Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
I am sorry you have been through so much. I can understand your distress over how you feel and your search to find an answer.
Before I can work on your answer, I wanted to ask a question. You mentioned that you feel depressed, angry and paranoid. When you say paranoid, what do you mean? Can you describe this symptom a little further?
Thank you for the additional information, Tom. It helps me get a clearer picture of your situation.
It sounds like you have been hit by one loss after another. Your mother's diagnosis, then her death, then the attack. Add to it the time spent dealing with the therapist who was rude and unhelpful, and you have good reason to feel as you do.
You mentioned that your depression begin when your mother was diagnosed. An illness such as cancer is usually a big blow to the person who is ill and the family supporting them. It changes perspectives and makes life seem fragile and fleeting. As a result of the stress, it is easy to develop problems like depression.
Once your mother passed, your feelings from before when she was diagnosed where probably brought back up again and intensified. At this point, I believe that you began to grieve the losses you had been through. The loss of your mother's health then her death felt overwhelming and hard to cope with. When the counselor did not help you, it probably made things worse.
It does sound like the bereavement center and life coach did help, at least until the attack occurred. This probably brought back your feelings of loss and depression as you experienced before. It is like you got up only to be knocked down again.
To address how you feel, the best therapy would be individual therapy with an emphasis on Cognative Behavior therapy. CBT is helpful in changing your thinking so you feel better and less depressed. Also, you need to find a therapist that is trained to help you with your specific issues.
Finding a therapist is much like finding a good doctor. You sometimes need to search to find one that you feel you can work with. Try asking your doctor for recommendations. Or ask family and friends. You can also search on line at http://www.bacp.co.uk/ or http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/therapists/. Some brief research and a couple of referrals should help you find someone you can work with.
And let your doctor know that you are in need of a therapist that can handle your grief issues. Be up front about what you need. That is the best way to find someone who is good.
You can also help yourself at home. Self help is a great way to get the help you need because it not only helps you learn more about why you feel they way you do, but it provides you with a variety of options. Here are some links to help you:
When considering medications, remember that they should be used to help you alleviate your symptoms until therapy can help you. Medications should not be used long term unless you feel you cannot cope.
Also, consider support groups either in person or on line. It can help to be with others who feel as you do and understand your perspective like few others can. Here is a link to help you find a group:
I hope this has helped you,Kate
Thanks for the further explanation of your feelings of paranoia. I do believe that your feelings are normal for what you have been through and not the clinical paranoia that occurs when someone has a serious mental health disorder. I think it would be natural for you to feel the way you do after what you have been through. You have come to expect the worst and that is where your thoughts are right now. Someone telling you differently, especially when they have not gone through what you have been through would not help you.
I think if you are able to connect with others through a support group who understand what you have experienced and find a good therapist, you may be able to overcome the paranoia you feel that something else bad is going to happen.
Thank you for the information.
I still believe that the right counselor is your best bet. And I say right counselor because it is tricky to find someone who can help you by offering the right amount of support along with the appropriate technique. It is not impossible by any means, though. It just takes some work to find one you feel can help. But by going to an individual therapist, you have a better chance of having your treatment tailored to your needs rather than be in a program that everyone follows together.
It also helps to check the counselors background, including education and experience. Some of the sites on line are good about giving you that information and some you have to search a little.
Referrals are also a good way to find someone. Someone else's experience really helps.
Along with the self help, groups and individual therapy, I think you can expect to feel better very soon.