Frightened of Therapy

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

First off, I’m really sorry if a question like this has already been asked. I would normally look ahead of time, but lately it’s been difficult for me to concentrate on things such as reading.

Okay… Here it goes. I’ve been feeling really depressed. It’s difficult for me to go to sleep, I feel like my life’s entirely pointless to bother living, I’ve become more lazy and lack interest in most of the things I would normally do, it takes a lot from me to do simple things, I feel like I’m alone…

I’ve taken several different online self-tests for depression, and every one of them pointed out to me saying that I probably have severe depression, and need to talk to a doctor about it.

And I really do… I wish it was easy enough to do that. But I’m afraid, afraid of what can happen to me, what they’ll think of me, things like that… I just don’t know anymore.

What should I do?

A. It is important to understand that many, many people have depression. If you ask for help you will be doing what millions of Americans do when they realize they are experiencing problems in their lives. Asking for help is a very wise decision.

A therapist is not going to think badly of you. Therapists are sympathetic to the fact that their clients are suffering. Their goal is to help the individual relieve their suffering. Most therapists are not judgmental. They want to help people. That is why they entered the helping profession. Therapists work in collaboration with their clients to help them solve their problems. This helps the client to feel that they are not alone.

It is very common for individuals to fear the unknown. Not knowing what to expect can be frightening. That may be why you fear attending treatment. Mental health treatment is nothing to fear. It can only help you. Depression generally does not go away on its own. It typically requires treatment. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Deciding to enter treatment is a sign of a wise individual.

I would advise you to speak to your parents. Tell them how you have been feeling and that you want to see a therapist. You may also want to consider asking them to attend at least one session with you. This might help them to understand what you are going through. It might also help to ease your fear. Here’s a link to a website where you can search for a therapist in your community. Please do not hesitate to ask for help. I wish you the best of luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 May 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Frightened of Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/05/10/frightened-of-therapy/