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Thread: Should I See a Pyshologist and/doctor?

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    Member Dutch Disease's Avatar
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    Should I See a Pyshologist and/doctor?

    I won't go into too much detail but I am a rather typical story. I am a screwed up child from a screwed up family. I've been depressed just about everyday for years. I'm currently in college and I failed two of my classes, ones that weren't even that difficult but I have no motivation to do the work. I'm sure I will hear about this from my family. I have no motivation whatsoever to do the things I really need to do. To be honest I'd really rather be dead right now (no i'm not going to kill myself so please lets not overreact). I just wanted a few peoples opinions of whether or not I should see some kind of therapist. I've been avoiding it because I'm still under my parents insurance and I would have to go through them. If I go through them then they have to deal with knowing they have a depressed child. I don't want to put strain on everyone. I've seen people do it. It seems so much more generous to whip yourself as opposed to whipping everyone around you. Also I question whether or not a therapist would really help me. I half think I would be better off going to a doctor and just seeing if I can be medicated into someone more capable of handling life. Anyway that's pretty much the deal.

  2. #2
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    yeah do it

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    Are you out of puberty yet?

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    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Pedantic snark before all else:


    Is a Pyshologist some sort of British expert on states of pronounced drunkenness?



    Seriously, though.

    First off, if you think you have a mental illness, definitely don't avoid treating it out of fear of "shaming" anyone. That's downright irrational. Think about it: if it's causing you to fail at major life-goal types of endeavors (e.g. school), then isn't a long-term pattern of fairly public and visible failures going to be far more embarrassing to your parents or whoever than the fairly non-public matter of your being treated for a condition that causes them?

    Secondly, avoiding embarrassment to other people is generally a terrible reason to make any decision about your own life.

    Thirdly, on treatment:

    I think a majority of forum users here have experienced some form of depression. It's extremely common, to the point where I've heard it described as "the common cold of mental illnesses."

    There are a variety of subtypes but personally I think the important question to ask first is merely whether you would rate your own depression as "Mild", "Moderate", or "Severe".

    I'm not remotely qualified to dispense medical advice, but FWIW my experience and observation of others has been that mild or moderate depression is usually best treated through lifestyle adjustments that improve your ability to prevent, mitigate, and recover from it. Eat right, get enough sleep, get a decent amount of exercise, be sure you're managing stress effectively, and be sure you aren't neglecting any particularly important part of life that contributes to your own happiness in a holistic, Epicurean sense of the word.

    If it's sort of in the mild-to-moderate range, you can likely do this under your own supervision with a bit of concentration, planning and willpower. If it's more in the moderate-to-severe range, it may be causing cognitive distortions that will limit your ability to self-check and self-evaluate, so a "counselor" type therapist would likely be helpful in terms of concretely defining your goals, evaluating your own progress, and basically "coaching" you through the lifestyle adjustments you need to make. (This is called "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy".)

    If it's more unambiguously in the "Severe" realm, then my advice would be to avoid "therapists" and "counselors" and go seek out a person whose job title is specifically "Psychiatrist." (Meaning someone who is board-certified, with a full 4-year medical school degree under their belt, to specialize in the treatment of psychological illnesses.) They key things that person could do, unlike a "counselor", are 1. systematically assess you and render a formal medical diagnosis of your problem (Major Depression is a discrete disorder unto itself, but depression is also frequently a symptom of other discrete disorders like PTSD or schizophrenia) and 2. determine specialized treatments tailored to the condition they've diagnosed you with. If you have depression this bad, you'll likely be experiencing a combination of substantial cognitive distortions and physical symptoms that make the problem acute enough to necessitate interventions against the immediate symptoms (e.g. this is usually where it makes sense to bring drugs into the picture, in my experience) before lifestyle adjustments aimed at the root causes of the problem will even be feasible.

    You're not really describing anything I'd put into the "Severe" category (the symptoms would likely include things like suicidal urges or compulsive inclination to high-risk behaviors, and/or physical symptoms like severe lethargy, insomnia, headaches or dizzy spells, etc.), but of course you're the only one who knows about what you're not telling us, so my opinion means doubly nothing on that front.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

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    Member Dutch Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
    Are you out of puberty yet?
    Well that really depends on the age at which puberty officially ends. I'll just say i'm 19.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Disease View Post
    Well that really depends on the age at which puberty officially ends. I'll just say i'm 19.
    I wouldn't see a psychologist at your age. Life's tough and it's normal to be confused while you're looking for the answers.

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    Merry Christmas Blorg's Avatar
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    Yep, see someone. If I could advise my past self, I'd say that figuring out how to want to live should have been my primary goal, so based on what you've written, I'd give you the same advice. Everything else should be a secondary goal, because everything else will be prohibitively painful and draining unless you figure out how to pull yourself out of the rut. So yes, use this time to experiment, test out different medications and therapists and therapeutic techniques, see what feels like it could work with time.

    On top of therapy/medications, I'd recommend taking a semester off from college (if that's possible for you). College is a terrible place for depressed people. Just focus on getting better. Focus on therapy or whatever and if you're up to it, get (or continue) a job and find ways to connect with people without exhausting yourself - avoid isolation if you can.
    "Better not to feel too much until the crisis ends—and if it never ends, at least we’ll have suffered a little less, developed a useful dullness...The constant—and very real—fear of being hurt, the fear of death, of intolerable loss, or even of “mere” humiliation, leads each of us, the citizens and prisoners of the conflict, to dampen our own vitality, our emotional and intellectual range, and to cloak ourselves in more and more protective layers until we suffocate." - Toni Morrison

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    You write you're from a "screwed up family". Is your story

    1) really screwed up or do you only have issues with your parents that you blow out of proportion because you don't quite know yet how the world operates?
    Advice: See a psychologist.

    2) really screwed up to the point that you couldn't tell a stranger about your life/past because he would likely not even believe you?
    Advice: Don't see a psychologist. Their pseudoscience won't be able to help you anyway, nor will they be able to relate in the slightest. Say "F*** it" and carry on until you're through your depressive phase (yes, it might take years, and it might take radical alterations to your living circumstances). You've seen worse than that, anyway.

  9. #9
    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    focus on changing your life as much as you can (in terms of friends / social time, exercise, diet, self-maintenance things) and take a break from college if possible, then see a doctor if that doesn't work. if your parents don't like the idea of you seeing a doctor, you're probably already doing all sorts of things behind their back anyway. you do what you gotta do. idk how the insurance thing for therapy works though (i never got to see a therapist or counselor; i was simply put on a waiting list and gave up cuz f that).

    sometimes it only is just a phase and/or a response to temporary circumstances, so that's important to keep in mind, too. i'm not making that assumption of you but i'm generally skeptical of the idea of medication as a solution to every single psychological discomfort (off topic now, but it's really disturbing). you're not saying much here, so you gotta be honest with yourself if it's just that.

  10. #10
    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    Have you tried the basic stuff - going outside, exercise, diet, sleep hygiene, routine, friends etc? If not, you might be surprised how well it sometimes works.

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