From the U.S.: I have had symptoms of depression, and formerly anxiety as well, that interfere greatly with my everyday life for upwards of seven years. Over the years I have attempted to reach out to medical professionals twice, the first time as a child, only for them to tell my parents I was totally fine, even though I was suffering from severe anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms and self harming.
As an adult I reached out again, only to be told that maybe this is just “who I am” and that i should try coloring to cope. I am consistently sad, hopeless, fatigued, have no motivation, chronic pain, and feel as though I am just going through the motions like a zombie. It is interfering with my ability to be successful in school, and even to care for myself. People with these symptoms are always told they need to reach out for help, but what do you do once you’ve reached out and still no one is listening?
I’m so glad you wrote. But here’s the thing. You’ve had symptoms half your life. I’m truly, truly sorry that the two people from whom you tried to get help failed. But the failure of 2 people in 11 years does not mean that there isn’t help out there. Please take care of yourself and try again — and again.
One intake worker I know regularly told callers that finding a therapist is like finding a new pair of jeans. You might try on a dozen pair but only one fits in such a fine way that you take it home. Sometimes it takes trying on a dozen pair before you find the right one. But when you do, all the shopping and trying them on was worth it. Finding a good helper really is like that. Sometimes we have to interview several before we find the person who connects, who listens, and who offers the kind of help that resonates.
So please don’t let 2 unhelpful people determine whether you reach out again. Shop around until you find the therapist who gets you. Be honest in your interviews. Tell any new therapist about the failures and why you think they failed. It might be helpful for you to take your letter to us and this response with you on the first meeting to help you introduce the problem.
Please follow up. You deserve to get the help you want and need.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
Where Do I Turn for Help?
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Where Do I Turn for Help?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/03/31/where-do-i-turn-for-help/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.