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What's your outlook on therapy? (Multiple votes allowed)

  • *I've had it and it has helped.

    Votes: 21 35.0%
  • *Tried it, but it didn't do much for me.

    Votes: 16 26.7%
  • *I feel like I could use it, but I can't afford / time / problem not serious enough, etc.

    Votes: 14 23.3%
  • *I would never accept any form of professional therapy.

    Votes: 6 10.0%
  • -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Therapy? You mean sit down, get prescribed a pill, and get the fuck out?

    Votes: 8 13.3%
  • >>> Therapy causes more problems OR trades one problem for another.

    Votes: 5 8.3%
  • It tries to turn people into something they're not...

    Votes: 6 10.0%
  • Through knowledge, understanding and guidance, it helps empower people.

    Votes: 24 40.0%
  • Conventional / Western forms of therapy are ineffective, but other forms are.

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • The "system" needs a complete overhaul.

    Votes: 14 23.3%
  • Overall, things are fine. While it may not cater to everyone, it still reaches a broad audience.

    Votes: 9 15.0%
  • --------------------------Mental Health Opinions-----------------------------

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • There's no such thing as a cure to your mental health, it's all about management.

    Votes: 12 20.0%
  • There is a cure! The answer is never immediate, but it comes in time. Don't give up!

    Votes: 12 20.0%
  • -Everyone- has some sort of disorder.

    Votes: 20 33.3%
  • It's all in your genes! (born with it)

    Votes: 3 5.0%
  • Social relationships & mass media usually create these disorders.

    Votes: 20 33.3%
  • I am uncomfortable around people that suffer from disorders.

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • Strangely, I relate / am generally attracted to people going through mental health issues.

    Votes: 21 35.0%
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
"People that would change the world got lost in therapy"
... A comment that someone made to me during a friendly discussion.



While she continued to talk, I remember setting myself to bobblehead-mode while I took an extra moment to think over that statement. It immediately came across as something that could be interpreted in a multitude of different ways. Was this a cynical shot at the 'system?' An expression of sorrow for the people 'lost?' Alternatively, it can even be an empowering statement to say that people that do suffer from mental health concerns are not worthless, are not a drain to society, and have so much to contribute. It could be all that and more.

Regardless of what she meant, my interest is with your thoughts right now. What was your initial reaction to topic? Let's make it broader... what about therapy as a whole? Perhaps you have personal experience as someone that has tried it, or maybe you've felt like you're almost a personal therapist to others that have depended on you. What -has- worked for you as a shoulder to cry on, or as a cry-ee? Has it ever influenced the dynamics of a relationship you've been in? What do you think is severely lacking from the current system? Are we too quick to diagnose people? Do we slap a label on people just like a product at the grocery store? Finally, what is your opinion of people that do struggle with mental health woes? Hell, perhaps everyone has a disorder when it comes down to it. What are your thoughts?

Answer anything or answer nothing. Free flow whatever comes to mind on this admittedly broad topic. As always, I appreciate any response and assure you I read every word you choose to share.
 

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What I thought of instantly were the countless young people "diagnosed" with a whole rainbow of "disorders", that pacify them and take away the over-boiling energy that could have been used wisely. But hey, who needs that energy when the kid has to simply sit still all day at school and be just like anybody else? I mean, if I was a tyrant who wanted to mind-enslave my country's population I would take away the young energy bubbling up in the still courageous, brave hearts that don't know yet what they CANNOT do. I better tell them they are inadequate; and numb/dumb them down, tell them they are deficient in many ways and implant the idea that they cannot overthrow me. They lose hope and/or interest as a result, people who could have changed things for the better. Sorry if that sounded silly :)
 

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I like therapy, I have it right now and my therapist is very nice, and I get to tell him things that I'm afraid to tell my parents so that my parents won't get mad at me. I also see a medicine manager (I don't know exactly what those doctors are called) and the medicine he gives me helps too. I don't think it is right when people try to tell me that there is nothing wrong with me, or that I don't need medicine. Once I forgot to take my medicine and I had a breakdown at school, and then other times I have breakdowns at school when I'm still on the medicine (Not as bad though) and I usually just hide from everyone and cry during those.

You wouldn't tell someone with cancer to "deal with it on their own" so why would you tell someone with a mental illness that?

That's my opinion.
 

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I think there first needs to be a line drawn between anxiety, depression, possibly ADHD, and the other mental disorders. There are some like schizophrenia that are very serious, if not debilitating, and likely come from genetics. Then there's anxiety and depression. Fairly common, and one could argue that most often they're caused by lack of coping skills and environment rather than any genetic factor.

Personally, the serious ones like schizophrenia need medication, and therapy takes the form of learning techniques to make the disorder livable. There's no known cure for many of them; it's something you're just born with. It's like missing an arm or a leg or being blind--in most ways unhelpful.

The depression and anxiety I believe is better helped by therapy, where the medication is a bandaid or a placebo rather than a cure, and I think should be discouraged. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I think is a good way to describe what I think of them. They can be cured, or mostly so, and what's more, they have a lot of things to teach you. These aren't unnatural occurrences driven by brain chemicals being out of whack, it's a message that your current lifestyle isn't working, and something needs to change, or a challenge overcome. I think brushing it under the rug as a "disorder" does a disservice to the diagnosis, because it implies a person is at the beck and call of their genes and their brain, which isn't the case at all. It's not the case for the serious disorders too, of course (as evidenced by that one guy who suffered from schizo and won the Nobel Prize for economics), but it's perhaps a bigger hole to climb up out of.
 

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Starting at the age of 14, I focused a lot of my attention on doing what I could to "change the world" - social movements, activism etc. I came from that focus for over twenty years. During that time, I had a relatively rich personal life, but in terms of priorities, personal relationships and considerations always came secondary to my political/activist commitments. In fact, I remember a dinner conversation with someone I was dating in my early 30s (after getting out of a 13 year relationship a few years prior) in which I took great pains to let her know that my commitment to social change would always come before any personal relationship in my life and I really wanted her to understand that.

In my mid/late 30s, I came to an extremely painful understanding based on a lot of lived experience and analysis of it all: my internal perception of wrongness and the need for deep change didn't map to what my fellow activists were doing - not in any of the varied movements and organizations and approaches I had been part of. For decades, I had thought it did map, but I was wrong. This was a painful and necessary realization for me.

A couple of years later, I ended a long-term abusive relationship and found myself deeply drawn to some sort of seeking at the personal level. The intensity of my desire and draw in that direction shocked and embarrassed me. I remember emailing with a friend of mine who knew me from my time focused on social change, telling her how pathetic I thought it was that I would be putting so much time and energy into the personal side of things.

Formal therapy hasn't been an option for me and I haven't felt drawn in that direction. But there has been a very personal, relationship-dynamic focus to a lot of my attention in the last several years. I still feel kind of embarrassed about it. But connecting with my mate in this life has been an extremely profound experience. Finding her was only the very first step. Learning how to relate well to each other across our differences and despite the damage that we have each sustained trying to survive in this insane society has been a very intensive experience for me.

I don't know what it means in the bigger picture that so much of my attention is now focused on the micro level of personal connection and interaction. I don't really have a way to argue against what your friend said. I don't know how any of this will turn out. I just know that I am moving from a gut instinct these days much more than I was when I was trying to fit myself into landscapes that always felt like pain to me at some level.

[HR][/HR]
Edited to add: Or maybe the above isn't actually relevant because your friend was actually saying that people who see/do things in certain ways that would yield resistance to the system can get forced to be "normal" by therapy and thus their capacity to function as change agents is lost. If that's what it meant, I suspect your friend is onto something true.
 

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I have been cornered into therapy twice in my life. Welcome to a wall of text~

The first time: I made the decision to change myself after the idea of therapy was brought up. I never realized that my depression and self-loathing could affect others... once therapy was brought up, I noticed its affects on those around me. To be honest I ignored nearly everything the therapist said and handled things alone. Half way into our 8 visit program, I blatantly told her this. She thanked me for my honesty, wished me luck, gave me another evaluation, and sent me on my way. I was fine and dandy for a few years!


The second time: I had lost a friend, two grandparents, a pet, most of my voice (tonsilectomy gone wrong, long story), and essentially lost my sister to drugs. All within one month. I wasn't even given a single month to get over any of this before my doctor demanded I go to therapy lest she refuse to treat me for my sinus infection (Yes, I found a new doctor). Off to therapy I go. This man... he decided that I had non-existant amandonment issues, tendencies of an arsonist (I hate fire... what?), Aspergers, every depressive and anxiety disorder known to man, and any other label he could think of. He then began throwing me pills I had told him previously I was allergic to. Then told me I had a compliance problem when I refused to take something that had previously made my throat swell. Then he told me to disregard my previous MBTI test because I was an INFP... Daheq man?

I was only 17, so he scared my parents into making me go back. Week after week I could feel this man eating away at what I used to be. So I started acting like I was taking his advice, I started reading him to find out what he wanted to hear, acting the way he wanted me to act. He finally dismissed me, and I was able to drop the act. This is probably the only successful use of INFJ manipulation I've ever been able to get away with. I've never been as happy as I used to be again, and I honestly think it's because of that psychologist telling me I was horribly diseased and generally a basket case. He undid everything I had previously done and sucked me right back into hating myself. I'm at the end of the tunnel with dealing with those issues again now, actually.


Every psychology instructor/doctor/therapist friend I have ever had has told me that there really isn't much wrong with me. That I have an anxiety problem and low self-esteem. One even went so far as to try to get my old psychologist's entire practice reviewed.


The mental health system can be of help to some people, but my experience with it has been horrible. If I ever thought I really needed a therapist it would be hard for me to choose to go. I'd have to weigh what they have the potential to do to me vs what they could do for me. You have to find a psychologist that fits you, not one who wants to control you. Also, it is illegal in most states for a psycologist to perform a physical examination. Even if nothing fishy is going on, they are supposed to leave the pysical issues to the family doctor. I wish someone had told me this a while back!
 

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Where I live (Britain) we don't slap the label fast enough, in my experience. Usually, I'm one not to label...but sometimes, you kind of need to. I've been/in (almost finished) therapy and I've never felt as though my counsellor's took me seriously. The nature here is very 'put up with it.', 'it's not that bad.' and all it's friends. Nobody takes mental health over here very seriously. I suffer from Depression and probably a myriad of other anxiety, avoidance personality disorder problems. Now, I've always felt there was something very wrong with me. And even if there was not- isn't it a problem in itself that I think there's something very wrong? Of course, this is waved off. It's all in my head, they say. This has lead me to not tell my counsellor oh, I don't know, very important issues like childhood abuse. Or disturbing internal thoughts and fears. This mask, has never come off. And I pray, that eventually it will melt into my skin.

The mental health system, makes you feel as though you've ostracised everything you've ever felt,which in my opinion is even worse. Honestly, I'm surprised why our suicide rates aren't the highest in Europe( unless we are...?)

In my personal relationships, I tend to be the therapist. Which is fine-most of the time. Sometimes, everyone forgets I need someone to talk to too.
 

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My antidepressant works for me. I went to counseling for awhile, and that worked for me too. I learned a lot of coping skills and perspectives I didn't even know existed as a late teen. If I had to explain how the two work, I think the medicine puts me in a position where I'm better able to use my coping skills without all the crippling anxiety and overwhelming emotions.
 

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Therapy has helped me in so many ways, since I was really little (9 y/o). I grew up viewing therapy as a positive experience, and it wasn't until I became a teenager when I realized it can be really detrimental, and for a lot of people, it's made things worse. Since then, I've been through a handful of therapists, trying to connect with them. I had one in particular who felt like an extension of my brain. I spoke and she asked all the right questions, and I felt enlightened every time I saw her. Haven't found someone that good since moving away from my parents' house, though. I truly believe that therapy helps, but I am not going to trust my innermost thoughts with someone who I don't trust and connect with.

My thing is this: We grow up with standards. We're painted a picture of what a successful life is. We watch movies and TV shows centred around a depiction of a successful life. Advertisements depicting what a nice life you can have if you purchase this "stuff". We have to plan for what we're going to university for, the YEAR we start high school. We grow up thinking that if we follow these steps, if we buy these things, our lives will be successful and we will find our love, and be loved unconditionally. Except it doesn't happen that way, does it?

In my experience, my mental health issues stem from this. I am constantly comparing myself to everything. Constantly wondering if people are happier than me, and why, and how can I achieve this? Social media perpetuates this as well. Facebook, where people only post successful stories, or photos of themselves at their best angle.

I don't ever do anything for my own satisfaction anymore, its just what I think I should do to improve my life. I think about when I was a kid, and how I used to do things because I enjoyed doing them. I can't DO that anymore. Why? This thought really weighs me down. Society really fucked up my state of mind when it comes to life, success and happiness. I'm just starting to weed through all of this now, and it's a deeply tangled mess in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What I thought of instantly were the countless young people "diagnosed" with a whole rainbow of "disorders", that pacify them and take away the over-boiling energy that could have been used wisely. But hey, who needs that energy when the kid has to simply sit still all day at school and be just like anybody else? I mean, if I was a tyrant who wanted to mind-enslave my country's population I would take away the young energy bubbling up in the still courageous, brave hearts that don't know yet what they CANNOT do. I better tell them they are inadequate; and numb/dumb them down, tell them they are deficient in many ways and implant the idea that they cannot overthrow me. They lose hope and/or interest as a result, people who could have changed things for the better. Sorry if that sounded silly :)
Some may refer to you as cynical, but I'm with you on this front. Unfortunately, when we have to clump up so many widely different arrays of people into any standardized form of institution such as a school, the unique traits each of these kids possess may, at times, be seen as a hindrance. Instead of cultivating, evolving, or simply nourishing these traits we basically tell them there's something wrong with them.

I like therapy, I have it right now and my therapist is very nice, and I get to tell him things that I'm afraid to tell my parents so that my parents won't get mad at me. I also see a medicine manager (I don't know exactly what those doctors are called) and the medicine he gives me helps too. I don't think it is right when people try to tell me that there is nothing wrong with me, or that I don't need medicine. Once I forgot to take my medicine and I had a breakdown at school, and then other times I have breakdowns at school when I'm still on the medicine (Not as bad though) and I usually just hide from everyone and cry during those.

You wouldn't tell someone with cancer to "deal with it on their own" so why would you tell someone with a mental illness that?

That's my opinion.
Absolutely, great point.
You reminded me of something a local nurse referenced the other day....

"I am a nurse and have worked on the psychiatric unit for more than 11 years. I see the struggle, pain, frustration, anxiety, shame and anger that goes along with mental illness. I have heard parents of newly diagnosed individuals say "I wish it was cancer, at least we could explain it to people". And basically that is what mental illness is to the majority of the society. A taboo. A dark secret."

That aside, I'm glad that you're able to confide in your therapist. Believe it or not, it's quite hard to find the right match for you when it comes to even therapy.

That pole is too big. ( thats what she said) Seriously so many options.
Haha, no doubt. I always option-spam my polls as I feel fewer options tends to marginalize thought processes.

I think there first needs to be a line drawn between anxiety, depression, possibly ADHD, and the other mental disorders. There are some like schizophrenia that are very serious, if not debilitating, and likely come from genetics. Then there's anxiety and depression. Fairly common, and one could argue that most often they're caused by lack of coping skills and environment rather than any genetic factor.

Personally, the serious ones like schizophrenia need medication, and therapy takes the form of learning techniques to make the disorder livable. There's no known cure for many of them; it's something you're just born with. It's like missing an arm or a leg or being blind--in most ways unhelpful.

The depression and anxiety I believe is better helped by therapy, where the medication is a bandaid or a placebo rather than a cure, and I think should be discouraged. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I think is a good way to describe what I think of them. They can be cured, or mostly so, and what's more, they have a lot of things to teach you. These aren't unnatural occurrences driven by brain chemicals being out of whack, it's a message that your current lifestyle isn't working, and something needs to change, or a challenge overcome. I think brushing it under the rug as a "disorder" does a disservice to the diagnosis, because it implies a person is at the beck and call of their genes and their brain, which isn't the case at all. It's not the case for the serious disorders too, of course (as evidenced by that one guy who suffered from schizo and won the Nobel Prize for economics), but it's perhaps a bigger hole to climb up out of.
Without question, good call.

On the topic of schizophrenia (tangent), it's generally one of those disorders that doesn't show itself until the later teen years when a process called synaptic pruning takes place. This is where your brain basically starts to do maintenance and gets rid of the synapses it doesn't need anymore. Now, there's one study that argued that getting the flu during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy highly increases the likelihood of the child developing schizophrenia later in life. If you imagine that vital development stage for a fetus, and interpret it as trees being planted one after another M M M M it's believed the flu can cause some of those "trees" to develop upside down - M M M W M M W when that pruning phase takes place in the future, it's those W's that lead to misfired and confusing signals.

Focusing on your point though, there is definitely some evidence supporting your claims regarding medication. It is also entirely possible that lifestyle changes, at least in some cases, could be helpful. Conversely, then arises the problem of motivating people or making people stick to those changes -- that can be a tough order in itself.

Starting at the age of 14, I focused a lot of my attention on doing what I could to "change the world" - social movements, activism etc. I came from that focus for over twenty years. During that time, I had a relatively rich personal life, but in terms of priorities, personal relationships and considerations always came secondary to my political/activist commitments. In fact, I remember a dinner conversation with someone I was dating in my early 30s (after getting out of a 13 year relationship a few years prior) in which I took great pains to let her know that my commitment to social change would always come before any personal relationship in my life and I really wanted her to understand that.

In my mid/late 30s, I came to an extremely painful understanding based on a lot of lived experience and analysis of it all: my internal perception of wrongness and the need for deep change didn't map to what my fellow activists were doing - not in any of the varied movements and organizations and approaches I had been part of. For decades, I had thought it did map, but I was wrong. This was a painful and necessary realization for me.

A couple of years later, I ended a long-term abusive relationship and found myself deeply drawn to some sort of seeking at the personal level. The intensity of my desire and draw in that direction shocked and embarrassed me. I remember emailing with a friend of mine who knew me from my time focused on social change, telling her how pathetic I thought it was that I would be putting so much time and energy into the personal side of things.

Formal therapy hasn't been an option for me and I haven't felt drawn in that direction. But there has been a very personal, relationship-dynamic focus to a lot of my attention in the last several years. I still feel kind of embarrassed about it. But connecting with my mate in this life has been an extremely profound experience. Finding her was only the very first step. Learning how to relate well to each other across our differences and despite the damage that we have each sustained trying to survive in this insane society has been a very intensive experience for me.

I don't know what it means in the bigger picture that so much of my attention is now focused on the micro level of personal connection and interaction. I don't really have a way to argue against what your friend said. I don't know how any of this will turn out. I just know that I am moving from a gut instinct these days much more than I was when I was trying to fit myself into landscapes that always felt like pain to me at some level.

[HR][/HR]
Edited to add: Or maybe the above isn't actually relevant because your friend was actually saying that people who see/do things in certain ways that would yield resistance to the system can get forced to be "normal" by therapy and thus their capacity to function as change agents is lost. If that's what it meant, I suspect your friend is onto something true.

Thank you for sharing.

It does sound like there has been quite a plate tectonic rattling shift throughout your life that has certainly resulted in an altered course of action. Although in many ways, I sympathize with what you have gone through, even though we only have a small glimpse of it, I do take comfort that you have found that special person where you're willing to work through this world together. It can truly be a tremendous driving force and support system in a world which, as you mentioned, can be quite insane.

(PS I hold similar sentiments myself regarding relationship dynamics).

I have been cornered into therapy twice in my life. Welcome to a wall of text~

The first time: I made the decision to change myself after the idea of therapy was brought up. I never realized that my depression and self-loathing could affect others... once therapy was brought up, I noticed its affects on those around me. To be honest I ignored nearly everything the therapist said and handled things alone. Half way into our 8 visit program, I blatantly told her this. She thanked me for my honesty, wished me luck, gave me another evaluation, and sent me on my way. I was fine and dandy for a few years!


The second time: I had lost a friend, two grandparents, a pet, most of my voice (tonsilectomy gone wrong, long story), and essentially lost my sister to drugs. All within one month. I wasn't even given a single month to get over any of this before my doctor demanded I go to therapy lest she refuse to treat me for my sinus infection (Yes, I found a new doctor). Off to therapy I go. This man... he decided that I had non-existant amandonment issues, tendencies of an arsonist (I hate fire... what?), Aspergers, every depressive and anxiety disorder known to man, and any other label he could think of. He then began throwing me pills I had told him previously I was allergic to. Then told me I had a compliance problem when I refused to take something that had previously made my throat swell. Then he told me to disregard my previous MBTI test because I was an INFP... Daheq man?

I was only 17, so he scared my parents into making me go back. Week after week I could feel this man eating away at what I used to be. So I started acting like I was taking his advice, I started reading him to find out what he wanted to hear, acting the way he wanted me to act. He finally dismissed me, and I was able to drop the act. This is probably the only successful use of INFJ manipulation I've ever been able to get away with. I've never been as happy as I used to be again, and I honestly think it's because of that psychologist telling me I was horribly diseased and generally a basket case. He undid everything I had previously done and sucked me right back into hating myself. I'm at the end of the tunnel with dealing with those issues again now, actually.


Every psychology instructor/doctor/therapist friend I have ever had has told me that there really isn't much wrong with me. That I have an anxiety problem and low self-esteem. One even went so far as to try to get my old psychologist's entire practice reviewed.


The mental health system can be of help to some people, but my experience with it has been horrible. If I ever thought I really needed a therapist it would be hard for me to choose to go. I'd have to weigh what they have the potential to do to me vs what they could do for me. You have to find a psychologist that fits you, not one who wants to control you. Also, it is illegal in most states for a psycologist to perform a physical examination. Even if nothing fishy is going on, they are supposed to leave the pysical issues to the family doctor. I wish someone had told me this a while back!
I hear similar sentiments to your own through my volunteer work at a crisis intervention line. I certainly have no reason to doubt you, or others, when they share these... well, horror stories of sorts. With that said, you are right that you need to find that psychologist that fits you and our general philosophy is that "finding the right therapist is like trying on shoes, you need to try a few before you find that right fit."

While you did reference your current struggles, I do feel there is a glimmer of hope for the future based on how you conquered some of those challenges from the past (in your first paragraph). Naturally, stress and trauma tends to evolve with us as we grow up so it's never as simple as using the same remedy to treat it. In any case, if I understood you correctly, it seems as if there's some light shining through at the end for you. :D


Where I live (Britain) we don't slap the label fast enough, in my experience. Usually, I'm one not to label...but sometimes, you kind of need to. I've been/in (almost finished) therapy and I've never felt as though my counsellor's took me seriously. The nature here is very 'put up with it.', 'it's not that bad.' and all it's friends. Nobody takes mental health over here very seriously. I suffer from Depression and probably a myriad of other anxiety, avoidance personality disorder problems. Now, I've always felt there was something very wrong with me. And even if there was not- isn't it a problem in itself that I think there's something very wrong? Of course, this is waved off. It's all in my head, they say. This has lead me to not tell my counsellor oh, I don't know, very important issues like childhood abuse. Or disturbing internal thoughts and fears. This mask, has never come off. And I pray, that eventually it will melt into my skin.

The mental health system, makes you feel as though you've ostracised everything you've ever felt,which in my opinion is even worse. Honestly, I'm surprised why our suicide rates aren't the highest in Europe( unless we are...?)

In my personal relationships, I tend to be the therapist. Which is fine-most of the time. Sometimes, everyone forgets I need someone to talk to too.
Hrm! I have to admit that might be the first time I've ever heard that (reluctance to label). However, if I did expect it anywhere, I would always interpret it as being in less developed countries, not over in Britain. So that's quite an eye opener.

It does disappoint me to hear that you feel as if you need to wear a mask, not to mention the challenges posed by your counsellor & social norms over there. It's troubling to imagine that you must feel swept under the rug, sort of speak and hastily dismissed. Without question, this wrecks some havoc on your sense of self worth, among other things.

For what it's worth though, and I don't mean to put you on the spot or anything, but if you need to chat feel free to drop me a line.

Thank you you for sharing some of your frustrations though.

My antidepressant works for me. I went to counseling for awhile, and that worked for me too. I learned a lot of coping skills and perspectives I didn't even know existed as a late teen. If I had to explain how the two work, I think the medicine puts me in a position where I'm better able to use my coping skills without all the crippling anxiety and overwhelming emotions.
Certainly one of the uplifting thoughts shared in this thread thus far. While I imagine it hasn't always been sunshine and roses, I'm glad you've found some things that have really helped stabilize things for you. Admittedly, I am curious about your mental approach to it all that perhaps made you more receptive towards counselling than others who may have various barriers or extenuating circumstances in place that made it more challenging for them.

Therapy has helped me in so many ways, since I was really little (9 y/o). I grew up viewing therapy as a positive experience, and it wasn't until I became a teenager when I realized it can be really detrimental, and for a lot of people, it's made things worse. Since then, I've been through a handful of therapists, trying to connect with them. I had one in particular who felt like an extension of my brain. I spoke and she asked all the right questions, and I felt enlightened every time I saw her. Haven't found someone that good since moving away from my parents' house, though. I truly believe that therapy helps, but I am not going to trust my innermost thoughts with someone who I don't trust and connect with.

My thing is this: We grow up with standards. We're painted a picture of what a successful life is. We watch movies and TV shows centred around a depiction of a successful life. Advertisements depicting what a nice life you can have if you purchase this "stuff". We have to plan for what we're going to university for, the YEAR we start high school. We grow up thinking that if we follow these steps, if we buy these things, our lives will be successful and we will find our love, and be loved unconditionally. Except it doesn't happen that way, does it?

In my experience, my mental health issues stem from this. I am constantly comparing myself to everything. Constantly wondering if people are happier than me, and why, and how can I achieve this? Social media perpetuates this as well. Facebook, where people only post successful stories, or photos of themselves at their best angle.

I don't ever do anything for my own satisfaction anymore, its just what I think I should do to improve my life. I think about when I was a kid, and how I used to do things because I enjoyed doing them. I can't DO that anymore. Why? This thought really weighs me down. Society really fucked up my state of mind when it comes to life, success and happiness. I'm just starting to weed through all of this now, and it's a deeply tangled mess in my head.
"An extension of the brain," I'm sure everyone that read that certainly had it stand out to them. If I'm hearing you correctly though, it sounds like you may have lost that particular therapist since your move -- hrm.

You're certainly spot on when it comes to depiction of what some may reference as the American Dream. There are a lot of social pressures to achieve and present things in a certain way. However, if there is one thing I've ever learned, no one really has their shit together. As an outsider to most people except ourselves, it's easy to look at others and the facade they present while simultaneously comparing ourselves to traits they very well may not truly possess.

Someone said on this site before "But one thing someone once told me really stuck with me - something like 'never compare how you feel inside with other peoples' outsides'. Basically, just because someone appears to have everything and is all put together, you don't really know how they feel inside...."

Honestly though, I appreciate your depth of understanding for such complicated structures and pressures that are in place. I think that general awareness does serve as a strong foundation looking forward towards ... untangling that "mess."
 

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Without question, good call.

On the topic of schizophrenia (tangent), it's generally one of those disorders that doesn't show itself until the later teen years when a process called synaptic pruning takes place. This is where your brain basically starts to do maintenance and gets rid of the synapses it doesn't need anymore. Now, there's one study that argued that getting the flu during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy highly increases the likelihood of the child developing schizophrenia later in life. If you imagine that vital development stage for a fetus, and interpret it as trees being planted one after another M M M M it's believed the flu can cause some of those "trees" to develop upside down - M M M W M M W when that pruning phase takes place in the future, it's those W's that lead to misfired and confusing signals.

Focusing on your point though, there is definitely some evidence supporting your claims regarding medication. It is also entirely possible that lifestyle changes, at least in some cases, could be helpful. Conversely, then arises the problem of motivating people or making people stick to those changes -- that can be a tough order in itself.
I think it depends on the disorder. And you have to keep in mind for most of these we don't quite know what's going on on a biological basis--there's theories and some medications that we know work, but that's about it.

Schizo in particular reacts well to medicine (though there are some side effects), and the main problem there is when the patient decides they'd rather go without--all the debilitating symptoms come back, but you can't ethically force them to take the medicine if they don't want to. Bipolar has a similar prognosis. Autism they haven't figured out yet, so that one's more counseling the patient (and the parents) on how to manage it.

There are meds that work for anxiety fairly well, though you always want to keep in mind the bandaid issue. From what I've seen of anti-depressants though, a good number of them act as placebos. Still, placebos can be very effective particularly when the problem is emotional/mental! Look at all those children's stories of someone getting a magical feather or a magical ring and turning their life around when the item actually did nothing at all. It's also possible that there's many causes to depression, and the anti-depressants tackle a fairly uncommon one related to brain function...maybe they could start developing brain scans for it. I don't know.

Anyway, to address some other points being brought up...having the right therapist is also crucial to it being a positive experience and not just worsening the problem. There are some who could be considered the quacks of the mental health world... And perhaps because we don't entirely know the mechanisms behind mental health problems, the quacks are allowed to get away with a lot more than a physical doctor might. At least until there's more research and perhaps tightening of regulations, you have to go by your own feelings on that. Try different people and techniques, then go with the one that works. And don't expect quick cures...as I said earlier, it can often be a sign that a lifestyle change is in order, and that can take some doing.
 

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That pole is too big. ( thats what she said) Seriously so many options.
*Throws off the pole by clicking on everything*

Nah, wouldn't do that :p

Personally, I feel like therapy can help out those who truly need it, but also caters to the lazy. I almost took my own life a few times and contemplated it twice more since those five years ago, but I never went to a therapist. Some people need help from a therapist, but some other people need help just from talking to people. That's what I wound up doing: being more outgoing, letting out my good crazy, and taking care of things in an adult manner instead of putting it off. I felt quite happier. I also had a reiki attunement that helped me learn to love myself and let go of self hatred and am taking supplements to keep my physical body healthy, leaving me to be even happier.

Not everything requires a pill. We are a mess of chemicals so some things you just have to wind up eating more of to feel better (getting sick? Have a bad allergy attack? Spicy foods help because they're anti-inflammatory.) We need the magnesium, vitamin D, some copper, and even things like Selenium and Molybdenum, but you will feel healthier if you eat things that naturally have that in there instead of added in by manufacturers (because they throw a lot of bad shit in there too).

Physically being sick can screw with your psychology and emotions because we are chemical based, emotions can screw with your body's response and your psychology, and your psychology can screw with your body's functions and decimate your emotions. They all go hand in hand, just like with the physical, energetic, and spiritual realms. They are separate, but overlap, and they all need to be tamed.

Anxiety and depression run in my family, and I was given that curse. However, I found my own way of managing it through other people and I feel like I'm better off this way. I feel like had I gone to a therapist I would instead be told how to manage myself and still get to the core of the problem, but wouldn't fix it as well. I also did so without any sort of medication and as I continue to work on myself I am becoming even more of a "normally functioning human" than most other people who would rather pop a pill and cover up the situation instead of get to the core of it. Some people do actually need this medication, I understand that, but I feel like a lot of cases of ADHD in kids just comes from parents who can't deal with the fact that a child has more energy than them. They can't deal with the fact that their child wants to go out and play in the mud instead of do schoolwork, spend time at the "arranged playdate" they set up with this kid George (and that child hates George), or the soccer game because they decided to sign their child up for it without considering if they wanted to or not.

The way I see it is the same way I see a lot of things: some people need it, but a lot don't and wind up abusing the system because it's easier for them and they can't deal with the fact that life is a struggle. For some reason they find it harder to appreciate the tough times and the feeling of success afterwards or, if they fail, getting back up on your feet and learning a lesson from it.

Everything is a chemistry. Everything is a lesson. But most importantly, everything is energy, and that energy is love. What will you do with it?
 

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Therapy didn't do anything for my anxiety disorders, at all. But it was nice to talk to someone about my thoughts and feelings. I'm on medication, which also doesn't do much, aside from keeping me having sudden, full-blown panic attacks. But it doesn't actually address the underlying issues.
 

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I had a great therapist. She saved me. And I'll never forget her or the gratitude I feel.

Now the psychiatrist was the sit down, shut up, pill pusher. And she was not pleased when I praised the work of my therapist. The psychiatrist also said at another point that I may need to stay on anti-depressants for the rest of my life (for anxiety) - but I was having none of that. Especially since I still had anxiety whilst taking them.

I also found the Paul McKenna hypnotherapy CDs helped a lot when I had bad social anxiety. I'd recommend those to anyone who is interested. But you have to use them regularly.
 

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l liked this and have had a similar thought l couldn't word properly.

l was forced into state-covered therapy as a teenager for various reasons.

All l can say is that if you're seeking to discuss past issues, it's your choice, clearly. l've found that a therapist is extremely reluctant to believe that the issues won't affect everyone in the same way, l personally have a truly awful long term memory but most therapist would tell you l was repressing :tongue:

What does not help me and what actually first came to mind would be the meta-analysis of current life situations. When a therapist tried this with me, it messed me up.

l stopped living because what l was attempting to do in real time was being deconstructed even though it wasn't harmful. l don't function that way and l honestly can't see who it would benefit but l guess it would be akin to venting.

l find there's a separation from functioning when what should be happening in your inner world is being openly discussed with someone, maybe therapy is better for people who don't do this kind of introspection anyway.
 

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Therapy is good if and only if you have a therapist who doesn't try to answer your questions for you, but rather helps you figure out how to answer them yourself.

I've been in therapy for almost 3 years at this point, managing my depression, and it's been unbelievably helpful and useful. I'm pretty sure my therapist is an INFJ, too, which might partially explain why my relationship with her works so well for me.
 

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What I thought of instantly were the countless young people "diagnosed" with a whole rainbow of "disorders", that pacify them and take away the over-boiling energy that could have been used wisely. But hey, who needs that energy when the kid has to simply sit still all day at school and be just like anybody else? I mean, if I was a tyrant who wanted to mind-enslave my country's population I would take away the young energy bubbling up in the still courageous, brave hearts that don't know yet what they CANNOT do. I better tell them they are inadequate; and numb/dumb them down, tell them they are deficient in many ways and implant the idea that they cannot overthrow me. They lose hope and/or interest as a result, people who could have changed things for the better. Sorry if that sounded silly :)
"I was terrified when my doctor told me that I had a unique and interesting personality trait!"


Nobody takes mental health over here very seriously.
I live across the pond from you (to the west) and it's very much the same here. I saw a psychiatrist briefly after I had two hallucinations where I saw and heard things that weren't really there. I told my regular doctor about this at first and she laughed at me. The cunt. The psychiatrist saw me twice, told me I had an anxiety problem and the "you should probably go see someone about that". I'm sitting there thinking "isn't that why I'm fucking here???". Looking back on it I wished that I had snapped and kicked up a storm because I know they'd take me seriously then. It seems that if you're not harming yourself or someone else they'll brush you aside.
 
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