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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Question Is this worth telling someone about? - October 31st 2012, 03:32 PM

Loads to explain, so I'm going to bullet point the basics for now.
  • I feel totally useless at everything, even things I know I'm good at.
  • I'm totally paranoid about pretty much everything again.
  • I'm get increasingly more tempted to break my 4 months self-harm free.
  • I'm pretty sure I suffered with depression last year, and I'm not convinced it's totally gone.
  • I feel like I've got no-one to turn to when things go wrong, I'm never going to see the people I turned to in the past again, so I'm basically back to square one. As in I'm going to have to suss out who's trustworthy and will understand me again.
  • I have zero motivation anymore, and I'm failing to see the point in carrying on with life... again.
To me all those issues are just part of life, but I know the dam is going to break eventually and it's not going to be pretty, that is, if I don't do anything. I know of two people who could help, but with both of them comes the issue of whether they will keep anything I tell them confidential. And then everytime I see someone who I've told things like this too, I start panicking and it's really embarrassing...

I'm really not sure on the whole counselling thing, it seems really degrading, and there's still a confidentiality problem there. Any advise?





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Re: Is this worth telling someone about? - October 31st 2012, 05:37 PM

You seem awfully concerned about confidentiality being maintained... but what about alleviating the symptoms, aka feeling better? Psychological professionals will only break confidentiality if you are a danger to yourself or others. Honestly, if you're at that point, wouldn't it be best to tell someone who is in a position to help you?

As for therapy/counseling being degrading, I can see why you might be worried about that. It may help to view mental illness as (essentially) a certain kind of physical illness (since many mental illnesses have a biological/chemical component). If you had an infection and needed to see a doctor about it, would you feel embarrassed? You might at first, but after talking to your doctor and realizing this happens to other people as well, you might feel better. You could also receive reassurance that you didn't do anything wrong - that you were just unlucky, and as a result, you developed an infection. The same could be said for mental illness. You're not the only one who deals with it, and it's not your fault that you have it. Psychological professionals rarely blame people for their problems. Their goal is to educate and empower you, not belittle and abandon you.






   
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Re: Is this worth telling someone about? - October 31st 2012, 06:09 PM

Why are you so worried about confidentiality? I know I used to get scared if my parents found out but in all honesty, as hard as it was to have my parents find out each time I self harmed badly, I overdosed or my counsellor thought I was 'unsafe', it actually helped most of the time. I can get that people finding out can be a scary thing but I guess now is the time you need to decide what's more important; the fear of people being told what's happening (baring in mind what is said should be kept to a minimal description) or you getting the help you need and deserve to feel better and to start living your life again?

Counsellors and therapists are there to help you. A lot of people often say to me that its just their job. They need to be paid. But this isn't just a job - its a career and it takes a lot of training. These people want to listen to other peoples problems because they really care and really want to help people in some way. It sounds like your going through a lot and I know this is hard for you, but if you get the right support to overcome what's going on for you, all of this can change. It doesn't have to be this way. People can support you through this and you can begin to feel better again. You can do this and you're worth it!


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Re: Is this worth telling someone about? - October 31st 2012, 06:25 PM

I know I'd stand more chance of getting better if I told someone, but at the same time I need to make sure there is absolutely no chance of my parents finding out. What happens if the person I tell decides that I am a danger to myself? I don't want to take any risks with this. I had a conversation with a 'learning mentor' last month, and I was telling her about me being sick with stress and not being able to eat as a result, and she accused me as having an eating disorder. I can't be too careful with people like that around jumping to ridiculous conclusions.

I want to be sure in myself that I'm doing the right thing. I tried a session when I was in my last year of school, and I didn't come out of it feeling any better. I felt like I'd wated her time, and I was being stupid... I know it was only one session, about an hour long, but the experience has made me really sceptical towards the process again. It took me months to take the plunge back then, but I havn't got months right now.

EDIT:: Forgot to add, I don't want my parents knowing because a while ago my cousin was self-harming, depressed etc. while pregnant, a lot of it was down to alcohol problems, but nevertheless. I've overheard my parents talking about her many times in relation to her problems, and they weren't saying nice things. My dad is probably the least understanding of things like this, and he was saying how stupid she was, and that she was mental etc. Hearing that, especially from the family member I'm closest to was really damaging for me. I really don't want him to think that of me, I'd rather be burnt to death. Even if he found out, and acted in a supportive manner, I know he'd still be feeling no different about me inside. If he can think that about someone elses problems, whats stopping him thinking the same about his daughter?





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Last edited by Flora; October 31st 2012 at 06:34 PM.
   
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Re: Is this worth telling someone about? - November 3rd 2012, 03:06 AM

As a general rule, confidentiality is maintained unless you are currently in danger, or you will soon be in danger, if nothing is done to protect you. So with an eating disorder, confidentiality isn't going to be broken unless you reach a point where your life is in danger. If you're just having a difficult time eating because you're stressed, then that's not enough to break confidentiality and get your parents involved. If you're severely underweight or experiencing severe medical problems due to not eating, though, then confidentiality may need to be broken, in order to ensure you can get the help you need. Even then, the vast majority of psychological professionals will tell you first, and discuss what will happen. They'll give you some control over the situation, such as having the option to tell your parents yourself, or voluntarily going to a hospital in order to have your vital signs monitored.

Basically, the important thing to remember about confidentiality is that it WILL be maintained unless your life is in danger... and if you're at that point, the last thing you should be worrying about is how your parents will react. Your life should be the top priority for the psychological professional, your parents, and yourself!

I can assure you that not all psychological professionals will jump to inappropriate conclusions like the "learning mentor" did. Was the "learning mentor" even a psychological professional? Do they have an adequate understanding of how eating disorders look/work? No psychological professional in their right mind would accuse you of having an eating disorder, unless there were other warning signs. Not being able to eat because your stomach is upset from the stress is, frankly, quite normal. People may experience all sorts of physiological problems when they're stressed, including nausea/vomiting, insomnia, restlessness, chest pain, etc. Not being able to eat is just one of many possible problems.

I'm glad you recognize that you didn't give therapy enough of a chance by only going once. The first step in therapy is to establish a relationship between the psychological professional and the client. It is rarely possible to do this during the first session... and that makes sense, if you think about it! When was the last time you felt comfortable enough to disclose your deepest, darkest secrets with someone, after only speaking to them for 40-60 minutes? The answer is probably "never." It's not uncommon to feel awkward the first time you meet someone new... that applies for psychological professionals and regular people, such as classmates and co-workers. I encourage you to give therapy more time in the future. If you're still feeling like the connection isn't there after several sessions, you could ask to see someone else. Sometimes, people just don't connect due to personality differences, and that's okay! It doesn't mean ALL therapy sessions will feel awkward, though.

Finally, I can understand your concern with your parents, because my father has a similar attitude when it comes to mental illness. In fact, I've met a LOT of people who are quite ignorant about mental illnesses. If a psychological professional were to break confidentiality and tell your parents, one of the things they would do is provide psychoeducation. They would try to help your parents understand why you resort to certain unhealthy behaviors - that it's a way to cope with extreme distress. Hopefully, your parents would begin to perceive your situation differently after that. It probably wouldn't happen overnight, but it could gradually change and improve over time. Also, as critical as my father is about other people, there's a part of him that "eases up" for me, BECAUSE I am his daughter. I'm not just a random family member who "screwed up." He'd take it much more personally if I started doing those things, and while he may not approve, he would probably make a greater attempt to understand and help me, than he would for a random family member.






   
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Re: Is this worth telling someone about? - November 3rd 2012, 10:31 AM

Hi there, it is definitely worth telling somebody. 17 days ago I gave up the fight and took an overdose, the day before that I'd seen my therapist and told her everything was fine, just a little depressed but I could handle it. For that week I had been thinking constantly of ending my life. I lied to my friends, my teacher, I told them everything was fine. I wish now that I had told somebody close to me or had talked it out with somebody.

Anything that makes you yearn confidentiality, requires somebody to know. Coz, mate, there is an end to pain, an end to the way you feel, if you seek someone, you can be on the road to recovery in no time.

Jay.


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Re: Is this worth telling someone about? - November 3rd 2012, 05:43 PM

Yeah, that learning mentor is pretty uselss. She reminds me of the pastoral care worker in my old school, pushy and clueless. I think she's incharge of the welfare side of the sixth form, so she must have some understanding of things. Maybe she just slipped up when saw how skinny I am and paired to two together. Either way, she's certainly not a professional, hopefully she's not the designated counsellor... that would be tragic

I suppose I could give it another shot. I'm thinking maybe leave out the fact that I regularly feel like taking my own life and about the occasional SHing... Just to be sure. I wouldn't have thought that would come across as me being in danger, it's not like I actually attempt it. The SH thing might be different though. But even still, I don't do it anywhere that could risk serious injury. I'd be happy for my parents to know about the rest. It's just those things that I'd dread them knowing.

Thanks for your help guys
   
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