Hi, I'm Lina from Counseling for Resilience, and I help people overcome stigma against mental health treatment. AMA
Edit: Hi Reddit! Thank you so much to everyone who commented, engaged, and was a part of this AMA. I have had a wonderful day connecting with people on a subject that is near and dear to my heart. May God bless all of you with peace.
There are many reason why people suffer alone rather than seeing a therapist. For example, they:
- may have been raised in a culture that frowns upon seeking help, or
- may not believe that mental health diagnoses are real, or
- lack trust in counseling/psychotherapy due to generations of abuse of power by the medical community, or
- think that people would be fine if they would put their trust in God to heal them, or
- have been told by others that they should just "get over it" and move on with their life, or
- they had a negative experience in counseling in the past and are scared to try again, or
- you just don't know how to find a counselor who would be a good fit for you.
As a therapist, I meet clients who suffered for years before coming to therapy. Some of them used drugs or alcohol to manage their pain. Some isolated themselves, and felt the walls closing in as their depression or anxiety grew worse. Some used self-injurious behaviors or considered (or attempted) suicide when their pain became too much to manage.
I understand how difficult it can be to trust. I had very disappointing experiences with therapists in the past, and even experienced some very unethical behavior by people I went to see. Just like any other profession, ours has some duds.
So many times, I have sat down with a client for an initial intake appointment and heard the words, "I really should have done this a long time ago". I always suggest that when people are calling a therapist for an appointment that they ask the person on the phone: "Tell me a little about your approach to counseling." This allows you to hear the professional describe how they work with clients and gives you a chance to get a feel for the professional, before you decide to schedule your first appointment.
If you have struggled with anxiety, depression, panic, childhood trauma, military trauma, perfectionism, relationship problems, poor self-image, addictions, racial/sexual/gender/ability/religious discrimination, what has held you back from seeking counseling?
DISCLAIMER I'm not able to provide counseling thru reddit. If you'd like a free consultation, you can contact me at https://www.lina-lewis-arevalo-therapist.com/
If you're experiencing thoughts or impulses that put you or anyone else in danger, please contact the National Suicide Help Line at 1-800-273-8255 or go to your local emergency room.