Not Wanting To Get Better

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I feel like that a lot of times. My therapist and doctor have asked if I want to feel better and I respond that I’m not used to feeling good and it’s a strange feeling. I was told my depression started in my childhood and it’s hard to stop thinking about that. My comfort zone is when I feel depressed because evidently I’ve been depressed for so long before ever seeing a doctor and if I were to feel better and be happy, I’d feel like a different person. Feels like depression is so comfortable, I don’t want to give it up. I also feel weird because, in my thinking, if I feel better, I won’t have to go to the doctor and therapists office as often because I feel that’s the one place that people seem to care. My psychiatrist’s office is not the only Dr. office this feeling comes around and eventually that feeling gets easier but it’s always there and I’m getting tired of feeling this way. I have others in my life who probably do care but either I can’t see it or I just don’t know what it is. I’d like to know why I feel like this and how I get past this type of thinking. One thing that I’m really afraid of is that the therapist and doctor will think I have feelings towards them and I don’t, I just feel they care about me more than anyone else has. I worry they’ll suggest I see another Dr. and therapist, which I won’t. In that case, I’ll see my PCP and wean off medicine and take life as it comes then. I’m already a nervous wreck about talking about this with my therapist from the exact office that I get these feelings. At least I don’t see the Dr. for a few more weeks. I don’t know whether to talk to therapist about it since I can’t seem to change that way of thinking on my own, or just keep this all to myself, because really I have no idea how I could ever start talking about this. I have an appointment already made but can’t decide if I should try to let things go on my own and cancel the appointment or not and probably just prolong the agony. Do you think this is something I need to talk about with my therapist or learn to deal with it on my own, kinda like I have all along.

A. It would be wrong not to reveal this information to your therapist and to your doctor. It is important that they are fully aware of what you are thinking and feeling. They can’t help you if they are unaware of your concerns. In fact, revealing such information could lead to psychological growth, which is the goal of therapy. Giving in to your fears might strengthen the depression. You want to avoid that.

You may gain “comfort” from depression because, as you have said, it has been with you since childhood. In that way, it might function as an emotional security blanket. Not feeling depressed means that you will have to feel something different. It is natural to fear the unknown. It is human nature.

While the depression may comfort you, it’s important to understand that it only holds you back in life. It is a false sense of comfort. Depression is nothing that you should want to hold onto. My advice would be to force yourself to be honest with your treatment providers even if that prospect frightens you. Therapy is often not a comfortable process. Deciding against revealing your true thoughts would be like giving yourself permission to continue living with depression. The results of such a decision would mean prolonged suffering. Go to the appointment, be honest and begin the process of eliminating depression from your life. Please take care.


Dr. Kristina Randle

@DrKRandle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Not Wanting To Get Better. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/06/not-wanting-to-get-better/

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