Anxiety is preventing me from seeking help

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hatsune Candy, Sep 21, 2015.

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  1. I don't really know of a good way to put this, but this is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I'm concerned for my mental health, more so now than ever before, and it's become clear to me that I badly need professional help. The problem is actually receiving that help, and for two reasons, both having to deal anxiety.

    First of all, in order to see a therapist I'll have to talk to my parents, the very thought of which makes me extremely uncomfortable. I've never been very good at expressing my emotions with someone face to face (or at all, really), especially with family members. I always try to hide my emotions, and I'm ashamed to admit that it's something I've gotten really good at. As far as my parents are concerned, there is nothing wrong with me and I have absolutely no reason to go to therapy. To suddenly come out and say to them that I need serious help frightens me more than anything else in world; just thinking about it gives me anxiety.

    And even if I manage to overcome that, the simple act of going to therapy presents another issue. I've suffered from extreme social anxiety for as long as I can remember, I'm almost certain that what I have is Avoidant Personality Disorder, and it's exactly why I feel the need to see a therapist. But it's also the same thing that prevents me doing so. The idea of sharing personal thoughts and information that I normally keep to myself with someone I don't know terrifies me. I know it's gonna be a slow process that I'll have to get used to, and that I'll be better off because of it, but that doesn't change how I feel. How am I to share my feelings with a therapist when I can't even share them with someone I'm close to? I just don't know what to do.

    I've done my fair share of research on the subject; I looked up a lot of tips on how to address this situation, but nothing seems to help. So I'm turning to here for some advice on how to make the process a little more bearable, and hopefully that will help me build up courage to actually go through with it. Hopefully. Already I have my doubts.
  2. I was just like this a year ago. My parents were always dismissive whenever I spoke to them about something being physically wrong with me, so I didn't expect them to be any different if I told them about any mental issues as well. Not only that but therapy isn't something we could afford at that time. In the end I decided to take a stress management course and learn of ways to handle stress and anxiety, and since then I've only had a panic attack three times (all three occurring on the same day due to stress.) So if you are in college taking a stress management course is something I recommend. You could ask your teacher for some guidence via email, and over all the course should help you. If I had not taken the course I probably would have never told my grand parents that I suffered from depression or suicidal tendencies.

    Counslers are pretty fluid too, so of conversing with one via email or online is more comfortable for you then I'm sure that would be something they'd be willing to do. Don't quote me on that though.

    Just from personal experience, the stress management class helped a lot for me. XD
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  3. -Insert Shia LeBouf video here-

    What it all comes down to is just doing it. It's never easy and never as simple as me saying it can be but that's okay. Once you overcome it everything slides into place from there.

    There are likely quite a few online resources to help when it comes to speaking to someone. Though you should be careful self diagnosing yourself with anything. More often than not you read a symptom and believe it true when it's not, creating a self fulfilling prophecy or whatever. Which doesn't help.

    Maybe grab a buddy to help you handle the subject with your family? A relative you can confide in or even a friend. With my wife's anxiety I'm the one who's there to make sure she doesn't back down. You can do the same if you've got someone close to you.
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  4. I think I remember my college having some stress management classes somewhere, that's certainly something I'll have to look into at a later date.

    As for email/online sessions, that is definitely something that I have considered doing. However, I feel as though it wouldn't be as effective. I'm a bit apprehensive of the effectiveness of therapy to begin with; I'd rather do one on one sessions with someone in person, where I'd feel it'd have the best chance of helping me. It's just the initial hurdle of opening up that's a real challenge for me. Perhaps I could use online sessions as a stepping stone to help me adjust to the idea of therapy, that might work. Either way I'd still have to talk to my parents about it, though...

    I know better than to jump to conclusions like that. I've done a lot research on the matter, I had never even heard of Avoidant Personality Disorder until recently. But when I discovered it, it just explained so much about myself so perfectly that it only felt right to assume that's what I have. Until I get properly diagnosed, however, I'm not gonna start running around claiming it as fact (not that that's something I would want to do anyways).

    Now when it comes to confiding with a relative or friend, I don't really have anyone suitable for that. Like I said, I have trouble expressing my emotions with others, that includes close friends and family members. Although, I'm a lot more comfortable doing so through text, so I at least have a few Internet friends that fit the criteria, but for obvious reasons that really isn't much help.

    Though, that does remind me... When I was looking this up, I did see some suggestions for writing a note beforehand and then giving it to my parents as a way to initiate conversation. While it's a decent idea, I fail to see how it might work. It'd just feel awkward and my parents would likely question why I felt the need to write a note first instead of just speaking to them, which wouldn't help me at all.
  5. That's what I meant. Use it to get to know your therapist, get comfortable, bit by bit. ^^
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  6. Regarding talking to a therapist: realize you don't owe him to "share your feelings" or something, he/she will be a professional paid to help you with whatever you've got on your mind.
    He will ask you questions and if some of these questions would make you uncomfortable you can ask him to move to another subject.

    Regarding your parents, they may get upset hearing their kid needs therapy or they may not, either way they 'll have to accept it.
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  7. When they ask why you had to write them a note, you tell them the truth: your anxiety was preventing you from doing it. If you're worried that they'll doubt that there's anything wrong with you, that would communicate to them that this anxiety is a serious problem for you and that it's understandable why you feel you need help. And if your parents don't suspect at all that you have any problems because you've been hiding those problems from them, then such an encounter will start to communicate that fact, as well.

    Writing a note sounds like a great idea -- certainly a good way to get the conversation started. Because, then, they'll be the ones initiating the face-to-face communication, not you. And, based on what you've said so far, it sounds like just starting a conversation with them about it would be the hardest part. In that case, this takes care of that for you, because you don't have to start the conversation with them. They'll start it, and the hardest part will be over with much quicker. And, even if you're afraid of your anxiety making you break down in tears when they ask you about it or something -- at least then your parents will be aware that this is clearly an issue for you.

    So, I say go for it. Whether you use a note or not, it sounds like you're going to have to face your fear and talk to them at some point if you want to get this ball rolling. And, if starting it by note makes it easier, then, by all means, it sounds like a fantastic option.
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  8. Depending on the country you live in telling your parents (at least immediately) might not be needed.
    If you live somewhere where health care covers this, then you could find and book the specialist yourself.

    Assuming however this isn't the case and you do need your parents to pay for it, opening with something like a note might be useful, it would function as an ice breaker.
    Other ice breakers could be perhaps starting a conversation about someone else who struggles (family friend, someone on TV etc.) and use that to ease in that you're feeling the same way, or at least similar.
    Lastly though like Windsong already stated at a certain point you do need to just go out and do it, your always going to have some level of fear and reluctance that needs to be overcome.
    These are professionals.
    I guarantee you they're not going to simply sit you down and start bombarding you with questions.
    They're going to take their time to help you ease in, get to you know, figure out what way might be the best approach.

    That being said, sharing thoughts will probably come up, and it will probably be rough.
    But they know what they're doing and how to make it easier, take efforts to make you feel at home.
    Well like we said above, ice breakers and easing into it can help.
    But you're going to reach the point that requires a leap of faith one time or another.
    The best you can do at that point is remember what's at the other end, and fight for it.

    Also my Inbox is always open if you want to talk more about it. :)
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  9. Okay, I should probably clarify, since I realized it's not exactly obvious. When it comes to communicating with with my parents, there is only ever one thing that I am most concerned about, and that's how they'll respond. My parents... Well... They're very worrisome and highly overprotective. If I tell them that I have a problem that I want to see a professional about, of course they gonna want to know what it is. And, knowing them, they're going to wanna try to solve it for themselves, because they feel like they have some sort of responsibility to do so. That's perfectly understandable, but that's also something that I am simply just not comfortable with, like, at all, especially considering how little they actually know about me. However, my parents are not one to back down easily, so how do I get them to understand that this is something I want to handle on my own?
  10. Express those concerns with the therapist/consular you see, and have them help discuss it with your parents.
    They're far more likely to listen if you have professional support on the matter.
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  11. I agree with Gwazi. Tell them that if they want to help, the first thing they should do is get you to a psychiatrist. Tell them that it's not something they can do on their own and that you feel you really need professional help.

    After that, at least it'll be nice to know that your parents would be supportive in trying to help you -- that's better than what I've heard about some other parents who may act like a problem like this doesn't even exist.
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