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I need help finding a real therapist
I'm very unhappy with my life and have depression and probably social anxiety.  (I've been diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 10 or so, and it's certainly the same feeling.  If not social anxiety proper, then agoraphobia or avoidance or something similar.)

I've known that I need professional help for several years, but I haven't done it.  I'm lonely, have no social life, few friends or lovers, yet I feel too self-conscious to go out alone, coworkers I have nothing in common with who barely acknowledge me because I'm so reclusive.  I dislike my job and have the potential to be doing something better, but I'm so afraid of the process of quitting and interviewing that I just stay here.  My attempts at self-improvement have not worked, and I beat myself up for squandering my existence doing nothing productive, alone for such stupid reasons.

I've looked on my insurance website and there is just a huge list of hundreds of "behavioral health providers".  Just names and addresses.  How do I choose one?  Where do I start?  How do I know which ones are good?  How do I get up the nerve to do something?

I'm intimidated by the prospect of calling lots of places and going for lots of evaluations or whatever and having to reject them or stop going if they're not helping, etc.  It's daunting, so I just put it off and put it off, and here I am wasting years of my life.  I need therapy to help me get therapy.  :)

I've found a few people with email addresses, and got up the nerve to write them, but I just got responses like "Call my office and set up an appointment", and I never followed through.  Any tips or advice?
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1348686 tn?1310657843
I think the best place to start would be with your primary dr.  Ask him/her to recommend someone to you and go from there.  Try not to be intimidated by calling the therapist. They are trained professionals and they are there to help you.  

I know that this is a big step and it sometimes hard to take but just remember that by taking it you are that much closer to feeling better.   I really hope you take that step and find someone to help you.

Feel better.....
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I know it's hard, but you have to start taking baby-steps to turn your life around.  I have found when we fear something, the "fear" is the worst part.  Once we do whatever we were afraid of, it's not so bad.  Leave the past where it is, you can't change it but you can start making changes for your future. There is no reason for you to be this miserable with all the help there is for you. I think you're over-whelming yourself by worrying about all the "what-ifs."  One step at a time is how you must think and act.  Unless we know someone who knows a therapist they can recommend, we just have to pick one and go for it.  It's hard to get up the nerve to do things, but we have to decide that we do want a better life, and must push beyong this fear and take that first step.  It will get easier with each step, I promise.  Don't worry right now about finding a better job, you're one of the lucky few to still have a job in this economy.  Right now concentrate on YOU and getting better.  Once you are feeling better and more confident you can start making changes in the rest of your life.  On you on medication?  Therapy is excellent and will help you, but sometimes we need medication along the way.  You may want to see a psychiatrist for a diagnosis, and to discuss if medication would be beneficial for you.  I know you can do this, most of us have had to face these things while being terrified, just remember it's the fear that's the worst.  You can do this, I know you can.  We have a lot of great support here, stay with us for this to help you along the way.  You're not alone, we do understand.  Make the call and get started at getting your life back, you can do it.  It was a big step for you to write us, and you did great, and we're happy you're here!  Take care.
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My depression is basically gone since being in a relationship and getting a pet.  My anxiety is worse than ever, though, even causing panic attacks.  So I searched on Psychology Today's website, which allows you to filter by insurance provider, specialty, etc.  It was much better for finding a therapist than my insurance company's website.  So I contacted the best matches and started going to one.  It hasn't helped much so far.  Valerian root helps a lot.
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How many times have you gone? You are free to try another one.
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I went to that therapist for 1.5 years and it helped a little, but not much, so I stopped.  I should find another.
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