How to Get Help?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve noticed for a while that i have a depression but didnt go to a therapist yet. This is because i only made bad experiences with psychologists so far, i had an anorexia when i was 16, probably it wasnt a real anorexia, i didnt completly stop eating, i just wanted to be thin and kind of liked the feel and just didnt stop eating a little less calories than you’d need. Before my parents even taked to me or anyone told me, they send me to a psychologist and wanted to force me to go to a clinic, which meant a whole change of my live, id have to leave my home for a year, i was so shocked and even considerd killing myself.
So now im super scared to ever go again to a psychologist.

Besides i think ive never really happy, not for the last 10 years. i’ve always been more of an outsider at school, bullied at times, there were times where i hd friends but i wasnt happy. I always felt like i didnt belong. Later my father started beating me, not often, but 5-6 times perhaps. I know, this are no huge issues like some people are raped and such but is that a reason why im like this now? or is it just me?

i thought id do a year abroad once im done with school, but i have no idea if i have the energy for that, i want a fresh start but i dont know how. Im scared it will get as bad as it used to be a few years ago, at he momenti dont have sucidial thoughts but im so scared they will come back, that ill not have a fresh start but just “fall into a black hole” instead of getting a better life. Can a therapy realy help? What should i do? and why am i this way?

A. Yes, therapy can help immensely. It’s all about finding the right therapist. It didn’t go well with your last psychologist but they’re not all the same. It’s not uncommon for people to try multiple therapists before they find the one they like and who is able to help them.

The tone of your letter is pessimistic. That’s understandable, since you seem depressed. You’re also minimizing your suffering. For instance, you say that your father beating you is “not a huge issue.” Of course it is. It’s abusive and also illegal. By minimizing this issue it’s almost like saying “I’m not important.” Feeling unworthy is also a sign of depression.

Many teenagers are suffering with serious psychological problems but feel as though they can’t ask their parents for help. They’re embarrassed or believe that their parents will refuse their request for treatment. Then there are others who have asked their parents to take them to a therapist and were devastated when they said no. You have the opposite problem. Your parents took you to treatment when you didn’t want to go. It wasn’t pleasant but you survived the experience. What’s fortunate about your situation is that your parents are willing to take you to a therapist. It means you have the opportunity to be helped whereas other people may not.

Utilize the help that is offered to you. I typically advise people to interview at least four or five therapists before they make a decision. Inquire about their successes with past clients, how they think they could help you and choose the one with whom you feel the most comfortable. Ask your parents to assist you in this process.

You feel as though there is no hope for you but really there is a great deal of hope for you. Many people think they can’t be helped but they’re wrong. I have witnessed how helpful therapy can be. Try a new therapist. If it’s not successful continue searching until you find a therapist you like. Be persistent. It will be worth your effort. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). How to Get Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/15/how-to-get-help/