Last year a doctor referred a sensitive, intelligent, middle-aged man for therapy, to see if I could help him deal with his suicidal depression.
Ted (not his real name) had been suffering from depression and hopelessness for some time.
He had little insight as to why he was so miserable, other than the fact that he just didn’t feel like he fitted in this world and that he felt a failure, even though he had reached quite a senior and well remunerated position in his company.
Ted was very lonely, relating the failure of a marriage many years before and a current relationship with a woman that was not going well.
When he was just a young child, his father committed suicide and his mother went into a guilt-ridden decline, finally ending up in a “mental” institution when he was still a young boy.
Looking for Answers
Ted was a very responsive and constructive client and conscientiously engaged in therapy and “homework” exercises, but his suicidal depression remained profound and I began to suspect there was something that I was missing.
One night during one of our therapy sessions Ted seemed quite distressed and agitated. Finally he admitted to me in a hesitant voice that he thought that he might be bisexual.
For many years he had suspected that his sexual orientation was “not normal”, but he had always pushed this worry to the back of his mind. He explained that coming to therapy had given him the space and the courage to “‘face himself” for the first time. We spent the rest of this session exploring his sexual orientation and by the end of the session Ted reported that he felt massively relieved.
When Ted came to his next session he was a changed person. He said that his suicidal thoughts had dropped off dramatically, and he was eager to explore further his “new identity”.
Over the next couple of sessions Ted’s depression reduced considerably, and he reported that he was having periods of peacefulness and freedom for the first time in his life.
Then once again I noticed that he was unaccountably agitated.
When I asked what was happening inside of him, he again in a very hesitant, faltering voice shared that he had begun to suspect that he might be “a woman trapped in a man’s body”. Initially Ted expressed extreme discomfort and shame in making this admission, but as the session proceeded he became more relaxed and by the end of the session he expressed profound relief that he had been able to speak to me about his “terrible secret”.
Over the next few months, Ted explored this deeper identity in therapy with me, gaining the insights and finding the courage to begin to take the steps to both psychologically and physically move into his new identity as a woman …
If Ted’s story strikes a chord with you, I would encourage you to consider making an appointment to explore and discuss your hidden inner self.
Author: Matthew Ryan, B Psych (Hons), MA (Marriage & Family Therapy).
Matt Ryan is a senior psychologist with over 25 years of experience, and has seen great success in helping individuals to work through their problems and difficulties.
To book an appointment with Matthew Ryan call 1800 877 924 or book online today!