If this is one of your key fears about asking for help, you have options. First, you don’t have to tell anyone that you have decided to seek professional help. You can keep it to yourself until you decide someone in your life needs to know or you feel the need to share it. Another option you have is to pick one or two safe people with whom to share this information.
This would be a first step in allowing yourself to be more known and also allowing the person with whom you share it with to come closer to you as well. Seeking professional help from a licensed therapist/counselor who legally has to keep everything you share with them, including your identity, a secret. This knowledge may be enough to allay the fear that someone you love might find out before you are ready to share.
2. Fear that the person I ask for help will think I’m crazy or tell me I am too messed up to receive help.
While I can’t speak directly for other therapists, I can say that my personal and professional motto is this, “Nobody’s story is too painful to be heard or healed.” I believe that with every fiber of my being. I watch people every day who believed they were “too sick” to get better or had “too much trauma” from which to heal, find out that they were stronger all along than they ever believed. I can also safely say that there are at least 100’s and even thousands of other therapists out there who believe the same.
Here is the deal. A therapist that is worth their weight in salt, or even worth your very valuable time would never turn you away because they felt your problem was too great for them to bare.
No matter how much pain you are in and no matter how much your story feels like you are the only one who has ever endured it, even if that particular therapist isn’t skilled or trained in that specific area of expertise, they will find you another therapist or facility with whom to work that can help you in the ways you need if – and I do mean IF – a therapist DOES turn you away and offer you no support in finding a better fit, mark my words, THEY WERE NEVER WORTH YOUR STORY to begin with.
I will repeat that again just so it can sink in. THEY WERE NEVER WORTH YOUR STORY to begin with. It is unethical for someone to treat you that way, and if it HAS happened to you, know that you were never the problem to begin with – THEY were.
I know whether either of this has happened to you or if you fear this happening to you, there are other options out there. Don’t stop your search or stop your healing because of a fear or a person who isn’t worth your time.
Pick up the phone. Dial another number. Find someone online whose face feels safe to you. Seek support through an agency that vets their therapists prior to allowing them to see clients. These are just a few of the options available to you. But don’t stop. Once you share your deepest fears and challenges with the right professional, you will realize that not only were you not crazy or too messed up to receive help, but that you will feel the weight of a thousand worlds lifted off of your chest before you are halfway through.
3. Fear that you are overreacting or making up your problems and you just need to “get over it.”
We live in a time of hyper-achievement. Everyone is online and on point and fast paced and competing most of the time. The bigger the world population gets and the more the media throws this and that and every other thing in our faces, the more anxious we become. The more afraid, and the more confused. It is a really easy time in history to feel that you should just “get over it” if you are experiencing anxiety or fear or even confusion. While that is fine and good for everyone else, you don’t have to follow everyone else as they jump off the proverbial bridge.
In reality, busy-ness isn’t happiness. Constant competition isn’t happiness either. And if your friends or colleagues tell you it is, they are not living the full meaning of life, so just let them be them and you move right along and do your own thing.
Did you know that people who march to the beat of their own drum are much more likely to have success in life? Think about the true movers and shakers on this planet, how many of them can you name that fell in line with everyone around them? Probably none. That is for a reason.