I don’t need to go to a psychologist, I’m not crazy.” How many times heard that phrase? Maybe you heard it in a conversation with a friend or your significant other. You might have overheard it in public, or even on TV. People say it all the time as an excuse not to go to a psychologist. And it couldn’t be more wrong.
You go to a lawyer to counsel you on legal matters, and you go to a doctor when you have a cough. So why not visit a psychologist when you can’t deal with certain situations, you’re stressed, or you have family problems?
It’s not all about mental disorders or psychopathy. Psychology today affects, and can improve, all aspects of a person’s life. In spite of the fact that people value psychological treatment more and more every day, it is still somewhat taboo to go to therapy. People come up with endless excuses not to visit the psychologist, but what are the most common ones?
“I would like to, but I don’t have time”
There’s always time for your health. And if you don’t have time, it’s because you are investing in other things that might not be as important. Experts recommend spending time on your mind and body to be in a good mood and improve your performance in everyday tasks.
That’s why it is very useful to plan and be organized. This is especially important if you have children. If you tend to go grocery shopping twice a week, try going just once and dedicate the other day to yourself. With the time you save, you can reinvest it in other things. You could go to therapy, exercise, take a relaxing bath, read, take a walk…
“I don’t want to talk about intimate things with a stranger”
If you talk about your relationship problems with a friend, you know that his advice will be somewhat biased. But a friend isn’t a psychologist, nor is a psychologist just there to give advice. It’s true that having a strong social circle protects you from certain disorders. However, sometimes venting just isn’t enough.
The patient-psychologist relationship is exactly what contributes objectivity and professionalism to the process. The therapist doesn’t judge or censure her patient. They maintain absolute confidentiality in everything that the patient shares. And, most importantly, they offer solutions.
“I don’t feel that bad every day”
And it’s a good thing! No one can be distressed 24 hours a day, even if you are in a particularly difficult time of your life. But the fact that an issue isn’t present all the time doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It could be just under the surface, waiting for a trigger.
Do you only go to the doctor when your joint pain is so bad you can’t get out of bed? Wouldn’t it be better to know as early as possible that you have fibromyalgia? You can only get treatment if you know what you have. So, isn’t it better to stop making excuses, and go to the psychologist? If you aren’t able to control your anxiety, you have to learn how to do it. If that is the case, better do it sooner rather than later.
“Time heals all wounds”
The passage of time helps you see things more clearly. That is, it allows you to observe your problems from different perspectives and/or you hide your pain. But, unfortunately, time passing doesn’t have therapeutic properties.
In fact, sometimes it makes the problems chronic instead of fixing them. Something that you could have solved in a few months ends up tormenting you for years or even decades. You have to find a solution, not sweep it under the rug.
“I don’t have money for a psychologist”
It’s obvious that not everyone has the same buying power, but each person uses their resources for things that matter to him. So often people spend more than 1,000 euros on a cell phone. But when it comes to health, they aren’t so generous.
If your financial problems are serious, there are some non-profits and NGOs that offer free psychological help. On-line consultations are also a lower cost option for the patient and the professional.
“I don’t want to take pills”
A psychologist’s work has very little to do with prescribing medication. Their work is essentially therapeutic. Psychiatrists are the ones in charge of regulating their patient’s hormones. To that end, they prescribe certain pills like psychotropic drugs.
Keep in mind though that medication shouldn’t be stigmatized. Medications are often fundamental for treatment and improvement of different disorders. If one of your glands isn’t working properly, it is necessary to balance it. If you don’t, it can alter your emotions, appetite, sexual desire, sleep, etc.
“People don’t change”
If psychologists believed this, our profession wouldn’t exist. We would be assuming that people aren’t capable of learning or evolving. There is nothing farther from the truth. Anyone can change with effort and consistency. The only thing that might get in your way of continued development is you.
When what we are trying to modify is part of the individual’s basic personality (introversion, for example), the change is much more complex. In that case, you are dealing with something that is deeply rooted in who they are. Nevertheless, it’s still very possible.
“My friend tried it and he didn’t like it”
Each of us has our own experiences and points of view. We have our own beliefs, traditions, and feelings. And, as our mothers and grandmothers tell us, comparison is the thief of joy. An idea based on other’s bad experiences isn’t an idea, it’s a prejudice.
On the other hand, not all psychologists are good or have the patient’s best interest at heart. That is true in any profession. That doesn’t mean that all psychologists are the same.
What is behind all of these excuses?
All of these reasons for not going to the psychologist are really hiding shame and fear. Shame because many people still have negative ideas about what it means to go to a psychologist. They worry about what others will say or if they will think the person is “a freak.” They also fear pain and suffering.
Human beings don’t want to be emotionally exposed. We are afraid of reliving things that caused us pain. But often we don’t realize that the pain we are running from is the same we experience every day because we try to silence it.
Has it ever happened to you that simply talking about what you are feeling makes you feel better? Imagine how good you could feel if you are able to release whatever has paralyzed you all these years. That’s when you will say to your psychologists “why didn’t I come sooner?”