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Feeling guilt/shame in taking therapy when dad told me that I can rely on him instead

Community Member

Hi, I’m an international student and I’m currently seeing a psychologist. My Taiwanese dad says that we shouldn’t rely on meds and psychologists, since it’s mostly placebo and we are the only ones who can solve the issues we have w/in ourselves (don’t need other ppl telling us what to do). He asked me to confide in him instead, and I do feel better after doing this. Please note that I don’t want to generalise the Taiwanese culture.

The thing is, the psychologist has helped me in managing existential crisis and other things I don’t tell my parents about. Also, hw extension is useful, tho I feel like I’m taking advantage of it. I did tell him about my dad’s views, and he said that if I find it helpful, then I can continue (ergo, my choice). I do agree, yet I also feel a bit guilty. Maybe I don’t need to rely/burden ‘other’ people if I can just talk w/ my dad. Maybe I don’t need to uselessly spend money. Maybe things would be easier & resolved if I just become brave enough to tell my parents about my issues directly instead of confiding w/ the psychologist first. Maybe I don’t have to hide anything from my dad. I also kind of agree w/ my dad’s reasoning (for my situation).

However, I don’t know how I can tell my parents about my existential crisis, etc. I’m scared of their reactions. I also think I’m quite selfish; most of the stress is from w/in e.g. procrastination, laziness, self-loathing. They might tell me to be ‘more open-minded’, not meanly, but I would feel very irritated. I’m sure I’m just overthinking tho.

I sometimes think that maybe it’s all in my head. I’m not diagnosed w/ anything. Maybe I’m just an attention-seeker who wants help from ‘other’ people (e.g. lifeline, beyondblue, psychologist) even tho I can solve my problems on my own.

A counsellor told me that the psychologist could help me find a better way to talk w/ my dad about my issues. I don’t think I’m ready, but I wonder if I should just get it over with. I’m feeling overwhelmed w/ uni rn and very unmotivated to the point where I don’t know what I’m doing with my life (uni -> job kind of mindset). And honestly, it’s not like I’m doing much about it. I still procrastinate, I don’t go thru modules in cci, etc.

I don’t exactly know what I want to do w/ this, whether it’s just ranting or wanting advice on how to deal w/ the guilt from hiding this from my dad? It’s just something that I think about sometimes. Nonetheless, I would be thankful if someone could give me tips on this?

14 Replies 14

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi random person Thankyou for your post and welcome to the forum
I think your dad is right about some medication as it usually provides short term relief and does not solve our issues, we have to solve them ourselves.
Thanks so great that your dad wants you to confide in him, he sounds supportive.

I understand that you feel guilty but a psychologist offers you treatment that your parents can not provide as they are specifically trained ( generally for atleast 6 years in the field). I think if the psychologist helps its beneficial to continue, but why cant you do both? Confiding in your dad and treatment from your Psych could work well together, maybe your parents will not understand everything you are feeling

If your feeling overwhelmed you can benefit from both 🙂 It sounds like your being too hard on yourself we all procrastinate but tell these things to your psych they can find the root cause.

If you want to talk this through with a Beyond Blue counsellor, we’re on 1300 22 4636 or you can reach us on webchat. It can really help to talk things like this through. Please remember to reach out whenever you need to.
Feel free to keep sharing, other members will likely be able to relate to what you’re going through.

I hope this helps

Hi HH,

I’ll try to follow your advice. Thanks for the tip!

Mark Z.
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Random person,

I think you have the answer in your heart.

You're the master of yourself, not your dad, not your psychologist. They're to help you to be a better you, the person you yourself want to be. If you think your dad can help you partially, take that part, disagree the other part, it doesn't mean that you don't respect your dad. I think this is also what your psychologist is trying to say.

If you think telling your dad everything brings you stress, then start with those you're comfortable to tell. It's totally ok to have your privacy, even in front of your dad, it's not selfish at all. I won't change the fact the he is your dad and you're his son, he loves you and you love him as well.

Everyone has disadvantage, but it doesn't mean that you're a loser. Think about your strength and take care of yourself first. I believe your dad also wants you to be happy and enjoy your life, rather than just to please him.

Do you want to share more about why you have stress particularly from procrastination, laziness, self-loathing?



Hi Mark,

Thank you for your advice.

I just feel like I get overwhelmed easily, making me unable to cope with what's going to happen in the future. I'm currently having a difficult time at uni, which makes me procrastinate. I know this is normal, but then I get really stressed out which makes me loathe myself sometimes, since it's a self-inflicted cycle. I know I should take things one at a time, but I often ruminate about the future. This makes me wonder whether I'm doing this on purpose just to seek help, when I could have just change my mindset or distract myself with other things.

To be honest, I like to romanticise death a lot. I believe that it would be easier to embrace it (and feel nothing) than living on with uncertainty and hardships. Yes, I know life has its ups and downs, but it's daunting for me. However, not once have I harmed myself or had a suicidal attempt, and I'm usually fine after some time. More importantly, I'm quite a lucky person. My parents pay for my tuition and I don't have to worry about basic needs. This then makes me wonder whether I'm just selfish and lazy. My parents did their best in providing me both my wants and needs, even giving me an opportunity to study abroad (I'm the only one in my family who has done this), yet all I do is just complain and stress myself out, waiting to be comforted.

Maybe I do know the answers to my questions. Maybe I shouldn't have asked strangers for their opinions. Maybe I should have dealt with it on my own. Maybe I shouldn't be having these thoughts. Maybe I should just be open-minded as my parents like to say. Thinking about these make me hate myself, and this sometimes make me loathe myself more (since it's all self-inflicted).

I do apologise if it seems as if I'm just ranting.

Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through, and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need as we know it hard going through this alone.
If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.
If you’d like there is always support which may be helpful and your always welcome to get in touch with Kids Helpline  They are a confidential and anonymous, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged 25 and under. In addition there is Headspace. Headspace is an organisation specifically for young people aged 12-25 and they offer a wide range of services including group programs which are a great opportunity to meet people. They also have a group chat on their webpage.

Hi Sophie,

Thank you for the information.

Hi randomperson, I think it's lovely to talk to parents but I think the dea thag u c an rely on ur dad in all instances might not be so good? We all need ppl outside of our family to help us understand ourselves and our world, be it friends, mh support, teachers, neighbours, etc....

I had a lot of guilt when I was unwell about going to hospital and talking to MH professionals. I delayed and delayed seeing help. I woild call, make a therapy appointment, knowing full well I'd probably cancel it and be to scared to actually go ahead with therapy .

I'm not pro medication for MH but I do think that guilt about looking for support is something worth working through

I think u and all ppl are entitled to seek MH support from anyone u feel can help, without guilt x

Ps, for what its worth, I think asking strangers for their opinions is good, brave and self-respecting!

I suffer from a lot of the guilt u discussed, my advice from the bottom of my heart, is if possible to see if u can make sure Ur guilt doesn't prevent u from accessing support. U are worth it .

Hi Randomperson,

There's nothing to apology, don't feel sorry for speak it out, you're doing the right thing. We're strangers but we're keen to help.

You mentioned you know you should take things one at a time, but you often ruminate about the future. Exactly, me too. My experience is - plan and execute. Make your monthly plan, and them divide to weeks, then to every day. Make it realistic and achievable. When it comes to the plan of the day, in the morning when you start, list your tasks, and again, be realistic and achievable. Make sure you do the most difficult task in the morning when you're most energetic. You may want to back down, but force yourself to complete this task. The satisfaction of overcoming the hardest task will encourage yourself to complete the rest of tasks of the day. This way I built self confidence, hope it works for you.

You mentioned you don't have to worry about basic needs but it makes you feel selfish and lazy. My understanding is that you feel you owe your parents because you feel you haven't achieved anything. I'd see it's a positive mindset, not a negative one. Once you find your purpose and direction you'll be self driven.