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Difficulties Understanding Treatment

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.

200 Replies 200

Community Member

Hi Croix,


I like your suggestion to ask for a short break half way through each meeting. I think it is sensible and fair. I often find that my concentration reduces a little near the end of each meeting.


I also agree that I need time to process the information I receive. I hope that I can make progress slowly.


From P12.

Community Member

I want to give a small update about my past two weeks. I think the biggest setback I have received in this time is receiving a piece of disappointing news. I was told that an application I made to volunteer with an organisation was unsuccessful. I was hoping for nine months to volunteer in the hope that I could meet others with a similar interest and maybe befriend one of them. I thought this because my psychologists appear to believe that being able to form friends will help me overcome other difficulties. However, since my application was unsuccessful I think I will need to devise a new strategy. I will also try to discuss the news with my psychologists at our next meetings.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi P12

Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience. 
The strategy was sound in that you would put yourself in a position to meet like minded people and set yourself up for success in terms of finding a friend.  And I’m a big fan of volunteer work—you’ll be amazed how much you get out of it (I currently serve as an advisor on three volunteer committees and find the work very fulfilling).

Perhaps you could try again by volunteering with another organisation? It’s like job hunting, you just have to keep trying.

Kind thoughts to you 


Community Member

Thanks again, Summer Rose, for your response.


Here is my update on the past week.


- Overall my strongest feeling and thought is of being fatigued from work. On average, for the past five months I have worked an extra five hours per week compared to my expectation and throughout I have felt unsuited to the role I am expected to perform. It has a disproportional negative effect on me. I am not as healthy as I would like, my sleep is interrupted, I often have a sore head, I feel I am prevented from spending more time on my values and interests, and I feel that I am not making a contribution to the world of which I am proud.

- I plan to continue trying to reduce this negative effect by using the techniques I read about and am instructed to use, and by using my observations about the world. I have faith that my hard work will eventually work.

- I did have some occasions this week when I felt more content. (Some of Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday).

- I also thought more about the process of psychological treatment. To me an important question about treatment is "To what extent is it about normalising someone and to what extent is it about helping someone to achieve their goals." My experience is that mainly it tries to normalise people, by changing their thoughts and behaviours to the virtues of successful and popular people. The trouble with this is that these don't necessarily align with what an individual seeks from treatment. Perhaps this is the reason why I am still troubled despite having treatment for the past seven and a half years.

Community Member

I want to give an update on my progress.


I continue to feel tired. Over the weekend I experienced nosebleeds, which I attribute to both physical and psychological stress. I completed a multi-day bushwalk recently. It was a pleasant experience, though I was a little disappointed that my tiredness seemed to detract from my reception, and that I wasn't able to better connect with those on the walk. I wish I could connect with another human, but my mind is apparently distorted. I've found that I think more abstractly and differently to almost everyone else I've met. Instead I found some solace in praying to God. I prayed that I would survive the walk and find it pleasant, which I did. Then I felt sad however that my only friend was intangible.


I spoke with a counsellor through my employer's employee assistance programme about three weeks ago.

- She suggested I concentrate of eating food that will boost my mood.

- She suggested I might like to ask a GP about supplements to help me sleep better.

- She thought CBT would be more effective with me than ACT. However, I still don't know how to surpass the limit of CBT, which I seem to have reached.

- She suggested I could obtain an official diagnosis for my apparent disorder. This made me most distressed because it reminded me of the apparently cruelty of society. It apparently mocks individuals by recognising that being different is unjust but ultimately not unjust enough. My understanding is that I am an outsider. I can't see the benefit in paying thousands of dollars to obtain a piece of paper which won't help me.


During the past week I cried uncontrollably for the first time in months. First when I was catching the train home from work then when I was walking down the street to my home. I noticed someone looking at me strangely while I was weeping on the train so I ignored them. I felt I had been mistreated at work and I knew not what else I could do to stop it because I felt I had already tried everything in my ability.


I really wish I knew the purpose of suffering in humanity. I think my understanding of philosophy, science, and faith hasn't answered that question. I believe suffering is caused by other people. I do my best to avoid them but I cannot escape them.


I will meet my regular psychologist again in three weeks. I will continue to explain my thoughts and feelings and try to strengthen my connection with her in the hope it will help me. I also plan to ask whether the meeting format can be changed slightly by asking whether we can have a two minute break halfway and whether I can share some of my written thoughts and feelings because there I am better skilled than verbal communication. Ideally I would communicate telepathically, but she seemed unsure when I mentioned this previously. I hope we have a productive meeting.

Community Member

As I prepare for my next meeting with my psychologist on Tuesday I want to share my feelings.


I am always slightly nervous about upcoming meetings with practitioners because they are testing of my situation, and despite 7 1/2 years of treatment I am still confused and troubled by it.


I hope to focus on these topics:

- Can we structure our meeting differently, such as taking a short break halfway?

- Can we change the meeting format to allow me to communicate more effectively, e.g. by reading out my thought articles, my blog on this website, or by speaking more? Then receive constructive feedback. I am an outsider and hope to use our meetings to obtain a connection. I generate excessively more problems in each two-three months between meetings than is addressed. What does this mean? 

- Difficulties understanding the outcomes of our previous meeting. My psychologist apologised afterward and offered a free meeting (which I could not accept). What does this mean? Was it strategic?

- Difficulties establishing a connection with my psychologist. Difficulties making progress toward my goals. I don't understand the treatment theory, and my psychologist has seemed to change the direction of our meetings slightly since we began.

- Recent activities: 

   -  Appointment with a counsellor who suggested I obtain a diagnosis. I felt confused, frustrated, and angered about diagnosis processes. Can you explain this?

   - Prolonged stress, fatigue, depressed mood, delayed onset of recent traumatic experiences. I feel disproportionately effected and I think they are preventing me from achieving higher goals.


I guess I just hope that my meeting is successful and I can receive some contentment for my hard work to try to improve my situation.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello P12

I can relate something that might help, a little, maybe ...

Recently had my psychiatrist fill in a form where he had to write what diagnoses he had given me. We agreed it wasn't necessary to talk of diagnoses before. It hasn't bothered me not to know. I didn't think I needed to know to work with him dealing with troubles I've had with my thoughts & feelings & how I react in certain situations. But now I know what he has written on the forms.

I'm not very surprised, except for one thing, which I had not heard of before. So, of-course, I went searching for more info about that diagnosis. Looking at that, I can see myself about 85-90% in that diagnosis. 

As the diagnosis relates to my personality, it acknowledges the different way I think & feel about myself, in relationships to people & the world. I feel alright about it. It doesn't make every difficulty I have vanish or anything, just I have a few words to describe myself with.

Other diagnoses he has listed are some which can be treated & symptoms modified, & even these diagnoses are not permanently stuck to me. I know, for one, I do not have major depression anymore, although he wrote that I have dysthymia. That seems reasonable to me. Other things I've been told before, he didn't mention at all. So, the labels don't have to stick forever.

I've also got some idea, quite along the lines I've been thinking, about my memory & cognitive difficulties I've been having, & this helps me know in what direction to go now. I know what to look for, what information is more likely to help, so I can feel I am able to do something for myself.

If they are observant, a therapist will realise a method isn't working for you, & they will adjust how they work with you. They are trying to help you, learning about you & how you both can communicate, with the intention that you get the most from your sessions.

That's the ideal way it works best. & yes, I know, I have known therapists who don't seem to understand even that much, & I wonder why they are in the profession at all.

They are all humans, all different - yes, I begin to think everyone is 'different'. It's no easier for the therapist to understand us tha it is for us to understand them. For me, that's sort of scary & liberating at the same time.

I hope my thoughts help to you & that, when you next talk to your therapist, you feel you were heard & understood.



Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

I think mmMekitty has given you a great many good ideas and I'll try not to repeat them.


Dealing with a psychologist can be confusing and lead a person to feel at sea. You have certain expectations, such as understanding your reactions to the way people behave and a lack of apparent change in reaching oyur goals.


No, the way they work may not seem straightforward, but then again they may be trying for different things than you expect. Perhaps their aim is ot make your coping skills better so things in life don't get to you as much.


You on the other hand may feel that going though the individual events might be more helpful. I think yur psych should explain.


I guess any psych that offers you a free session to help explain what they are trying to do is most unusual, it's a generous offer -and if it was made again I think I'd accept. And if htey adapt how htey work I would expect it means they are assessing their own permanence and changing if needed.


As for getting them to read a blog and other things I'm not sure how realistic that is in the time available. Writing things down to discuss is basically a very god idea, something I have done myself, however it is easy to have too much and expect them all to be addressed in a session. Maybe two or three in point form would be about the limit assuming a 50 minute session allowing for other things to happen.



Community Member

Thanks mmMekitty and Croix for your support. I will consider your comments and reply when I am comfortable.


Meanwhile, I want to share my recent thoughts.

How to avoid criticism:

- Avoid other people as much as possible.

- When interacting with other people be as passive as possible.

- When interacting with other people act as instructed and only if instructed.

- After interacting with other people act to reverse actions caused by other people.

- Exposure does not fully avoid criticism.

- Action is inherently wrong. The natural state of humans is inaction.

- Practice double-thinking (simultaneously holding opposing thoughts).

- Dream as much as possible.

- Pray.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

You certainly have listed a most comprehensive set of things to do or not do.


I hope you do not mind if I make a few comments, I may not be right, but at least you will know I have read and thought about them


It present it would seem you do not have enough faith in yourself to know when you are right and stand by that, instead you desire not to be criticized overrides that -hence the list. Being right has a power of its own and coping wiht hte behaviour and words of others something we can be landed with  no matter how much we try to avoid it.

You even say yourself exposure does not fully avoid criticism.

In the preceding pages of your thread you have shown yourself to be a thoughtful and intelligent person, and are capable of  holding views that are better than others.


I"m not sure how you build up your confidence in yourself, do you have any suggestions?


I do agree one can hold opposing views at the same time, I think it is part of the human condition. For example (nothing to do with your post) I think in terms of nature, nurture and circumstances forming  a person, but at the same time believe in personal responsibility 😕 I'm not wise enough to sort that one out.


I hope in time you do find people you enjoy being with and trust.