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Can't even open up to my psych

javalava13
Community Member

I don't really know where to start or what to say here but pretty much I've had depression my whole life (I'm 24 now) and developed a lot more anxious thoughts/behaviours in the past few years. I saw a psychologist for a few years during uni but stopped finding it very useful speaking to her so stopped seeing her mid 2020. I felt she often focused on my chronic health issues as being the root of a lot of my mental health issues (which I didn't really want to hear at the time - something I'm still learning to accept) and my sessions would generally end up being centred around this.

I've had a difficult couple of years (as everyone has) so I've started speaking to a different psychologist for the past few months which I've found quite useful. I still don't know if I went about this the wrong way and I regret not having a discussion with my old psychologist about why I was no longer finding our sessions useful.

Anyway, re my current psychologist - I find it so difficult to talk about anything remotely emotional/personal with anyone because i wasn't raised in a super open family, and although i find it easier talking to a psychologist, I still can't open up about my major issues and am so scared of being judged. I know a lot of people find it difficult to open up but i'm just wondering if anyone has any advice?

I can talk about specific things that have happened between sessions to make me feel the way I do but I have never opened up about how much I hate myself and other more serious things I need to deal with.

I also am so sensitive to/receptive of other peoples' response to whatever I say so whenever I open up to my psychologist and she responds in a surprising way or looks remotely judgemental, I get really uncomfortable and close down.

I usually manage to get around this and still feel a lot of benefit from these sessions but I had an appt today and I have left feeling more down than ever and like such a failure and awful person. I won't go into exactly what made me feel so down and I do think often she may not think anything of a situation I am mulling over, but I just want to learn to be less sensitive to other people's reactions so any conversation doesn't cause me to have these feelings because they drag me down so, so much, but at the same time I think I am such a selfish person so think I need to listen to these voices in my head and be so conscious of not hurting anyone.

I really appreciate anyone who has read this.

4 Replies 4

Petal22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi javalava,

Wellcome to our forums and I’m sorry you are feeling this way.

I understand anxiety is hard to deal with I have a lived experience of severe anxiety OCD.

In regards to opening up to a psychologist about the way you are really feeIing.

I understand that it is difficult and we do fear judgment sometimes, but if we don’t open up how are we going to move forward?

I believe that if we can tell our psychologists about what’s really bothering us then we will get the help we need to move forward.

Try to let go of the fear of being judged because once you can let go of this fear you will thrive.

In regards to other peoples reactions we really can’t control this we can only control our own reactions…… “ this is where our power is”.

javalava13
Community Member

Thanks for the speedy reply Petal22. I guess the biggest thing I am thinking about is her judging me. I mentioned I had this treatment for a medical issue a few years ago which is a very expensive procedure. I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to afford this care and do recognise what a good situation I am in. I do feel really uncomfortable spending so much money on my health but it has impacted my life and mental health so much, and so when i mentioned it to her, I definitely sensed some judgement with her thinking i was spoilt. I don’t want to say i’m not lucky or anything because i am SO SO incredibly lucky to be in my situation but i just don’t think she understood that i worked really hard to earn that money and having to spend most of my money on medical appts or procedures at 24 is quite hard and is most of my savings. I think she thinks my mum pays for everything for me because my mum is incredible and I think I come across as being very spoilt because I still live at home and my mum does do a lot for me.

I just never know if I should bring up things like this with her, letting her know what I perceived her feeling and how I felt judged or if it would sound like a bit of an attack on her (even though i’m pretty sure this is me projecting my insecurities and making up things in my head)?

I am also really trying to find ways to recognise my privilege because as much as i say ‘i know i am so lucky’, i want to make sure I really know this and I want to use my privilege to help others who aren’t so lucky. Any ideas would be really appreciated!

Hi JavaLava,

I too see a psychologist and I understand what you are trying to say. But Petal22 is right, it is best, to be honest with your psychologist. There are some things that I have told my psychologist that was really hard to say, but once said it was a load off my mind and I started to get better. Compressing these feelings will not help you, they will only make things worse. But you have control over what you say and when you feel comfortable and I'm sure she would have heard a lot similar before. I hope this helps a little.

Don't feel bad about being privileged, we all walk different paths on this earth, and I can see that you think that you are lucky. You don't need to convince anyone of that. Especially your psychologist. All the best to you.

Leisa68

Hey Javalava 13,

I just wanted to start off by commending you on your vulnerability, it can be really hard to open up to others, especially when it is something that you might not be accustomed to! The fact that you have been seeing a psychologist and have posted on this forum demonstrates that you have put in great effort with being more open.

I have been in your position before, not wanting to discuss things with people due to being worried that I'll get judged or embarrassed about the situation. I have learnt, slowly, that judgement shouldn't be personal and that it is merely a reflection of the other person, not you. I can also speak from experience when I say that there have been so many times were my anxiety has lead to misunderstandings, purely because I validated my anxiety and assumptions with sometimes the smallest of things (slight changes in tone, expression, texting style etc.).

It could be worth discussing this encounter with your psychologist, especially if you feel that this is contributing to you withholding how you are feeling/limiting what you feel comfortable talking about with them. Therapy is about you and your feelings and this situation might present a perfect opportunity to connect further with your psychologist and to potentially challenge beliefs and insecurities that might be present in areas of your life. At the end of the day, your feelings are valid and i'm sure they don't want you feeling uncomfortable in your sessions and grateful that you mentioned this.

All the best x