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Difficulties Understanding Treatment

P12
Community Member

Counsellors and psychologists to whom I have spoken have told me to identify my long term goals and strive for their achievement. But my attempts have been unsuccessful because I lack the practical skills for achievement and that has caused me greater dissatisfaction than before I attempted to achieve the goals. What is the reason for this strategy and why are counsellors and psychologists unwilling or unable to give me practical advice?

I identified the technical topic most interesting to me, looked for collaborators, and asked for support to pursue my interest. I found only two people in Australia with similar interests and believe they are unwilling to collaborate with me because by discrediting me their circumstances will improve. The feedback I received about my requests for support is that the topic is not relevant to society. Instead I am expected to perform a job for which I am imperfect and therefore I am excluded because my processes and ideas are different to the industry. Is it true that society's objective is for greater normality and what is the reason for such a strange aspiration? Why does society reject people who are different? Why does society not allow me to pursue my individual interests and talents? What is the purpose of living if society has no use for my talents and the role that society would have me fulfil causes me trauma?

I was told that independence will not cause me long term satisfaction. Yet, as I have tried unsuccessfully for more than ten years to form a friendship, I question this assertion. The prevailing strategy suggested to me for gaining friends is to participate in activities I enjoy as there I am most likely to meet others with similar interests and beliefs. What is the purpose of living if society directs me to one outcome but it cannot provide the means to achieve that outcome? Surely independence is a far more effective solution.

I'm pretty sure I am lonely. I would like to have a friendship or at least feel welcome in society. But my efforts never seem to work. People make suggestions but I must be special because they don't work for me. The harder I try, the more independent I become, because my methods appear stranger to others, and the less liked I become. I really don't understand the society in which I live. I wish I wasn't so sad.

I often cry uncontrollably and am unable to sleep when I realise I will not achieve my desires and there is nothing I can do about it. My life is apparently meaningless.

196 Replies 196

P12
Community Member

Is the problem with me or with other people?

  • Simplistically, I believe the problem is with other people for the exclusion and unconscious bias I receive. My unique talents and interests are apparently unwanted and I also receive exclusion for being different.
  • However, I secondly think the problem is with me for not being able to withstand the exclusion I receive. Since others are unwilling to change their actions towards me I must someone act so that I conform. Apparently this is unsuccessful because I am weak and I still receive exclusion. I believe there is a real danger imposed by other people.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

You seem to view the world though the eyes of a very sensitive person and as such probably see deeper than most.

 

You also tend to have a clear idea and description of what is happening and have given a comprehensive  intellectual picture.

 

Unfortunately simply becuse you do seem to see things from an intellectual point of view then logical argument and therapy may not be the ideal way to give you comfort. Instead you mind concentrates on the problems, and your circumstances - an emotional process.

 

I do not know how much you have tried this before - my apologies if I'm going over old ground - but distraction and self reward can asist. I've been in much the same mindset and have found they have helped. While it might be easy to simply leave these things ot one side I found as my situation got worse I'd try anything -which got me started.

 

So can you think of things that in the past you have enjoyed, or distracted you and taken you out of the world for a little while? I use favorite books, movies, pets, talking to those that amuse or interest me and a ton of other things.

 

At the end of each day I have something planned - even if only very minor, and that little bit of self reward gives me something to look forward to each day. Plus the more one is rewarded the better one feels about oneself.

 

There is a book While Rose mentioned, I found a copy in my library and it seemed to be very much on the right track in describing sensitivity, its downs and its advantages

 

https://forums.beyondblue.org.au/t5/staying-well/helpful-books-and-resources/m-p/206993/highlight/tr...

 

Croix

 

 

P12
Community Member

Thank you, Croix, for your thoughtful suggestions.

 

I agree with your suggestion to spend time on joyous and pleasurable activities. I believe this is in society's as well as my interest. I enjoy spending time with nature, walking, running, cricket, cycling, studying, writing, thinking, as well as other activities.

 

I am a little unclear about your statement "you[r] mind concentrates on the problems, and your circumstances - an emotional process." Would you be willing to explain it a little more?

 

My local libraries do not own the book you mentioned, and my review of the catalogues has not found a similar book, but I will keep searching. It seems to be a curious idea that over-sensitivity may be a detriment in some situations.

 

Thank you.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

I think it is more accurate to say highly sensitive rather than over-sensitive. The reason I suggest it may not always seem an asset is I beleive by seeing things more clearly and deeply one may come across motivations or actions in others that disappoint or lead one to think (wrongly) that one is the cause.

 

With logic one can explain why things might be so , perhaps why someone who was ill passed away, but that explanation is no real comfort at the time as one can be undergoing grief - a natural emotional reaction. And it may be that emotion is the best way to comfort someone in that situation - maybe simply by sharing, caring or loving.

 

Emotion may be the way to assist with other situations too. As another example the mind can go into a loop or weight too heavily on undesirable thoughts (problems and circumstances perhaps) and logic does not seem to help, so what is left to assist is non-logical.

 

Does that make any sort of sense? I don't always explain my thoughts well.

 

I can't help with the book except to say it is available on Amazon, though not free:( My own library has a copy, but I don't know if it is available to loan to others if they are interstate.

 

I'm pleased you agree about joyous and pleasurable activities and actively pursue them.

 

Croix

P12
Community Member

I sadly realised today that, despite occasional positives, I am still distressed and it is having a detrimental effect on my physical, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing. I am distressed because I am so disconnected from society. I am not receiving support that I need but seem unable to obtain despite the effort I have applied. Apparently as I am human I need connection, but apparently my brain is dysfunctional that it realises what I need but cannot obtain it. This creates endless distress. I have decided to continue writing my thoughts, emotions, and behaviours on this site in case they help me.

 

The troubles I face are:

 

  • My work seems too cruel. It is having a disproportional effect on my life. I have not found a way to earn a basic income by following my interests and but earning an income damages my ability to follow my interests. It is a dark comedy.

 

  • Outside work I put all effort into trying to make a friend, but my efforts never seem to work. I join social clubs, activities, volunteering, church groups, peer support groups. People seem to value independence higher than social connection. I also value the same

 

  • I have difficulty obtaining value from the mental health system. I have a meeting with my psychologist in two weeks. This will be our fourth meeting and our first in three months. I feel that my previous three meetings have had only small effect on me. My practitioner is using acceptance and commitment theory. I have difficulty understanding its principles. Questioning the principles is apparently a contradiction of the theory, but incorrectly applying the theory is also apparently a contradiction. Obviously if I could justify the cost of visiting a practitioner more regularly I would. My previous practitioner used cognitive behaviour theory, though after 3 1/2 years I felt my original concerns were not resolved so I tried a different practitioner. I have attended roughly forty meetings with several practitioners over several years. My employer gives staff five meetings with a practitioner per year through their employee assistance programme. I use these. I have tried to find a mentor through mentoring programmes and asking my employer. Mostly these seem to have short fixed duration.

 

I will continue commenting regardless of how little connection I apparently obtain.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi P12

It’s been awhile and I hope you will accept my apologies for not responding sooner. I have had to take a break from the forum and just now up to getting back.

You’ve walked a tough road and I know you’re tired. I’m so sorry for all that you’ve been through. And I really applaud your efforts. Please know that you are not alone—my daughter has been battling OCD for 15 years now and will be admitted to hospital in September for treatment. For some people there just is no quick or easy fix. But you must never give because you are worth the effort and every dawn brings hope for a better day.

I can assure you that your brain is not “dysfunctional”. I believe it is simply different than the majority of human brains. In my heart I know that if you can find other people with a similar brain to you that you will find the connection you need. You will be able to learn from the experience of others. You will find people who truly “get it”.

I noticed that you are relying on your employer assistance program to fund mental health support. You can also get a Mental Health Care plan through your GP, which will give you 10 appointments a year which are partially funded by Medicare. Do you also have one of these?

Kind thoughts to you

P12
Community Member

Hi Croix, Yes, I think I understand your thoughts. Thank you for taking the effort to explain them further.

P12
Community Member

Hi Summer Rose, Yes, I have a Mental Health Care Plan. I meant that I use both the MHCP and EAP to take advantage of both. I wish you and your daughter well too.

P12
Community Member

Here are the outcomes of my most recent meeting with my psychologist, last week.

 

- Asked what occurs to me during panic situations, I said: I feel a sore head, a burning sensation, dizziness, disrupted sleep. Sometimes I cry but I haven't recently. Recently I have experienced nose bleeds. 

- Asked what I do to relieve and soothe my distress, I said: I remove myself from other people, I pray, and I exercise.

- Asked what is the source or my distress, I said: I feel unfairly treated by the world. Mostly this is in work environments, but also extracurricular activities. She suggested I try to subordinate harmful activities for their contribution to my overall goal, try to find meaning because I am able to contribute despite the opposition.

- Asked whether I want connection with other people, I said: I believe that is what humans naturally want, but I would rather have independence. She said most people end up seeking a combination or independence and connection. She suggested I am trying to develop myself more, connection is the natural next step, but it is very challenging.

- Asked what happens when I try to connect with other people, I said: people move away from me. Some are more willing to connect, but I feel the more progress I make the stronger the repulsion. I continue to try to connect telepathically with people I cannot see. She said I am trying to guess that their reasons for moving away from me are because of negative evaluation of me. This is not necessarily correct.

- What is the problem with thinking more in-depth than the majority of people I meet? People are unwilling or unable to communicate with me. Asked how I communicate with others, I said I use telepathy.

- I should try to focus on specific behaviours I can use when interacting with others, not my feelings or thoughts. I can copy actions that other people use. It is possible to have meaningful connections with others while feeling disillusioned about the outcome.

- I became very confused in the last ten minutes of our meeting, my mind could not process what I was being told. When I was asked for a response I simply said I could not understand. Now I am confused whether she is employing a strategic approach or simply behaving as she sees fit.

 

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

I think you certainly had a very packed consultation. If it had been me (as has happened in the past) I would probably got lost about half way, it sounded too rushed. I think you did well to grasp as much as you did.

 

Each of the topics you mentioned seems logical and some are pretty deep and one could spend a fair bit of time discussing them with examples. For instance:

 

"She suggested I try to subordinate harmful activities for their contribution to my overall goal, try to find meaning because I am able to contribute despite the opposition."

 

I think it would take me a fare while to understand this, let alone put it into practice.

 

From my own experience all the things she mentioned can make sense, but may I suggest you ask her to slow down and talk about each thing? If you don't get to the end of her list for the day at least you will be more comfortable with some of it rather than  being overwhelmed. If it is a 50 minute session then asking for a 5 minute break half way might help too.

 

Do you think this might be a better strategy on your part?

 

Croix