Even oversharers have limits

By Mir
November 16, 2010

Someday I’m going to sit down and diagram what is—in my mind, anyway—okay to share with others and what is most definitely NOT okay. I remember once hearing someone say they’d never blog something they wouldn’t share with a small crowd at a cocktail party, and at the time I thought to myself that that was not such a bad rubric, really, even though I personally would have to have QUITE A FEW drinks before sharing at a cocktail party the way I generally do here on the blog.

Regardless. I have some sort of internal this-is-acceptable meter, and it may not match yours, and I’m not saying mine is the One True Meter, but the point is that I have certain tolerances. And I am a delicate flower, sometimes, when those internal lines are crossed.

Most of the time I can make sure everything stays within my self-imposed guidelines, you know. Like, I just don’t blog about stuff I don’t want to share. Easy. But then there are, you know, PEOPLE, who TALK TO ME and stuff. And sometimes they don’t know the rules.

God. It’s SO TIRESOME that everyone in the world doesn’t follow my imaginary rules, y’know?

[Digression: I gave a presentation this weekend on best practices for shopping Black Friday online. For various reasons which I won’t get into right now—lest this aside become even longer and more unnecessary—I was, um, not at my best, come presentation time. I’d had very little sleep, and I was feeling kind of scattered, and so I had this perfectly witty opening to my talk planned, and instead, I got up and started talking, and about the third sentence out of my mouth in explanation of why I love online shopping so much was, “I hate people.” NO ONE LAUGHED. And I just plowed ahead, and later I thought to myself: “Self? Did you just announce to a roomful of people that you… hate people? Are you the stupidest person who ever lived, or what?”]

Now, I think we can all agree that I’m something of an oversharer, myself, so you’d think I’d be pretty patient with other people when they do it. But in reality, the opposite is true; I think it takes really quite a lot for me to feel like we’ve crossed the line into inappropriate discourse, and so when it happens I’m EVEN MORE APPALLED, because, DUDE, how ridiculous does what you’re saying right now how to be for ME to feel like it’s TMI? VERY RIDICULOUS.

And all of that is preface to this: Today I went to therapy. Now, it’s true that the last time I told you about my attempts at therapy, it was a complete disaster, but since then I actually saw someone briefly in a non-disastrous way. And then things were fine and life went along and blah blah blah and it really wasn’t until recently that Otto started doing the whole, “You know I love you and I’m just concerned about you” suggestions that I please either go back to therapy or go on medication or hit him with something extremely heavy and wake him up when I’m in a better mood. Because I love Otto very much and don’t want to hit him with something heavy even a little, I decided to go back to therapy.

Now. I’ve always gone to female therapists, except this therapist is a guy. And that’s… fine. Okay, it’s a little weird. But I like him. I think he’s probably pretty good at what he does. I think I should get over my I-only-like-female-therapists thing, so even though I only saw him a few times before, I figured I’d go back to him rather than starting over with someone else (again). No problem.

So today we did the little intake history thing, and of course the subject of anti-depressants came up, and we had to talk about that. Have I taken any anti-depressants before? Really, the question is which anti-depressants have I NOT taken before. I haven’t been on medication for a really long time, but I have extensive experience with it, is my point.

Here’s where the whole oversharing thing comes in. I say: “Yes, I found Paxil very helpful but I didn’t like the side effects.” Me, I think that’s sufficient. He’s a psychological professional, he should be able to translate that to what it really means. But no, he wants to clarify; he asks me if I found that it interfered with my libido. Fine. I clarify: “Yes, Paxil was great for the depression as long as I was hoping to live a completely celibate life.” He chuckled. I wasn’t too embarrassed. Fine.

The conversation moves on to Lexapro. I say: “I liked Lexapro a lot more than Paxil, but I still had side effects.” Again, I think that’s sufficient. But no, once again, he wants to clarify; he asks me if I found it interfered with my ability to achieve orgasm. Fine. I clarify: “Yes, I think it’s just kind of mean to make an anti-depressant that cheers you up to the point where you want to have sex again but then discover that it sucks.” He chuckled. I was a little embarrassed, but okay. Fine.

Had it ended there, it would’ve been fine. BUT NO. Because he launches into a story about how when his wife took Lexapro she had the same problem and it made her so angry and the whole thing was so frustrating for both of them and… I may have blacked out.

People. While intellectually I understand that everyone (well, okay, almost everyone) has sex, unless we are VERY CLOSE FRIENDS I am not interested in hearing about your sex life. (And maybe not even then.) CERTAINLY if you are seeing me for counseling I want to firmly believe that you are smooth like a Ken doll under your clothes, are completely asexual, and the VERY LAST THING I NEED is to hear a story about whether or not your spouse can get off.

I’m trying very hard not to hold this against him, but… ewwwww. Really, just ewww. He needs to know my issues so we can deal with them, but I am not supposed to know about his. Or his poor wife’s. (Can you imagine that conversation? “Hey, honey, guess what! I was telling a patient today all about that time you were on meds and couldn’t orgasm. How was your day?”)

It occurs to me I totally missed out on an opportunity to suggest to him he save that stuff for his blog. Dammit.


  1. barbara

    Oh my barf. Actually, I am a major oversharer and okay with even pretty much complete strangers oversharing, too. It’s when someone in authority, about whom I do not want to imagine either on the toilet or climaxing, overshares that I become extremely uncomfortable.

  2. Danielle

    Dude! That seems like a huge boundary issue for a therapist to bring up his wife, let alone his sex life. That’s pretty messed up, actually. (And in general, I LOVE it when people are inappropriate and over share!)

  3. Golden


    are you going back?

  4. Erin

    Ha! I would’ve laughed, and then the whole conversation would’ve gone downhill in a BIG hurry. But I only overshare with my therapist. And a little with my blog. Although not as much there.

  5. MomCat

    I’d never go back, and if I ever ran into the guy on the street, I’d pretend I don’t speak English.

  6. Leah

    That wouldn’t bother me too much – we’re all human. Nice to know that your therapist isn’t a robot. And has appropriate empathy for the situation.

  7. elz

    Yuck. That is so NOT ok. I would be totally wigged out and unable to talk to him. I don’t really need to know about your bedroom performance (or you partner’s issues). No matter who you are.

  8. Laura

    I agree with Leah that I think it would make me realize even therapists are human and even their wives might need some meds sometimes… I always like for people to share things that make me see them as more human. I find myself likeing people a lot more when I know something about them that makes them a bit imperfect (you know….like they have a hard time keeping a clean house or something….) Just me, though….

  9. Jen B

    WOAH…. Stop right there – he went on about his OWN sex life? WAY over-sharing, and not cool. I’m taking a college course called “Intro to Human Services” as a start on my journey to a MSW someday – we’ve talked over and over again about not bringing your own experiences too much into the conversations! I don’t know what I would do other than request a different therapist!!

  10. RuthWells

    Um. Time for a new therapist, I think. Boundaries are important, yo!

    (Best of luck with not hitting Otto with anything heavy. ‘Cause that would suck. And I promise not to tell you about my sex life unless you EXPLICITLY ASK.)

  11. Leandra

    Did you ever get that big stick that Otto wanted you to hit him with? ‘Cause I think my husband might like to borrow it so that I can conk him out.

    Um, therapy is not a two-way street. I think he could have just said, “Yes, lots of people report that as a problem” and left it at that. But, I’d probably give him a second chance.

  12. LisaJ

    Ew. And um….WAY unprofessional. Seriously…I would find a new therapist.

  13. Emma Duncan

    At the 6-week check-up after the birth of my first child, my OBGYN asked what my husband and I would be doing for birth control… and similar your therapist, kept pushing about why I didn’t like certain methods, forcing me to admit that I was allergic to latex, at which point he launched into a recommendation for the “original” condoms, i.e. made from animal intestines, which was a gross enough thought in itself, except that he then gave me a personal recommendation… as in, “they’re fabulous, really, you can’t feel a thing, it’s like you’re not wearing a condom at all.” Yeah, he’s no longer my OBGYN.

  14. Rasselas

    I dunno, I don’t think that was so bad. I’d only be miffed that he’s taking up my time with his problems instead of listening to mine. Also, if his wife is suffering from depression to the point of taking medication and he’s a therapist, what does it say about the effectiveness of his work?

  15. Tracy B

    Wait ya’ll!!! Wait. I think the guy was just trying to break the ice. I understand all the professionalism and such but this is a person you will be sharing your life experiences with and taking advice from. I think it makes him alittle more human to share some of his (Maybe NOT his wife’s but you get my point). Now that I’ve said that, I will agree that some things shouldn’t be shared but I really don’t think you should completely give up on the guy. Not yet, anyway. And Mir, I’m so proud of you for taking the initative and giving it another try. It takes a big person to step up and seek professional help. I applaud you!

  16. Gwen

    LOL! Like you, I do not like the whole “oversharing” thing (also, I don’t like people, too!). You should keep this therapist. From now on, everytime he says something to piss you off, you can say (hopefully to yourself), “Well, Big Guy, you’ve got problems of your own. Let’s talk about your wife!”. That way, you can totally dismiss any unpleasantness, and cheer yourself up by laughing at him. Just a thought.

  17. Megan

    I’m a mega under-sharer (erm. wait, why do I have a blog again?) so I’m pretty sure a therapist would have to do the dark room, bright shiny light interrogation thing to get me to talk about sex drive or orgasm.

    In fact, typing orgasm has caused a minor tremor in my TMI alert system. And then I typed orgasm again – AUGH! I can’t stop typing…

    … okay that was WAY funnier when the Monty Python guys did it.

  18. Jennifer Joyner

    Oh.My.God. Eww……just….eww!!!!! How can anyone think that is okay?????

    But I guess people are different. When my son was born weighing 12 pounds (long story)…the OB-Gyn (not mine, but one in the practice) came in the hospital room to tell me why he couldn’t do the circumcision…he explained that with very heavy babies, sometimes “the fat pad” made the penis difficult to access. Well, I must have had a puzzled look on my face (because who would have thought “fat pad” was a technical term??)…and he proceeded to LIFT HIS SHIRT AND LOWER HIS SCRUB PANTS TO SHOW ME WHAT A FAT PAD WAS!!! I was mortified to learn it’s the same area that, on a grown man, is where the pubic hair is.

    I was speechless. And when I told my girlfriends about it, many of whom went to him as their OB-GYN, most of them laughed it off or defended him. No one was grossed out! Ewwwwwwww!!!!

    needless to say, if my doc isn’t available, I never agree to see him!

  19. Dawn K.

    While on one hand it makes him seem more relatable and human, I think it’s not the right topic to use seem more relatable to his patient.

    Rasselas-I encourage you to do some research on mental illness (nami.org is a good place to start). Just like a broken bone, or ear infection, each patient requires different tools and methods to successfully treat the problem. Many times, this requires medication, regardless of what profession that person, or a close ally, holds. You wouldn’t expect the wife of an orthopedic doctor to not need a cast for a broken leg, would you? Just because it is an illness that occurs inside the body doesn’t mean it’s easier in any way to prevent, treat, or magically make better.

  20. Dsilkotch

    Yeah, I think I missed the “social filter” gene. I tend to chalk it up to my Scandinavian ancestry (we Norwegians like to to walk around naked and talk about our feelings all day), but I never know when I’ve crossed The Line until I see that look of mild shock in the other person’s eyes.

    I’d give the therapist another chance, just let him know that you don’t really care to pay to listen to him discuss his sex life. I’m curious, though: would you have been less uncomfortable if it had been a female therapist commiserating about her own past experiences with antidepressants?

  21. dad

    Maybe you are just the kind of person people like to share with.

    One can only hope that isn’t what he learned in shrink school and I think you should send him a bill for listening to his stories.
    Was he wearing sandals and socks?

  22. Karen

    I think perhaps the therapist was just trying to help you be more comfortable with the situation… as in, it’s a common experience, I’ve been through it.. blah blah blah….

    I’de continue unless this isn’t the only thing that’s making you uncomfortable.

  23. elswhere

    Yeah, that would make me uncomfortable too. I *might* be able to deal with it from a therapist I’d been seeing for a long time, but after only a few times–yeah, too much sharing for me.

    I’ve been mostly allergic to therapy as an adult (therapist parents, anyone?), but the best experience I had was with a therapist who, when she said something that wigged me out, I was able to tell her about it and why I didn’t like it. She listened, and didn’t tell me I was wrong or that my response revealed some Problem I had, and said she’d try to keep it in mind and take a different approach. I don’t know if doing something like that (like, saying something about why you felt what he said was inappropriate) would work for you, but it seems like if he’s a good therapist– or at least a good one for you– he’d be able to listen and respect your boundaries and maybe incorporate the whole thing into the therapeutic relationship.

    Probably you have already thought of this but, you know, blogs, comments, assvice…somehow the comment box brings out the inner expert in everyone, including me.

  24. My Kids Mom

    You don’t live in that big a town. What if you ran into him WITH his wife somewhere? Can you even imagine that conversation? Yikes!

  25. Kristie

    On a whole ‘nother not…if you take a Lexapro/Welbutrin combo you don’t have the loss of libido side effect…not that I know first hand…*ahem*

  26. pam

    Ew and then some more ew. I feel ya Mir I do. I had a therapist that became me patient. Really. She over shared so much about her and her life and I gave so much advice that the sessions were not about me anymore. She dug it I think but since I was paying to be HER therapist I had to quit her. I hope she found a more willing patient!

  27. Rasselas

    Dawn K: This is not my first encounter with depression, I know, surprising! About ten years ago I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t for me, and I would never take medication for it. However, sharing is what works – with others or even just to yourself. If there is anything you’re uncomfortable with sharing with your therapist, you’re not going to be able to touch the deep-set issues, which will then turn malignant and you’ll need medication. If you’re uncomfortable about sharing sexual stuff with the therapist, how will they ever find out about that sexual abuse that you have been subjected to as a kid? And one way to make talking about sex more comfortable is to share a bit of your own, to break the ice. I sure wouldn’t talk about it to someone who refuses to tell me anything about them. I’d feel like it’s only me who’s opening myself up to embarrassment.

  28. Heidi

    SO unprofessional – to the point where it should be pointed out to him, so it’s less likely to happen again. Eww.

  29. suzie

    Oh! Look at Mir, all uptight and stuff! And your commenters, too!

    I have really never had a therapy situation that I was comfortable in. I’ve only ever gone to a couple sessions, and then stopped. But I would imagine that if I were going to be in a therapy relationship that was going to work, I would have to feel comfortable talking about sex.

    But your prudishness is quite adorable ;)

  30. Mare Martell

    I’ve had good and bad experiences with the oversharing that you describe. I went to one counselor after I’d…ahem…had a bit of issues and he kept asking for details, details, details. I was heavily offended and didn’t go back to him. I felt dirty after speaking with him.

    On the other hand, I had a dynamic therapist named Pat. She would share just enough to get me talking and with her I shared some of my deepest darkest secrets. She never blinked an eye. It was good to know that she was human. It was even better to realize that I, like her, have had things happen.

    I’ve also had a male therapist that shared a bit here and there because it felt more like a conversation than therapy. It helped me tremendously.

    Finally, I’m currently in therapy with a female that I like. I didn’t at first because I felt like she was a clock watcher, but I melted down for the first time in a therapist’s office in over ten years and she came to life with comfort, ideas, help, and honestly, I think maybe I’ll get better.

    Zoloft, although a large crash if you suddenly quit taking it, works for me once I get the right dosage. It doesn’t cut down on the…that.

  31. MOV

    People tend to over-share with me too. I must have “TELL ME ALL!” tattooed on my forehead. This is a remnant from my days as a flight attendant where everyone had the idea that “she is a flight attendant, I will never see her again” so then they tell me their deepest darkest secrets, “I’d like to order an apple juice, and oh by the way I am a recovering alcholic,” or “Can you hand me a pillow? I just got fired from my job,” or even “Will you please find out about my connecting flight–and my husband just left me for our next-door neighbor.”
    See? Totally over-sharing. Now I just pretend I don’t speak English.



  32. Lucinda

    My concern is his lack of respect for his WIFE’s privacy. That’s an extremely personal thing to share and it wasn’t just his to share. It would be easier to overlook if he wasn’t in a profession where discretion is key. It would make me concerned about what he’s sharing about patients.

    There are so many ways he could have handled that conversation. A simple, “yes, you are not the only one who has had that problem with this medication” would have sufficed.

    I agree that you want your therapist to be someone you can relate to, but personal information should be parceled out sparingly and only in extremely relevant moments where you need that to make progress in your therapy.

    Would I look for someone else? Maybe. Depends on how much I had liked him up until that point. Good luck.

  33. Rasselas

    Actually, my initial comment about the therapist’s wife was fueled a bit by my own disillusionment with modern psychotherapy in general. Pain is a warning mechanism that something is wrong with you, and depression is psychological pain. Ignoring it doesn’t help solve the underlying issue. Medicating depression with happy pills for me is like giving painkillers for a broken limb without ever bothering to put it in a cast.

    The example I have for it is from my own experience: I was feeling so bad that I stopped eating for a month, losing about 35 pounds. The only thing I could do was lie in bed in the fetal position, contemplating suicide every waking minute. It finally got so bad that I said to myself: alright, I can’t go on like this anymore. I need to do something to stop feeling horrible.

    Miraculously, then I started digging around my psyche for a solution and actually found one! Had I been medicated, maybe I wouldn’t have had such a strong drive to actually kick myself in the ass and help myself. Not to mention that those things muddle your mental state in all kinds of ways, so I wouldn’t have had that clarity of mind to get to a solution on my own. I think over-coddling is a mistake, then again I might be a particularly strong individual and this’d have broken another person. ;)

    After realizing what the problem was, I had the strongest urge to share my very private story with everyone I encountered. I’m afraid I overshared a lot in those early days but that’s okay ’cause I don’t talk to these people anymore, hehe. :D Actually this is a mechanism that I seldom see explained clearly – the more often you verbalize a traumatic event, the more of the connected bad emotion dissipates, until you are able to talk about it with barely any emotion. In order to reach the really bad trauma you have to open yourself in a way that’s similar to vivisection, which is incredibly painful and is not for the weak or the easily squicked. That’s why I feel a lot of therapists have to prescribe happy pills. It may sound cruel but it is very true. Perhaps it’s a crutch that can be used effectively, but I haven’t really seen modern psychotherapy do it in that way.

  34. ramblin red

    Ok ladies….would this have been an issue if the therapist had been a woman and she shared exactly the same thing? Just wondering, because imho it seems like he was trying to build rapport with Mir and also express that he’s familiar with the effect that Lexapro can have on the bedroom, as a partner. As in, I can see this from the patient’s perspective and as a spouse (Otto). Some people hop meds like they’re going out of style and in therapy world, that’s called ‘non-compliance,’ so I’m sure he was just trying to determine what was going on with the varied meds thing (legitimate reasons for anyone trying to get happy and yet remain married, mind you) and yet also empathize a bit. Had he said more than what Mir did on here, well, that’s another story. Anyway, that didn’t seem like such a big deal to me, but I come from the world of mental healthcare, so take it for what it’s worth.

    The thing that did skeeve me out a bit was seeing your dad’s comment on this – as in, YOUR DAD read about your orgasms (or lack thereof), and as you said about wanting to think your therapist was Ken-doll smooth and asexual, that’s pretty much how I’d prefer to think my parents view me, theoretically. lol.

  35. ramblin red

    @Rasselas – I get what you’re saying, but please tread very carefully when you make such generalized statements as “Medicating depression with happy pills for me is like giving painkillers for a broken limb without ever bothering to put it in a cast.” Because it’s not always like that. Sometimes it is like giving insulin to a diabetic – life saving and life changing. Granted, sometimes the insulin isn’t needed if the person engages in a drastically different exercise and dietary lifestyle, but sometimes diet and exercise alone are not enough for the diabetic either. Same with depression. Ideally, I believe in comprehensive treatment, a combo of therapy and meds (if needed) and/or natural strategies (diet, exercise, supplements)….but I would never become anti-meds and shame people away from taking something that they need to function.

  36. Beth R

    I have a real issue with TMI – I tend to spout it all over the place! I’m not sure if I’d be super squicked out or not, but I’d definitely talk with him about it the next time you meet. Among other things, you’re letting him learn more about what makes you tick… or seize as the case may be :)

    I hadn’t thought of combining Lexapro and Welbutrin… if I hadn’t wound up going suicidal with Welbutrin, I might try it :) I use anti-depressants as a prop to help me stay upright enough to implement the coping mechanisms and thought patterns my therapist and I have built up. Great combination for me, but YMMV!

  37. bonuela

    i used to babysit for a couple that socialized with the woman’s gynocologist. eww. some boundries are not meant to be crossed.

  38. Rasselas

    Ramblin red: I know, I know. Just because I want to bite down on a piece of leather and have it done with doesn’t mean others wouldn’t prefer a local anesthetic. I just feel that it was so much more effective and that it’s made me into such a stronger and more mature person afterward. Pain isn’t always bad, nor is discomfort. Sometimes instead of assuaging it, we should look at what it’s trying to tell us instead, or use it as a challenge to be overcome.

    Rather than being anti-medicine, my stance is actually: use whatever you need in order to come to the best possible outcome for you. But use it in a constructive way, and not just in order to dull the pain without ever addressing the deeper issues that caused it.

  39. Dawn K.

    Rasselas-In regards to your most recent post, I agree to an extent that we have become a nation where turn too much towards pills as a solution, not just for mental health care but for other illnesses as well (don’t get me started on the nurse that gave me MULTIPLE scripts for a Z-Pak, just in case I thought I was actually suffering from a sinus infection after my visit). Hoever, as Ramblin’ Red points out, medications can be life changing for some people, and an essential way for people to achieve a positive outcome (whether mental health, diabetes, ear infection, etc.).

    My last depressive episode occurred after finding out about one of my parents’ affair, and then dealing with the divorce. The first thing I did was pick up a phone and call a therapist, knowing I would need professional talk support. I also was open with my friends, knowing that I would need to lean on them. I also made sure to stop most all of my moderate drinking (not because I’ve ever had addictive behaviors, but we all know misery loves wine, and wine loves regrettable drunk dials), exercise more (one of my coping methods), journal, and utilized every other constructive tool I have in my toolbox. In the end, I still needed the assistance of anti-dipressants because the trauma of the situation caused a chemical imbalance in my body, that was too much for behavioral treatment alone.

    It is absolutely wonderful that behavior modification worked for you, and I think that is an important part of any attempt at treatment. However, I don’t think there is any one treatment that can (or should) be practiced as the only right way.

    High five for constructive dialog!

  40. Rasselas

    Dawn K: The example of overpowering chemical imbalance is one where I absolutely would use medication! An overwhelmingly physical or bio-chemical problem is something that really only can be addressed in that way. I’m glad that you’ve found an approach that works for you.

    I’m also glad that we’ve managed to discuss this in a constructive way.

  41. Sheila

    Well, as long as we’re on the subject:

    There was this one time? At Band Camp….?

  42. ramblin red


  43. Heidi

    Whoa, have you ever started something here!

    Just popping back in on the oversharing part. Hey, we’all out in Blog Land love it! However, it seems inevitable that Chickadee and/or her friends will eventually stumble across your blog. Imagine Chickadee’s face reading whatever you’re writing. Sex? Libido? AARRGGHHHHHHH! MOMMMMMMMM!

  44. Susan

    You make me laugh every single time I read your blog! And you and I seem to have the same sort of boundaries for what we would consider TMI in various situations. In the instance you describe with your therapist . . . . totally TMI, completely unprofessional. Time to go on the hunt for a new one!

  45. Neil

    I don’t have much problem with oversharing, since I overshare myself, but I don’t think a therapist should be getting into his private life at all. During my one stint with therapy, it was frustrating at times, because it felt odd going into someone’s room and talking about myself, without ever asking, “And how are you?” But the therapist told me that I am paying for the service, so it is ALL about you, and that it was OK not to know any specific details about her, much like you never visualized your first grade teacher outside of the classroom. I might give your therapist another chance. Maybe he was just trying to connect with you in the early stages of therapy, but I would be wary if he starts using your time to talk about his issues!

  46. TexMexSol

    Oh Mir, you need to add “like” buttons to your comments!! I love #5 MomCat’s comment!!

  47. jessica

    I have complete strangers come up to me and tell me the oddest things. A couple times I even had strangers come up to me, apropos of NOTHING and ask me questions about contraceptives. Was I in the contraceptives aisle? No. Once I was in cereal and once I was in cat food. Did I initiate conversation? No. I was looking for my own item. Was I wearing a shirt the color of the store’s employees? Nope. Why me? I have absolutely no clue. These were separated by at least a year and were completely different strangers. (To add on top of everything else, I was still a virgin, not that you want or need to know that, but it adds to the hilarity of complete strangers asking me for contraceptive advice. Sure, I was pretty knowledgeable about that stuff even then — I’m a neurotic researcher-type of person, but as with you, I only talked to my friends about that — and usually not even with them.)

    Maybe you have that kind of personality, Mir. That’s what I get told when I tell people my weird stories of people coming up to me randomly and telling me overly personal things for no apparent reason.

  48. StephLove

    My mother used Lexapro, or something with the same side effect. I know this because, despite my frantic efforts to shift the conversation elsewhere, she told me. She’s a therapist, too. I wonder if after listening and listening and listening, they eventually want to start telling.

  49. Mary

    Your therapist acted in an unprofessional way. Sexual side effects should have been sufficient without going into more detail. You are a consumer and if I were you I would find another professional.

  50. sophie

    @Rasselas I am so very glad that you managed to find a solution that has you happier and healthier. I am a strong believer in therapy AND medication. I am a nurse with several years of psychiatric experience (when I typed that I was thinking of my professional experience, but I realize it applies to personal as well). I am on the side of taking as little medication as possible to successfully address the issue–medical or mental health. I was somewhat surprised when a recent, fairly large study found that “just medicine” had a far greater rate of success than “just talk therapy.” However, the most effective was “some of each.”

    Mir–as for your situation, here are my thoughts. I think boundaries are important in a therapeutic relationship. However, I don’t think what he said was outright wrong. The bottom line is are you still comfortable enough to continue with him or will this linger and make it more difficult. More generally on the topic of finding a good therapist. I was fortunate to find an excellent therapist who has a style that works for me and produces results on the first try in my early 20’s. I was really surprised at finding three in a row who were not right for me in Houston. I know if my first experience had been with one of those people, I would have never gone back. There are absolutely good and bad ones, and then there are the ones that you just don’t “click” with. If you need one, I’d encourage you to keep looking if you strike out initially. Both of my “good” ones were found as a result of personal referrals, but I know there aren’t necessarily many people who want to ask all their friends for a recommendation. If you are in Atlanta, though, I have a fabulous one. Just don’t try to steal my 5:30 time slots, okay?

    (sorry this ran so long. Clearly I have too much experience with this.)

  51. BethRD

    This reminds me of the time when I was pregnant, close to term, and I was going to my very nice, friendly family doctor (who had a small baby of his own, he had shared with me) and he was talking to me about emotions after a baby’s birth, and he said something like, “It’s totally normal to be unhappy sometimes with a small baby. Really, it’s not even unexpected to be completely miserable! To sometimes feel like you’d rather throw the baby out the window than LISTEN TO THE BABY SCREAM ONE MORE MINUTE! IT’S TOTALLY NORMAL! HAHAHAHAH!” And I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to offer him a cup of tea and a shoulder to cry on or back slowly out of the room or what.

  52. ellen

    “smooth like a Ken doll” made me laugh out loud for reals… thanks.

  53. karyn

    I think he was probably just trying to show you that even though he’s a man he knows how you feel. Of at least has some experience with it. I don’t think he was over sharing to intentionally be rude or even doing it to break the ice. just to let you know he’s been Down that road with his wife.

  54. Diane

    MAJOR red flag. A therapist talking about his wife’s and his sexual dynamic, even if intended to demonstrate that he understands how the side-effect affected you, is highly inappropriate and unprofessional.

    If he doesn’t get that boundary, he’s in big trouble — which means you’re gonna be in trouble with this guy. I’d steer clear of him.


  55. Laura

    See that would upset me not so much cos of the overshare but cos therapy is about ME! I dont want to hear that your life is/was crap – I want you to listen to my problems – its all about me :-p

  56. Dede Miller - founder Divacafe.net

    In the age of internet it is just too wild to have a conversation in person. People are be-wild with the idea that they over share

  57. Brigitte

    Ew. I think I’d run back to a female therapist immdiately. Even though his oversharing likely has nothing to do with his gender, but I have an anti-male bias in those sorts of fields myself.

    While I can talk about all kinds of perverted and gross stuff, especially on the interwebs where nobody can see me, it has to remain hypothetical. As soon as we start talking graphic details about a specific person’s (you, me, our spouses, whatever) sex or bodily functions or whatnot, uh uh. Unless, on rare occasions when I feel it’s necessary, we’re very careful to tiptoe and use PLENTY of euphemisms.

  58. KMayer

    don’t want to know about my parents, my kids or my shrink having sex. Or not having sex. Or difficulty having sex. Ever. Not ever ever. Ew.

  59. Randi

    Ha ha ha ha – well you know therapists, always trying to make their clients more comfortable!! I’m on Wellbutrin, and I love it. It calms me down, helps me to relax a bit, and has NO side effects – well, once I got past the “eww, my mouth tastes like tin” thing.

  60. Chantel

    I recently stumbled upon your blog…I think via a link from the Redneck Mommy…

    Anyhow, my son and I attend therapy together and I LOVE when our therapist shares stories from personal experience. She has shared stories of struggling to raise her now adult daughter, problems with anxiety and OCD, and how these issues affect her life.

    I respect her so much more for making me realize that even the therapist has to learn to cope and overcome!

    I definitely don`t see this as an overshare – I see it as an attempt of your therapist to identify, relate, and help YOU feel comfortable! :) Really too bad it backfired on him…ha ha.

  61. vanessa

    Ummm…pretty sure in the Official Therapist Handbook the number one rule is DONT TALK ABOUT YOUR SEX LIFE. That’s totally unprofessional. If I were you I’d run faaaaaarrrrrr in the other direction and find someone else.

    Also, medication can be life saving. Literally. Saved mine, anyway. So…there’s that.

  62. Rachel

    Um, yeah & you forgot the part where the therapist tells his wife that his patient is a very pretty and very very popular blogger who will put their story on her blog later for millions of her fans to read! =) I wish the best for you, whether you stay with this therapist or not.

  63. Aimee

    Duuuuuuuuuude. Has this guy been using Gabriel Byrne on In Treatment as a role model? Although frankly, even he as a fictional! therapist wouldn’t do that. Good lord.

    I know you probably don’t want to start over with someone new, but I think that is wildly, ragingly inappropriate.

  64. Amelia

    wow. i see there are a lot of comments here, and i have not read more than a couple of them, so this may be a repeat…but i gotta say, i think it’s very strange that a therapist (of any gender) would tell you something of such a personal nature, full stop. i’m an oversharer myself and can handle a lot, but that seems Very Strange. might be different if you REALLY liked him already, but i’ll be frank: it definitely does NOT sound like you REALLY liked him already. just sayin’.

  65. Ani

    OMG just had to laugh. Total blog-fodder…

  66. getsheila

    LMAO! Not so funny for you, perhaps, but highly entertaining to the rest of us. It is unfortunate we, the puclic, are forced to shop around to find a good therapist that fits our personality, etc. Similar to trying a new anti-depressant, where you have to wait 6 weeks to determine if it’s working for you, It’s such a waste of time. Good luck with your search or, if you decide to stay with Dr. SharesAlot, uh, good luck.

  67. Anna

    I am chuckling at the comments that claim they over share then the ones that…. do.

    Mir, the woman next to me in choir will.not.stop about her hip surgery. I get really detailed comments about how she is doing this week and her scar and blah and AHHHH!

  68. Heather

    So I’m not even done my undergrad psych degree but even *I* know that’s ridiculously unprofessional and so, so out of line. Also, ick.

  69. Tara

    Um, yeah. He totally wanted to be the one to resolve your lack of O problem. Maybe you should return the TMI favor and tell him VERY explicit details about your last attempt at the BIG O while you were on anti-depressants. That’ll make him squirm. Or not.

  70. shadymama

    bad bad BAD THERAPIST! that is *so* much MORE than a TMI issue – it’s totally unacceptable.

  71. J from Ireland

    Hahaha Mir so funny. I can’t bear to listen to other people talking about their sex lives I don’t care who they are. I have a “friend” who talks about it all the fecking time when he is out drinking with us, I stay as far away from him as possible, its creepy.

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