Why You Should Have A Social Worker On Your Team

By Lynn Rae


My psychiatrist supplies me with medication, but my social worker is there to actually listen to me. She helped me build the hope that my life could change.

Being diagnosed with depression was heart-breaking. I knew of no one else who had surrendered to this terrible disease. But I couldn’t deny there was something wrong with me. I had been in tears every day for many months and had no idea why. When I was finally diagnosed, I faithfully went to see my psychiatrist every 3 months, always in tears. Therapy was something I had never had before and it was just starting to become in vogue in 1991 when this happened to me. I was embarrassed enough to be taking anti-depressants; admitting to myself that I needed to talk to a counselor of some sort was just something I wasn’t prepared to do at that time. There were only 2 people that knew I was taking an anti-depressant; my husband and a girlfriend of mine. Although I never really talked about it openly with either one of them. I took that little pill faithfully every day and felt better within six weeks. I was back to being my energetic, carefree self again. What I was really doing was putting all my problems on the back burner, where I didn’t have to face them, which was something I had done up to that point in my life anyway.

I was under the impression that my psychiatrist would provide me with more than medication. But the only thing he did was increase the anti-depressant to “stop the crying” when I landed in his office in tears. I don’t blame him; he was an “old school” psychiatrist and was doing what he had been taught to do.

It wasn’t until I was forced to see a social worker that I began to have hope that my life could change.

My husband had been transferred to Colorado from Canada to work and I wanted to support him in his career even though I knew in my heart that our marriage was a big part of the problem. With the medical plan that we were given there it included seeing a psychiatrist and social worker. The psychiatrist supplied me with medication but the social worker was there to listen to me. And listen she did! After just 6 weeks of seeing her I knew the time had come to end my marriage. I had arrived in Colorado Spring optimistic about this little adventure our family was on. But within two weeks of being there I was drained of energy. It took everything I had to get our children off to school every day. I just wanted to lie on the couch all day with a cover over my head in tears. However, I did keep my appointments with my medical team. This social worker allowed me to talk and talk and talk. When I began to waiver about leaving my husband she was very forceful and told me I had to go to see if I could find happiness outside of my marriage. That social worker helped me to begin what was to be My Journey Back To Myself.

If you are in distress and don’t have a therapist I would suggest getting one, and fast! Within days of me making up my mind in my head that I was heading back to Canada at Christmas my depression started to lift. I was excited about my future even though I was venturing into the unknown. Saying goodbye to our children was hard. But I had to take care of me if I was ever going to be a good role model for them.

On the day that I loaded up my van and began to back out of the driveway of our home in Colorado Springs I felt my shoulders completely relax. That was the only answer I needed to confirm I was making the right decision. Through tears of joy I said, “Thank you God!” “Thank you God!”

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Lynn Rae Antidepressants Depression Medication Therapist Therapy