I am afraid of therapy

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I was a mental health specialist for the army. I remember the first time i heard of borderline personality disorder- i prayed that the resemblance between us wasn’t true. Now, in my second marriage and after having a child… i’m wondering why the “high” in life is gone and why i want to take off. I love my son, but i can’t stand my step kids, or my husband any more. is it a phase? I’m afraid to go to therapy because i’m scared of what i’ll hear, or what i’ll say. I don’t want to have BPD, i don’t want to be so messed up that normal relationships are hard to keep. But i know that when i was single, i was looking for sex, and alcohol to keep feeling accepted, loved, or attractive. Suddenly I want that life back. But then i don’t, because my husband is a good man- why would i give him up for a phase of life? is it normal to want ex boyfriends to want me still? but still being jealous if my husband has a female friend. I feel sick and tired and depressed and fed up with myself. i almost hate myself for not being happy.

A: I’m so sorry you are feeling so confused and frightened. But I really, really hope you will change your mind about seeing a counselor. Please consider that a diagnosis is just a short way to label a set of symptoms. It is not a sentence. Ideally it sets a person on a course for healing.

I can’t tell if you have BPD, if you are suffering from secondary trauma from hearing others’ stories, if you got kind of addicted to excitement, or what. I do know you have much to lose if you continue to refuse to get the help you need to sort things out. In my opinion, a loving husband and a stable life for your son is worth the anxiety that comes with facing a fear. Even if it is a “phase,” you could make decisions that you will regret.

You are fortunate to live in a city where there are many good mental health centers. Ask your doctor or someone you trust for a referral. Then go. All you have to lose is a few hours of time and a copayment. Without a good assessment, you could lose a whole lot more.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I am afraid of therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/04/i-am-afraid-of-therapy/