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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience:  Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
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I am a 52 year old gay man with a history of 'major

Resolved Question:

I am a 52 year old gay man with a long history of 'major depression-recurrent'. I have been seeing gay mental health therapists and psychiatrists since age 25, which includes a long history of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs prescribed to me by several psychiatrists over this entire period. I have also been hospitalized for major depression several times. In 2003, I began seeing a new psychiatrist, upon whose recommendation I had two courses of ECT, one in 2003 consisting of 12 treatments and one in 2004 consisting of 11 treatments. I continue to see this psychiatrist to this day for medication monitoring every 4 weeks. A few years after I began with this psychiatrist, he changed my diagnosis to Bi-Polar II (periods of major depression interspersed with hypomania.) I am currently seeing a gay psychologist whom I began seeing in 2009, but not much, if any, improvement in my condition has occurred. I am still seeking full recovery and want very much to lead a happy, well adjusted life as a gay man. Please offer any advice and recommendations on seeking out a new psychologist, new treatments, self help books that would be especially helpful to me as I've described myself. Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Doctor Blake replied 6 years ago.
Doctor Blake :

Good morning.

Doctor Blake :

I've read your detailed question. Thank you for submitting.

Doctor Blake :

Ah, I see you are presently offline, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to chatting with you.

Customer:

Please contact me by email at *****@******.***

Doctor Blake :

Sorry we missed one another.

Doctor Blake :

Given your history, I would suggest that you reconsider the nature of your therapy altogether. That is, many "traditional therapists" use "talking therapy" which hinges on the notion that the client (you) gaining insight into their lives will somehow impact upon your mental health status (in your case, depression).

Doctor Blake :

Unfortunately, there is little evidence that talking therapy is effective in doing this.

Doctor Blake :

Have you considered working with a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist? Research consistently demonstrates that CBT (often paired with medication, but not 100% necessarily) is the most effective form of treatment for depression and anxiety.

Doctor Blake :

CBT works to address the thoughts/attitudes (Cognition) and actions (Behavior) that contribute to or maintain your depression/anxiety. You are taught (and practice) strategies to change your cognition and your behavior. There is homework. While a good CBT therapist is always easy to talk with, it is not necessary for you to have lengthy discussions about your childhood or relationship patterns or whatever else because the focus of the therapy is the mental health issue (depression/Bipolar II) and changes to cognition and behavior.

Doctor Blake :

It is also possible, given the diagnostic history you provided, that the nature of your depression is more endogenous and life-long. In some cases, the therapeutic approach to this issue is to help the client adjust to the fact that "Happy" for him or her might never be as intense, frequent, or long-lasting as it is for more typical individuals. It's more a matter of adjusting to the disorder rather than trying to treat the disorder.

Doctor Blake :

I hope this is somewhat helpful. I would strongly encourage you to find the therapist with strong Cognitive-Behavioral skills. Don't fall into the trap of engaging in endless banter and chit-chat... research demonstrates that not only is this approach inefficient and ineffective... in some cases it keeps clients STUCK. Ruminating on past problems or past behaviors or attitudes tends to keep them where they are - as opposed to acting to change those behaviors and attitudes.

Doctor Blake :

Thanks for checking with J.A.

Doctor Blake :

Please accept response unless you require additional information. Thanks.

Customer:

Dr. Blake Bowden:

Customer:

Thank you for your response. Please advise me of how I can find a well qualified cognitive behavioral therapist, preferably one who is gay, which would increase one another's ability to relate.

Customer:

Thank you for your response. Please advise on how I can find a well qualified cognitive behavioral therapist, preferably one who is gay, also, in order to increase our ability to relate with one another.

Customer:

I live in the suburbs north of Detroit, Michigan.

Doctor Blake :

Good morning. I regret that it would be inappropriate to recommend a therapist with whom I have not had direct knowledge/contact. However, when I google "Detroit cognitive behavior therapy" there are a number of therapists available in the detroit metro area.

Doctor Blake :

I'm sorry that I can't be of more help to you in that regard.

Doctor Blake :

Another option would be for you to contact the closest Psychology Department at a college or university - because a majority of psychologists in academia are of the CBT persuasion.

Doctor Blake :

Again, my apologies that I couldn't be of more help. I wish you the best of luck.

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