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Mod
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎25-08-2014

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

Does the fear of a bad experience put you off seeking help? What are some ways to combat this fear?

 

Oooh boy. Absolutely, yes. Not so much nowadays, but definitely when I was younger. Took me about a week of standing awkwardly/pacing outside the school counsellor's office before I finally worked up the courage/desperation to actually go in there- and that was after months of thinking about it.

 

Honestly, these days I think young people (ugh, using young people in third person makes me feel old) actually have pretty good ways of fighting this, just because there are so many places where help-seeking/support is available. If it'd been available/I'd known about it, I'd have definitely have found an online counselling webchat/crisis helpline (that I could use anonymously/confidentially) much, much easier to use than diving right into seeing the school counsellor or going to a GP (particularly since the latter would require me to use my parents' medicare card, and all that entailed). I see it as a kind of gradated "exposure therapy" (all the psych majors should know what I'm talking about Smiley Tongue):

 

You start off by reaching out to an anonymous support network (e.g. RO, beyondblue, Kids Helpline/Lifeline, etc.) that you can access privately from somewhere you're comfortable (E.g. in your own room, on your laptop), then working your way up from there, after you've gotten a bit more used to telling your story, and gotten some preliminary evidence that you won't get immediately judged/derided for seeking help. So you start out via some relatively less-terrifying and move upwards, as you become more comfortable with the process. It's definitely scary the first time you do it, but every time you push yourself, your comfort zone is going to get larger, and larger, and it'll just feel more and more normal, until you wonder how you ever managed to keep so much pain inside you in the first place.

 

Another thing that might help, is just recognizing the potential positives that helpseeking might have, and recognize the impact that helpseeking might have upon achieving your goals. A big part of what finally pushed me to go and get formal help was because I thought I was going to fail my HSC (which I didn't, thankfully), and I realized that my depression was becoming a larger and larger barrier towards achieving my dreams -namely, going to uni and becoming a psychologist- that I couldn't ignore anymore (and had probably been ignoring for far too long). Once I realized that my dreams mattered more to me than the sheer terror I felt about help-seeking, I felt like I had no choice but to take that first step. It wasn't an easy choice by any definition, but it was necessary. 

 

So I took it.

 

And I've never regretted that decision since.

Builder
Posts: 14,079
Registered: ‎17-04-2014

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

How do you know when its time to find someone new? If you've done this how'd you go about it?

I am really lucky that with the Headspace I go to there is basically a little team of people working with not just the counsellor, this is so you get the best experience and people can work together to find whats best. I went to someone in that little team about this and told them I was considering not coming back and they were really helpful, they gave me the opportunity to try someone else, they didn't question me and tell me that I can't, they really listened and thankfully found someone there that was more suited to me
Mod
Posts: 712
Registered: ‎14-10-2015

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

How do you know when its time to find someone new? If you've done this how'd you go about it?

 

Ooh you were too quick! haha @May_ being mindful of your feelings can be tricky to do during tough times, and it can be hard to take a step back and realise that it might not be working.

It's okay to recognise that you don't have to continue seeing that professional if you don't feel like you are making much progress.

Mod
Posts: 7,937
Registered: ‎14-04-2014

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

How do you know when its time to find someone new? If you've done this how'd you go about it?

 

I actually got some insightful advice on these forums about this not long after I signed up. Sometimes even if we have a really good counsellor, we may find it extremely hard to discuss a certain topic with them, perhaps it is on the tip of our tongue every session, but it never comes out. So sometimes that is all it takes to search for someone new. I personally got a referral from my psychologist at the time to a more appropriate service for my topic, as I had only been able to discuss this with my GP, who then briefed my psychologist on said topic (based on something I had agreed on).

 

So I went to a different service all together to deal with that issue and then went back to the service I came from afterwards. 


My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ
Mod
Posts: 697
Registered: ‎26-08-2016

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

 

@stonepixie that is a really good point - sometimes you might have quite a good relationship with a psychologist but then a big issue comes up that either you don't feel comfortable talking to them about or when you bring it up they kind of brush over it. This happened to me with my most recent psychologist and although to her it probably seemed like nothing to me it was enough that I felt like we were not going to progress anymore as this issue was such an integral part of my life.
 
So even if you do like them and have established a good relationship this does not mean that you have to feel guilty or weird about moving on to someone else Smiley Happy

 

Community Manager
Posts: 4,816
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

15 minutes to go! Time for the last question!

Has anything we have discussed tonight changed your mind about getting help and how to go about it?

 

 

 

Mod
Posts: 712
Registered: ‎14-10-2015

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

Has anything we have discussed tonight changed your mind about getting help and how to go about it?

 

I think it has been a really interesting discussion! It's been awesome to hear about everyone's experiences in an open and honest way - especially @Asche 's super detailed and insightful post. Smiley Happy

Mod
Posts: 7,937
Registered: ‎14-04-2014

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

Has anything we have discussed tonight changed your mind about getting help and how to go about it?

 

 

For me, not really, I've always been quite vocal about what I do and don't like about a counsellors methods and such, but I am hoping that someone found tonight at least a bit insightful. Smiley Happy


My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ
Builder
Posts: 1,106
Registered: ‎01-09-2016

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

Has anything we have discussed tonight changed your mind about getting help and how to go about it?

 

Yeah, a bit. There's a friend I know who's been thinking about getting help for a while, so I might pass on some of the things mentoned in this thread. It's been good to hear about everyone's experiences Smiley Happy

Community Manager
Posts: 4,816
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: [CHAT] I went looking for help and didn't find it

Has anything we have discussed tonight changed your mind about getting help and how to go about it?

 

 Yes, orrrr... it's helped me think about how i support people to get help. Maybe i need to just check how the helping has gone for the person after they asked for help. I am worried that if someone hadn't been involved in a conversation like this, they might think that a bad experience of getting help is how all forms of help are, or worse they might think it's something wrong with them! 

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