Rachel Sanford here. Sanford 2.0, the younger Sanford, or just Rachel—whichever you prefer.
I’ve always been interested in psychology and mental health—not just because my mother is a wonderful psychologist—but because I’ve struggled with mental health since as early as I can remember. As a child, I noticed that I was different from my peers at school and dealt with anxiety and depression, I just didn’t know what to call them yet.
In undergrad I both started studying psychology, as well as finally starting to seriously address and talk about my own mental health. I told my primary care doctor that I was feeling down, and she asked me to define how long (which I knew she was doing to get an idea of my diagnosis) and I told her the last couple years, although I knew it was much longer than that.
I started on Zoloft and was taking it late in the evening but it messed with my sleep for a long time. Everyone is different and some of my friends do fine with taking it in the evening, but it turns out that if it’s keeping you up late you probably need to take it in the morning. I learned that years later after finally seeing a psychiatrist. It didn’t do me any favors that during most of my 20s I used alcohol to cope with stress in addition to trying to figure out my medication and other behaviors that would support my journey to improve my mental health.
I took a couple years off after graduating with my Bachelor’s in Psychology and worked on eating disorder research—a disorder that is also part of my story. Dealing with my own mental health issues has included issues with having a positive body image, my relationship with food, and using exercise in moderation.
I have dealt with anxiety around social situations and public speaking and am now in a professional role where I do public speaking engagements monthly, recruit new partner organizations through meeting new people, and force myself to go outside of my comfort zone all the time. I believe that with support including therapy, practice dealing with uncomfortable situations and medication, people with mental health conditions can live normal lives and do things they tell themselves that they can’t.
After completing my Master’s in Social Work and becoming an LCSW, I’ve been able to start working with clients, which is what I’ve always wanted to do. I want to help people effectively deal with their mental health issues as logically and simply as they deal with physical health issues. I may not understand exactly what you’re going through, but I will do my best to listen and give you advice on how to best deal with your mental health so you can live and enjoy your life and get back to doing everything you want to do.
I’m currently accepting new clients, so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 326-8677 to set up an initial session. My rates are listed on our website under my tab, and you can also find more information on my educational and professional background here. www.drdianesanford.com/rachel-sanford/
This is my assistant. She has no thumbs and a very limited attention span, so if there’s a delay in my response you know why.