caused by underlying depression. I told you I didn’t identify with that, and furthermore I’d been screened for depression previously and was cleared. You repeated that my anxiety was caused by my depression.

I told you that my anxiety was much worse when I was younger, but is largely manageable these days. You told me that pathology always gets worse as you get older, and that mine will continue to do so.

You asked about my history with medication. I told you I’d been prescribed a pharmaceutical drug in the past and found it to work very well for my anxiety symptoms. You told me that was no way to go through life, and I should start taking St. John’s Wort for my depression. This was, I reiterate, after I told you I don’t have depression.

I told you my boyfriend is wonderful at providing emotional support when I’m feeling anxious. You said he couldn’t know how to help because he doesn’t have anxiety himself.

I told you I have a pretty good relationship with my parents. You told me that they’re controlling, and that’s why I have anxiety.

You don’t know me, and you didn’t try to get to know me.

That’s why I told you, respectfully and politely, that I would not be scheduling another appointment because I didn’t feel we were a good fit. And you said: “Keep in mind that you not wanting to get rid of your anxiety is your anxiety. You are learning to live with it and that will eventually catch up to you, that is my 20 year experience. Feel free to come back at any time.”

Please note, as you may have noticed initially had you not once again entirely failed to listen, that I never said I didn’t want to get rid of my anxiety. I merely said that I wanted to get rid of you.

And your response was to attempt a guilt trip. Manipulative, much? Unprofessional, anyone? But perhaps most tellingly, ineffective.

You don’t even know how to guilt me, because you don’t know me.

A few years ago, that guilt trip may have worked. Hell, a few years ago I might have starting internalizing your scattershot diagnosis of my issues. But I’m almost thirty years old now, and I don’t let other people tell me how to feel anymore. And I certainly don’t pay them for it.

I won’t stoop so low as to say that your own anxiety disorder, which you claim to have cured, is in fact manifesting itself in your professional capacity as a desire to control others despite their actual needs. I’ll merely state that I’m glad I fired you, because I don’t feel you’re qualified to help me with a damn thing.

I’ll continue to work on my anxiety through my own methods. Maybe that means I’ll get over it without professional help. Maybe I’ll decide to see a psychologist. Maybe I’ll return to taking medication. Maybe I will just learn to live with it. But I’ll tell you this: no matter how I turn out, I’d rather be like me than like you.

Because sure, I’m anxious. But you?

You’re petty, you’re full of shit, and you don’t know me.

Your former patient,

Author: Bryanna Doe

Author, storyteller, comedian, songwriter.

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