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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.

202 Replies 202

P12
Community Member

My next meeting with my clinical psychologist is scheduled for this week. I would like to discuss the following topics:

 

- Attempt to overcome some of the difficulties of our past meetings.

   - Meeting format. Can we take a break halfway?

   - Connecting with my psychologist. Can I share more of my concerns and receive feedback?

- Barriers to confidence. (I understand that at our previous meetings we determined that "confidence" is a high priority for me, but I am no more aware about how I can achieve it.) 

   - Direct criticism.

   - Indirect criticism. I am an outsider and fundamentally think different to other people.

   - Reaction to criticism. Trauma, anxiety, depression, stress, panic, exhaustion, burnout, headaches.

   - Lack of control, disillusionment.

- My recent activities.

   - Loneliness.

   - Disillusionment.

   - Exhaustion, burnout, headaches.

   - Three meetings with employee assistance programme practitioners. These have focused on overcoming challenges with my work environment.

   - Seeking ways to advance the support I obtain (e.g. by enquiring about social programmes, a social worker, a occupational therapist, or a speech therapist) but I am regularly prevented by the cost and logistical arrangements.

- Upcoming activities.

   - This is the final meeting of my current Mental Health Care Plan.

   - I plan to ask my doctor for a new plan. However, I don't know what they will say.

   - I will ask my psychologist what they recommend as my next action.

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello P12

You have quite a list there. I wonder if all of this can be brought up in one meeting? Are there a few things on your list which are more urgently necessary to talk about?

I can't remember if you have an NDIS plan or if you do, does your plan include funding for psychosocial disability? If so, you could have more sessions with your psychologist &, or, with other people such as a social worker, speech therapist, or occupational therapist - you'd have to get advice about that.

It would also be important to have a plan co-ordinator to help you find people & services which could help you.

From what you've told us here, I think your GP will have no problem writing up another mental health care plan.

Many of the things you are wanting will take time. 

I am impressed with your list. It's clear & well thought out.

Hugzies

 mmMekitty

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

I'd go along wiht mmMekitty, you have a lot of deep questions and I doubt a single session would do them justice. You have obviously put a lot of thought into this and it shows.

 

I would tihnk getting your next Medicare Mental Health Plan in order would be a good first step. As they go by calendar year now is a good time.

 

The other thing that has come though, not just now but in hte past, is the therapist has recommended something (here you give the example confidence) but does not give you instructions how to bring this about.  Without knowing what to do it can make one take the comments to heart and be frustrated and discouraged.

 

As a result I'd suggest you request any such matter have the practical side explained to you in detail.

 

Good luck

 

Croix

P12
Community Member

I had an appointment booked with an employee assistance counsellor on Thursday. However, when I didn't receive a call at the time and phoned the organisation, they told me they could find no record of my appointment. I asked them what they recommended I do at that moment because I was looking forward to the meeting and experiencing distress. The receptionist was unable to answer. They said that in the future I should enquire in advance about whether my appointment was still valid. I called the Beyond Blue hotline and spoke to a counsellor. The counsellor was timely and fair, but the counselling honestly did not make a difference. The remainder of the day I felt sad and disillusioned. Afterwards I cried because although I thought I had acted fairly I was still apparently inadequate. I would appreciate any suggestions for what I could do better in the future, or what to do when an appointment is cancelled. I would like to use this counsellor to help me improve my work environment, and develop a method to obtain social support.

 

Two weeks ago I held my latest meeting with my Clinical Psychologist. I have mixed thoughts and feelings. Overall, I think the meeting was more positive than earlier meetings. I feel I was able to achieve some of my small goals; e.g., expressing myself more, regulating the meeting, and establishing a stronger connection with her. However, I feel a disconnect in achieving my medium and long term goals. My psychologist seems to suggest that I will feel and be better if I am able to achieve social goals and better connect with other people, and that this should be the focus of our meetings. I have informed her that while it is one of my goals it is not my highest goal, and I would like to focus on achieving confidence and understanding psychotherapy. As none of the suggestions made by the 10-15 practitioners I have consulted in the past seven years have apparently worked, I would like to focus on confidence and understanding psychotherapy as these are higher level goals that subordinate social goals.

 

I continue to experience stress, tiredness, exhaustion, disappointment, despair, anxiety, and depression. I continue to look for a way to obtain greater support for extended mental distress, but continue to meet obstacles. I have contacted several organisations in the past month apparently without any success.

P12
Community Member

Yesterday another organisation I contacted for help told me they could not help me. Earlier in the week I met someone hoping to volunteer at their organisation but they said my ideas weren't suitable. Next week my latest counselling sessions will expire. I just keep trying and hope by luck I will improve, though I really don't know how to succeed.

P12
Community Member

Do organisations that provide for NDIS participants also accept fee-paying patients? Some I have contacted have sais they cannot assist me because I don't have NDIS funding?

P12
Community Member

Yesterday I realised that I seem to be experiencing a new stage in my mental illness journey. Several years ago when I first realised I was experiencing distress, I felt confusion. However, I also felt driven to tackle my distress and eliminate it. I explored as much I could, sought as much knowledge as I could. Recently I have felt more despair and less drive because I feel I have tried extensively to overcome my distress but it remains. I am wondering whether I am trying too much or too little. It is interesting how ultimately I seem to have little control over the broad direction my life is heading. I have been told that my apparent disorder essentially has no proven treatment and will remain my whole life, but that generally it slightly improves with time. I wonder what the next stage will be and when it will occur.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

As you will have no doubt figured out by now psychologists and other therapists have different ways of approaching problems, and you are also right that CBT is commonly used. My suspicion firstly with a mental health system that only makes it practical to afford to see a therapist 4 times a year is unworkable.

 

Secondly any therapy that leaves you more confused and stressed about the information and expectations you have received might not be the best for you. You do not need more worries. It might be different if you had weekly ongoing sessions and matters cold be regularly explained.

 

Petal22 said something quite significant I've found of great help too. "I can sit back and see what my mind is doing " is an ability that lets me put things in proportion and at the same time take action to minimize errant thoughts and beliefs. It also reminds me I've been there before and come out the other side OK.

 

Croix

 

 

P12
Community Member

Okay Croix. Sometimes I am frustrated by the apparent confusions and limitations of the mental health system in Australia, but I don't think it is completely broken. I think there is at least some reasoning why it is structured the way it is, though I don't understand this well. I think I have made some progress in understanding my disorder.

 

For example, mostly unrelated directly, many people regard the cost of living as being disproportional. I think many people my age will be waiting decades if at all in their life to repay debts, achieve their goals. I believe people power is very strong. I think some people will hold this resentment for a long time and its effects will be felt.

 

I think largely the mental health system has two strategies: 1. To teach outsiders about the norms of "successful, but average" people. 2. To give outsiders an opportunity to form connections with other people. I think the second is more effective than the first. A true outsider will remain an outsider regardless of what they are taught. Certainly I have found that establishing a connection with another human outside the mental health system to be incredibly difficult for me. Most practitioners I meet are bound by codes to assist me once I pay them.

 

In the past week I have thought about whether mental disorders are ingrained from birth. I think they are, and this means that they are never really overcome in one's life. I recall experiencing some difficulty fitting in when I was a child, but I recall it was not as significant as I seem to have experienced in the past several years. I think my parents protected me from some of it by limiting my exposure to others in society. I also think that by brain was less strong and simply naive to its own distress. Now it is older it is tackling more difficult problems.

P12
Community Member

Last week I met a new psychologist for the first time. Yesterday I met a new employee assistance programme counsellor for the first time. Today I made a new appointment with my Clinical Psychologist. I am unable to meet them until six weeks time. Today I cried for the first time in a few months. I keep trying to improve my situation, but I feel so sorely excluded by society and unable to escape society or receive support. I believe life is truly meaningless, unless its purpose is to endure suffering so that a human can start making progress when their life is over.