I’ve taken the “tests” and come out that I could be an intermediate schizoid. I live at home with my parents and the times I have bought it up, they avoid the question. They can’t understand why I can’t simply ignore it or control my feelings. They are afraid of anything being wrong with their daughter. My parents are totally against counseling or therapy of any sort, and I’m a little afraid myself. I’m afraid of what it could do to my life. I am a 4.0 student and an accomplished musician. Few people think there is anything wrong with me other than I don’t like to socialize.

The thing is, should I seek help? It is offered free on campus, but my dad also works for the college and has connections and I don’t want him to know. Also, I don’t know if it’s what I want. I don’t really want to change if it means I have to socialize with people. I just want to be happy.

I am so utterly alone. On one hand, I run from friendships or relationships, and on the other, I long for companionship. My parents don’t believe me and I don’t want to ruin my image by seeking therapy. I want to be alone, but I don’t. I’m so confused. I need something other than me. Maybe that’s why I’m posting this. I need another opinion–one who won’t make judgement based of emotion as my parents do. Should I get help? How do I deal with this?

A. To answer your question directly, yes, you should seek help. You are suffering and thus there is a problem. Your parents may not believe in counseling but you don’t have to share their opinion. You are an independent person who can make independent decisions. You are not an extension of your parents.

You are worried that your parents would find out about receiving therapy. That should never happen. Professional guidelines requires complete confidentiality between a therapist and a client. A therapist can’t even confirm that you are a client unless you have give him or her your express permission to do so. Your parents would never know that you are in therapy unless you told them or you allowed your therapist to contact them on your behalf.

If you wanted to train for a marathon, wouldn’t it make sense to hire a personal trainer? If you wanted to invest in the stock market, wouldn’t it be advisable to consult a stock broker? If you needed surgery to fix a broken limb, would you feel less than adequate because you couldn’t do it yourself? Therapy is done by trained professionals, who have received in most cases four years of post-graduate education. They are licensed. It is a mistake for anyone to think that they can be or should be their own therapist. They simply lack the education and experience to do so.

If you need help with emotional problems, then you should receive it from the very people who are trained to deal with those issues.

Most college campuses have counseling centers in which services provided are free of charge to students. The college counseling center would be a great place to start. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle