I had been feeling lost ever since I went on a routine executive checkup, and the doctor told me to have my eyes checked as well since my mother had been diagnosed with glaucoma around 26 years old – the same age I was at the time. Like an obedient patient, I did as the doctor advised, confident that they would not find an issue with my eyes. I had gone to ophthalmology clinics for prescription glasses before, but the eye doctor assured me that I had 20/20 vision, so there would be no need for that. I felt lucky about it, considering I was a graphic artist and needed to use the computer all day long.
After waiting for the test results, the doctor informed me gently that I had glaucoma and that 20% of my left eye was no longer functioning. I sat there motionless for five minutes, wondering if it was a dream. However, the doctor’s voice brought me back to reality. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “How did that happen? My vision was 20/20.”
The doctor explained that it was possible for the devices in eye prescription clinics not to detect anything wrong with the patients’ eyes, but it did not mean that nothing’s wrong. He proceeded to say that even his own mother only got reading glasses back then, although she also had glaucoma.
“Glaucoma is a slow-progressing condition that many people do not realize they have. They sometimes attribute blurry vision and headache to stress and other factors. Still, they never think that it’s because the optic nerve connecting the brain and eyes has been getting damaged due to fluid buildup inside the eyes,” the doctor added.
“Is there a cure for this?”
The doctor shook his head slowly. “Unfortunately, the optic damage is irreversible at the moment. All you can do is lessen the activities that require you to strain your eyes too much.”
Since then, I had been living in utter denial. I did not tell anyone about the eye diagnosis. I acted as if I was perfectly healthy. However, I always felt frustrated whenever my eyes would turn blurry, to the extent that I threw my laptop against the wall one time.
What Made Me Change
One time, my boyfriend told me that he had a new favorite show on Netflix called Blown Away. I watched it out of sheer curiosity – and because my boyfriend was hogging the TV. When we began to watch the second season, though, I paid more attention as one of the glassblowers revealed that she had glaucoma. The extreme heat that the woman had to deal with every day was not helping slow down its progression further. In truth, it was making things worse for her. Despite that, she was still bubbly and happy because she loved making art out of glass.
That woman inspired me to undergo counseling to restore my confidence and mental resilience amid my eye condition and mental health struggle.
Is there a difference between therapy and counseling?
Yes, therapy and counseling are different from each other. The former typically occurs longer than the latter.
Does Counselling work?
Yes, counseling works. It has already helped millions of people deal with their mental health issues across the globe. However, its effectiveness depends on the client’s level of cooperation, considering the counselor can only provide advice and guidance, not resolve their problems for them.
Is crying in therapy a breakthrough?
Yes, mental health professionals consider crying as a breakthrough in therapy. Though the therapist may pause the session and let the client cry it all out, it entails making progress.
Can therapy make you worse?
Yes, therapy can technically make you worse, even though it is supposed to do the opposite. That happens when you go to an unreliable therapist who does not know how to conduct therapy.
Can Counselling do more harm than good?
No. In truth, counseling can ideally make your life better. However, it may do you more harm than good if you end up meeting the wrong type of counselor.
When should you stop therapy?
- You have learned everything you can from the therapist regarding coping and dealing with your issues.
- You no longer feel like the therapist can help you.
- Your life is too chaotic for you to be able to focus on therapy.
- You want to let go of that life chapter and move on.
Is it normal to cry in therapy?
Yes, it is normal to cry in therapy. It typically happens when the client talks about their issues or experiences enlightenment or emotional relief.
What should I not tell a marriage counselor?
For marriage counseling to work, you should not hide any information concerning your marital issues from the counselor. Some facts may be downright shameful, but you need to let it all out to increase your chances of achieving your goals.
Can therapists hug their clients?
No, therapists cannot hug their clients. That is against the ethical code.
Do therapists cry in therapy?
Yes, therapists tend to cry in therapy. They need to open their emotional channels to help their clients, so it’s impossible for them not to feel their clients’ pain and empathize with them.
Do therapists get attached to clients?
Yes, some therapists get attached to clients, especially when they have had sessions for a long time.
Do therapists miss their patients?
Yes, therapists can miss their patients, but it depends on how emotionally connected they are.
Should therapists comfort crying clients?
Technically, therapists cannot comfort crying clients by hugging them or promising that everything will be okay. It is against ethical codes, but it may also make the clients depend on the therapists too much.
The process of accepting that I had an irreversible eye condition was not as challenging as I thought. Perhaps it was because I had my boyfriend and my family giving me all the love and support I needed when I finally announced the diagnosis to them. Maybe it was also because I found a counselor and a therapist who both wanted nothing more than see me happy and clearheaded after every session. Despite all that, I ended up making peace with myself that glaucoma would always be there – all I had to do was follow the doctor’s suggestions on keeping it from progressing too fast.