I am a Medical Doctor who has benefited from Betterhelp.com and Regain.com
Disclaimer: I did not get paid to write this story. I am not sponsored by Betterhelp.com or Regain.com. I want to share my feedback to get the word out about these services. I want to address the stigma in chronic health issues to help remove many barriers that are in the way for my readers who can benefit from such services like these websites (or the thousands of others out there). Thank you for your time in reading this story.
I am a Medical Doctor who has experienced traumas since childhood & has a ACE score of 8 out of 10 (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/03/02/387007941/take-the-ace-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean).
My parents & I are first-generation immigrants. I grew up poor & had issues with neglect & addictions in my family. A significant reason why I went into medicine was to get out of the poverty that I have seen my parents & relatives endure & suffer, despite their incredible work ethic & devotion to doing their best to provide for the many needs of their children.
Although I deeply love & respect my parents, I also understand that I carried many of their poor coping behaviors into my own adulthood & marriage.
I have been highly functioning & highly achieving most of my life. However, I have never healed from my past experiences. I have never had good modeling to learn helpful coping behaviors. I have made many mistakes, due to poor coping strategies, insecurities, & a general fear out of life.
I have used the traditional medical system, have seen many psychiatrists, & have been treated with many different antidepressants, ever since medical school & residency training.
In my experience, despite seeking treatment, due to the demands of my past career in a surgical specialty, I never had time to devote to my therapy sessions. The psychiatrist offices always seem to be packed & so even if I wanted to devote more time, I firmly believe that it was not possible for them to schedule me for more frequent appointments.
I now understand from hindsight, that simply seeing a mental health provider once in a while, for short visits & prescription refills, would never have “healed me” in a deeper level that my spirit was silently yearning for, to allow for gradual but significant positive & lasting changes in how I used my brain (& my being) in response to life’s normal stressors.
Instead, I found myself becoming more cynical & hopeless about my mental health issues, & this led to increasing chronic health issues & decreasing functioning/enjoyment of my life.
In my experience with both Regain.com for my marital challenges & Betterhelp.com for my personal mental health issues, I have learned that at times, it takes a bit of trial and error to find the right counselor/therapist whose background, personality, & training harmonizes with my present needs & unique background.
Thankfully both of these services allow for streamlined & efficient processes to “explore” providers. This shows that they understand that at times their clients will have to try out different counselors to find one who suits their unique needs and personalities.
Another strong benefit of these platforms is the simplicity of their user experience & just how efficient it is to see a counselor/therapist at the comfort of my home. I found after repeated sessions that my comfort in my familiar surroundings allowed me to gradually trust & be vulnerable to my therapist.
The platform also allows for easy text messaging & gives an option to speak to a provider by video or just voice. This suits many people’s needs to either see somebody in real time or just hear their voice if they cannot/do not want to be seen themselves.
I am incredibly grateful for my provider, whose wisdom & skill and understanding my needs (often times without me having to verbalize it) has allowed me to trust in him and devote myself to practicing what he has taught me.
In each of our sessions, I type out notes of what he tells me, since he drops so many knowledge bombs and I want to capture all of it. He also provides me with handouts that help me learn & practice what he teaches.
I have been seeing him for over a month and have noticed dramatic improvements in my coping behavior. However, I would be lying to say that my recovery from mental illness has been straightforward. Old habits really do “die hard” & there are many times when I fall back into old behaviors that caused me and my loved ones more suffering. I also need to point out that I am not “completely dependent” on my provider & I have done a lot of self work with the guidance of my provider. I understand that providers can only show me the way and I am responsible for taking each incremental step forward in my recovery journey.
I understand that I am in a “transition phase” & although I have taken more steps forward than backwards, the steps backwards are still uncomfortable, at times painful, and always challenging — but the journey has been so worthwhile and I am finally starting to feel the deep rewards for my commitments to recovering from several chronic issues (some of which I share on this blog).
My provider’s nonjudgmental communication towards me has taught me to go easier on myself after making mistakes and have a better attitude when I am struggling. Overall I feel more confident that I am on the right path and I look forward to each of my sessions each week.
Most importantly, I have hope that I am not going to succumb to the consequences of my past traumas & my past mistakes. I am a better person, husband, father, & doctor!
I am deeply grateful for Regain.com & Betterhelp.com. I hope my message can shed light to others who are hesitant, or anxious, or even fearful to take the first step in trying these services, and other services that are available for chronic and disabling mental health issues.
If you read this far, thank you for your time in reading my story. I look forward to any and every feedback. Follow me on here for more stories on my chronic health issues where I will share the many tools I have used and the many steps I have taken to recover since summer of 2021.