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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.

200 Replies 200

P12
Community Member

Hi Croix,

 

I certainly don't mind your insights. By the speed of your reply I think I have stumbled on a topic that is important to other people as well as me.

 

Yes, I think that a large amount of my effort goes into trying to prevent people criticising me. I think I do it because criticism has large negative effects on me. Naturally I don't want the negative effects.

 

I don't know how to build confidence. I just find more criticism. When I have tried to raise this challenge with my psychologists and counsellors I have not found a resolution. I interpret my first clinical psychologist's response as being that I should simply do what I am asked to do then when I am not asked to do anything I can find value by following my interests and reversing what I have been asked to do. This is very exhausting. I interpret my second clinical psychologist's response as being that my definition of "confidence" is outside the scope of psychological treatment. This is very despairing.

 

I just keep trying using all of my talents and the skills that I have learnt in my life.

P12
Community Member

Here are the outcomes of my recent meeting with my psychologist.

 

- I approached the meeting with a few key focus areas. However, it turned out that I didn't have much chance to focus on them.

- We started by focusing on the stress I receive from my work.

- What have I tried to improve my work situation?

- What are my interests? I am interested in advanced numerical analysis to detect deficiencies and reduce the environmental impact of infrastructure.

- Why am I unable to have a role that suits me? Either it doesn't exist or it is too competitive and I lack the skills and talents to beat others who apply.

- What is the problem with being an outsider, or thinking that I am, or receiving criticism? It causes me psychological distress. It has a disproportional effect on me.

- Do I want to connect more with my coworkers? No.

- Do I want connection with others? I think this is a secondary goal of mine. It is a lower aim than "confidence".

- "Confidence" is an action word. In a world where I had high confidence what would I do? I said I wouldn't do anything because action is inherently wrong.

- I said therefore I don't want "confidence". I want to correct my ethical system or my subconscious. I was told this is a grey area, largely outside of ACT and psychotherapy. What is the psychological method that does this? I am unclear about this.

- Language and thinking is harmful. Stopping thinking is not about thinking about thinking. It is about living mindfully, watching my thoughts and feelings, but not acting, only acting towards my values. 

- Try performing thought diaries.

- Exposure theory is not completely useful.

- What do I advocate for and how do I do it? Studying nature, protecting the environment by spending time with it, and away from other people, understanding the physical world and sharing my insights with other people.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

I'm afraid your account of your latest visit leaves me confused, and I suspect it does for you too. I guess I can understand focusing on the stress you have at work and the effects it has on you. Also asking if you have been able to reduce the stress.

 

To me reading your posts it seems that stress comes from criticism - or trying to avoid it. If criticism is justified - for exaple always roiling up late for work - then it can be reduced by being on time. It gets harder when the criticism is not justified but conducted for some other reason, if it is a genuine mistake and for example they are criticizing the wrong person then you may be able to set it straight.

That takes a measure of confidence in oneself to point out the error and not just accept it.

 

So if  it is simply not justified but a ploy by someone to make themselves feel better then one only realy can either meekly accept it - which a terrible for the soul. Simply rebut it -which takes fortitude and the ability ot stick to one's guns, or go to a higher authority -if there is one.

 

None is pleasant and how you gain the confidence to do any of htese options I"m not sure and would look to the correct psychologist or counselor to give you tools to develop it.

 

You were asked what your interests were and I think you have answered your question yourself:

 

"Studying nature, protecting the environment by spending time with it, and away from other people, understanding the physical world and sharing my insights with other people."

 

That is a big enough task for anyone, and while it may be present in may jobs, it is not necessarily linked to any and can be conducted privately - even the sharing

 

Croix

P12
Community Member

Hi mmMekitty,

 

I would like to reply to your message on 21-10-2023. When I read it I am a bit unsure of your feelings. Are you feeling confused or ambivalent about mental health and illness treatment? Would you be able to clarify?

 

Here are my thoughts about what I think you are thinking.

 

My experience is that obtaining a formal diagnosis is actually more detrimental than beneficial. This is likely why I have not obtained one since visiting my first practitioner seven years ago, despite receiving some recommendations to do so. I consider myself as having a partial or de facto diagnosis.

 

I believe that diagnoses are detrimental because society is fundamental poor at understanding mental illness. Diagnoses are attempts to help individuals, but they are greatly corrupted. Assigning someone a diagnosis is a way of saying that person is a certain type of outlier that society doesn't know how to handle. Governments and other organisations offer support to theoretical people. Practically only some diagnosed people receive support. It requires means testing, etc. I feel it is not inclusive of each person's uniqueness. Individuals without a diagnois are better off because they don't know what they are missing or don't feel let down by society.

 

Diagnoses have negative social consequences too. For example, when I have revealed my illness to people they have moved away from me. If I hadn't revealed I might still be able to communicate with them. This happens at larger scales too. It seems feigning or acting is a legitimate part of society.

 

I am sad that people with mental illness legitimately seek resolution of their concerns and must navigate a confusing process in order to do it.

 

However, I have recently questioned whether a diagnosis could help me.

 

From P12.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

I certainly agree with all you say, and diagnoses can indeed be detrimental, however I do think there is another side for some.

 

In my own case it was only after I found I had a particular illness, PTSD, that I believed my actions and thoughts were no longer just my own failings of character but were in fact recognized symptoms . For me and also for my partner this was a great comfort.

 

I think also one of the big dangers is to assume that just because one has a recognizable illness - with a label - then that is all there is to it, when in fact it may only be part of the story

 

Croix

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello P12

 

I am reading your post very late tonight, so I can't reply now.

 

I found the post you refer to, but I have forgotten what I wrote. I have copied it out to re-read. When I have time to give you the response you deserve, I'll get back to you.

 

Hugzies

mmMekitty

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello P12

 

To respond to your post of Nov 26.

 

I understand that the relationship between therapist & patient is complex. I am still afraid to trust it. That feeling comes from my own mistrust of myself, my feeling that I cannot protect & keep myself safe.

 

I think some of the difficulties you are having with your therapist come from feeling certain no-one can or is even willing to understand & accept you for who you are & how you think & the thoughts & feelings you have.

 

As with experiencing some physical ailment, I had felt something was ‘ill’ within myself before I sought the help of a psychiatrist. Before that time, I’d lived feeling adrift & aimless in life & within myself. I avoided examining why, how & where I might end up, for many years. My own attitude of Denial as a way of life kept me from recognising that I could have benefited from the help of a psychiatrist.

 

My parents, too, chose to ignore in the hopes the problems I was obviously having as a teenager, would just dissolve if simply left alone. They also expressed their fears that having someone in their family labelled as mentally ill would be a shame & disgrace, would identify them as ‘bad’ parents, & lead to them feeling the stigma of that sort of misunderstanding.

 

Yes, some people are so very afraid of things they don’t understand. It’s too different for them to get their heads around.

 

Fact: There has been a long history of misunderstanding & stigma against people with mental illnesses, & other conditions, in most cultures around the world. Though things are improved, some stigma & lack of understanding still exists.

 

With effort, we can understand the diagnoses we are given. But I simply don’t think having the diagnoses is essential to therapy. They can direct the form & direction of therapy, maybe suggest medications, or indeed, what not to include in the therapy.

 

IN any event, I think the therapeutic relationship between patient & therapist is far more important than what the therapist diagnoses at any time. The diagnoses are not the whole person, which the therapist treats.

 

I am aware, certain misdiagnoses can have some very detrimental effects because they may lead one into a treatment path which would be damaging, or at least, delay one receiving the best treatment they might have, while accurate diagnoses can assist the healing very much.

 

It’s very complex & I’m sorry, I can’t answer everything you ask.

 

Hugzies

mmMekitty

P12
Community Member

I sincerely thank everyone who has supported my mental wellbeing this year. Although I am still confused and sometimes distressed, I guess I would be more so if I had no support.

 

From P12.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear P12~

It is our pleasure to try to assist, and if some good has come out of it that's great and encouraging for us. Illnesses that take long time do require support and you are welcome to whatever we have. You also have your own internal strenght and that counts for a lot.

 

Take care

Croix

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello P12

You're welcome.

& thank you, too. You've given me things to think about, especially about how I regard having diagnoses from my own psychiatrist. It so often happens that when I try to answer questions or try to write out my thoughts about things others have said, I find myself thinking more clearly as a result, so thank you.

I agree completely with Croix, especially about how you have your own strengths & personal resources. Without exception, everyone could do with a little support sometimes, so please don't hesitate to reach out again.

Hugzies

mmMekitty