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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.

188 Replies 188

romantic_thi3f
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi P12,

I wanted to try and provide some insight on CBT, ACT and some of the experiences you've had with professionals.

It makes sense that you are working to understand your goals and values and unpacking them with a therapist/psychologist. Reading your goals indicates a lot of purpose, self-fulfilment and independence, which are totally achievable.

There are actually a variety of different therapies out there, even though you are right in that CBT and ACT are often a go to.
Not being able to change anyones behaviour is sustainable because that's what we do day-to-day. That's why the goals are around resilience so that you are able to bounce back from negative criticisms without it being all consuming. I'm not sure what values you have that are socially inappropriate.

With the Beyond Blue Support Service, I suppose the key difference is that it's short-term. A counsellor can get to know you in-depth, what makes you tick, your childhood, family, day to day living- such a really comprehensive understanding which can inform some of the therapies and tools and how they will work with you. I've always coped by thinking things through for example, so my psychologist knows that psychoeducation (learning about concepts) is really important to me.
As for other psychologists, it may simply be the idea that they don't want their treatments to clash. A CBT approach in challenging negative thoughts clashes with an ACT approach in accepting the thoughts but not reading into them.

With the disorder, yes, its' with us for life because there's no "cure" in the same way we'd have a 'cure' for an infection to treat it completely with an antibiotic. But that doesn't mean that the way we experience our condition is just as intense all the time. I see myself as always having depression even though there are times where I'm doing really well.

It can take a bit of time to find the balance- like when you are alone in a park it's natural to not see people but at the same time, there will always be interactions that are unpleasant (like at the grocery store for example) but your willingness and determination is really strong and admirable so I hope more people will see that.

Hope this helps,
rt

P12
Community Member
In case anyone is interested, my psychologist suggested I inform the other therapists that I am not visiting him in order to increase the chance of speaking with the other therapists. While this is only partly true, it is also not a complete falsehood if I visit my psychologist rarely and not in between visits with other therapists.

P12
Community Member

Hi Summer Rose,

Thanks for your encouragement to continue my writing. I do enjoy it.

However, I'm sorry I can't quite determine the meaning of your statement"good copy doesn't lie." Would you be able to clarify? Does it mean that if I write an article of which I am proud and which in my opinion is accurate then it doesn't matter if anyone reads it?

From what I can see, being published is about chance more than anything. My experience is that receiving feedback is rare. Therefore a writer can either try to guess at what is wrong with their work or write as they see fit. Since I am apparently not much good at understanding what others want, probably I will mostly end up being unpublished, writing for an imaginary reader.

I think my events were unsuccessful because there is only a small number of people with similar interests. I guess I will probably never make many collaborators or friends because my interests are uncommon. I have written an article about the events.

I have completed two three-day walks, several two-day, and numerous one day walks with small groups. I have completed several day walks and one overnight walk alone. The past two years have been disruptive to this goal. In my view it is safer to be alone and dispersed in the wilderness than confined to a city during a pandemic, though realise this contridicts expert advice.

My goal of independence means more to me than having money, as an independent person wouldn't need money. You have given me some encouragement nonetheless. Thanks for your comments.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi P12

“Good copy doesn’t lie” means that if you write well the reader will see that. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have relevant tertiary learning or professional experience and you want to be a writer. What matters is that you have talent. So, I encourage you to keep writing.

Getting published is about a lot of things. Timing, understanding your market, knowing how to approach a potential publisher, topic, etc. If you go to the website of your State’s “writers’ centre” you can learn about this and purchase resources to help you get published.

I also use the writers’ centre for feedback. I am able to submit copy for review and feedback, although there is a fee. I have done this in groups with other writers and by receiving a written assessment of my work.

You do have to be able to handle criticism to go through this process but its a great way to learn and hone your craft.

Great progress on your walks! You are doing an awesome job. Keep it up!

I have a question for you. When you talk about your goal of being independent, what does independence mean to you in this context? I’m curious because the way I think, money is required to be independent. No pressure to answer but I’m here if you want to share.

Kind thoughts to you

Thanks for your comments romantic_thi3f.

I have a little difficulty understanding your statement: "Not being able to change anyones behaviour is sustainable because that's what we do day-to-day. That's why the goals are around resilience so that you are able to bounce back from negative criticisms without it being all consuming." I think it means that others will eternally act differently to me and sometimes averse to me, this is natural, but true values will sustain me because they will give me something to fall back on that is stronger than the conflict. The process is perpetual, I will always be in conflict with others, there is nothing I can do to change it, except to accept it and put it out of my worries. Is that what you meant? If so, I can emphasise with some of what you say, though sometimes I do question whether it is true.

P12
Community Member

Hi Summer Rose,

In my view, money is a currency used to facilitate interaction between different individuals. A truely independent person would not need money because they would not interact with other people. I believe this is a highly desirable situation because interacting with others does more harm than good.

romantic_thi3f
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi P12,

Yes, you're on the right track.

Let's say that there's an actor who loves being in comedies. There will be people who adore them, find them hilarious, and they'll be others who don't find them funny at all and have nothing nice to say about them. It doesn't matter how many acting lessons they've gone to, they'll still be people who just don't find them funny.

It's a difficult spot to be in for sure, because the actor loves to make people laugh- but they have to decide how much they want to act and whether to keep going even though there's people who don't like them. It doesn't necessarily mean they have to ignore all the criticisms, but they need to be able to read it without letting it knock their entire self-esteem or self-worth. This is what I mean by resilience, and the values.

Hope that makes sense! What do you think?

rt

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi P12

You have an interesting perspective about what independence means to you.

To me, money is a pillar of independence. In order to put a roof over my head, feed myself, seek medical treatment, have clothes, gain an education, etc, I’ve always needed money.

Money funds my life. So, if I didn’t have money I would be dependent on someone else for my life (or the government or charity) and I would lose my independence.

Kind thoughts to you

Hi romantic_thi3f,

In your example, the actor presumably has some followers who provide him with enough satisfaction or income to continue expressing his values regardless of how many critics he has. My question is who provides for those who have no followers?

I would also like to return more closely to my original question of asking what mental health treatment tries to achieve and what methods it uses.

For example, you could argue my observation of mental health treatment practices show it is in contrast with a competing strategy - Christianity. I believe it practices that the greater one's suffering, the greater their reward. Since my practitioners have apparently tried to help me identify my values and strive for their achievement, but I have been unsuccessful, and they are unable or unwilling to provide practical advice, am I supposed to subject myself to greater suffering? Are the methods of mental health treatment compatible with this practice? Or are they more a false claim, destined to fail?

P12
Community Member

What is the function of feigning skill and ability in society?

Several practitioners to whom I've spoken have either suggested I am either feigning dysfunction, already know the solution to the condition I face, or that they are unable or unwilling to communicate with me. Presumably they don't wish to speak with me and by employing this strategy they are attempting to discourage me from seeking further treatment. I'm not sure it works, however, because the more I experience it, the more confused, sad, and anxious I become.

Apparently they have a view that eventually by method of exhaustion I will find one person who knows exactly how to help me and willing to communicate with me. Apparently most people have this view. However, statistically speaking it will not occur during my life time.

What role do outsiders have in society and why is it so difficult to live without being part of a society? I think there is no habitable land on earth that is not owned by a country. I wish I could understand the operation of society so that I could find meaning in my life.