It took me eight years, but I finally got a second opinion. I really regret waiting that long. I gave up too easily on believing someone could help me.
I spent those years thinking I could just deal with it, but during that time, everything just got worse. When I found my second doctor (on PsychologyToday.com's very useful search tool), I did it because I reached a point where I knew I couldn't go on anymore without help. But that was actually a good sign, because it meant I was aware I had a problem and was feeling hopeful enough to try therapy again.
Before that, my illness was in control of my life. I'd wake up with a sickening feeling, like my blood was sewage slowly moving through my veins. I could barely concentrate while looking for a job, and every day that went by I felt worse and worse, more ashamed of myself, more like, "Why go on?" I called my mother while sitting on a fallen tree, alone in a small patch of woods in a beautiful part of Vermont, to tell her she'd never see me again. I had to listen to her violently cry into the phone again and again and again.