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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Difficulties Understanding Treatment

Topic: Difficulties Understanding Treatment

  1. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    7 September 2021

    Counsellors and psychologists to whom I have spoken have told me to identify my long term goals and strive for their achievement. But my attempts have been unsuccessful because I lack the practical skills for achievement and that has caused me greater dissatisfaction than before I attempted to achieve the goals. What is the reason for this strategy and why are counsellors and psychologists unwilling or unable to give me practical advice?

    I identified the technical topic most interesting to me, looked for collaborators, and asked for support to pursue my interest. I found only two people in Australia with similar interests and believe they are unwilling to collaborate with me because by discrediting me their circumstances will improve. The feedback I received about my requests for support is that the topic is not relevant to society. Instead I am expected to perform a job for which I am imperfect and therefore I am excluded because my processes and ideas are different to the industry. Is it true that society's objective is for greater normality and what is the reason for such a strange aspiration? Why does society reject people who are different? Why does society not allow me to pursue my individual interests and talents? What is the purpose of living if society has no use for my talents and the role that society would have me fulfil causes me trauma?

    I was told that independence will not cause me long term satisfaction. Yet, as I have tried unsuccessfully for more than ten years to form a friendship, I question this assertion. The prevailing strategy suggested to me for gaining friends is to participate in activities I enjoy as there I am most likely to meet others with similar interests and beliefs. What is the purpose of living if society directs me to one outcome but it cannot provide the means to achieve that outcome? Surely independence is a far more effective solution.

    I'm pretty sure I am lonely. I would like to have a friendship or at least feel welcome in society. But my efforts never seem to work. People make suggestions but I must be special because they don't work for me. The harder I try, the more independent I become, because my methods appear stranger to others, and the less liked I become. I really don't understand the society in which I live. I wish I wasn't so sad.

    I often cry uncontrollably and am unable to sleep when I realise I will not achieve my desires and there is nothing I can do about it. My life is apparently meaningless.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Guest_9872
    Guest_9872 avatar
    17 posts
    7 September 2021
    You write very well P12. What you describe is like the story of my life, although my situation has gradually improved. My diagnosis is level 1 autism. Something to consider if you have not already done so.
  3. Petal22
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    7 September 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    We all meet friends in all different ways…….

    Can I ask what interests you?

    What do you desire?

    I think that if you really believe in something and want to achieve it you can, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise…..

    Sorry you feel sad.

    Im here to chat to you

  4. Sophie_M
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    Sophie_M avatar
    6822 posts
    7 September 2021 in reply to P12
    Hi P12, 

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your story with us here. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for support, you also never know who will read this post and feel less alone in their own experiences. We are so sorry to hear that you are feeling sad and that you feel like you lack the practical skills to be able to acheive your goals. We understand that this must be very overwhelming for you. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need.

    If you would like to talk to someone we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

    We hope that you will find some comfort here on the forums.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Guest_9872
    Guest_9872 avatar
    17 posts
    8 September 2021
    P12, I have read your post a few times and I think the key line is "The feedback I received about my requests for support is that the topic is not relevant to society." I strongly suspect that the feedback given was an error of judgement by whoever provided it. It's hard to say anything definite without details of the proposal but I think crowdfunding might be the answer, along with getting someone to market the crowdfunding page. You would reach an international audience who might be more open to the idea than people in Australia.
  6. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    10 September 2021 in reply to Guest_9872

    I appreciate the kind and encouraging replies.

    My goals are:

    • To be independent. To live freely and alone as much as possible.
    • To have a friend. Someone accepting of my contributions and offering me support.
    • Intellectual satisfaction.
    • To make a contribution to society of which I am proud, which matches my talents and interests.
    • To observe, hypothesise, and share my insights about the natural world. To receive worth from nature for my talents and interest.
    • To be in control of my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

    The technical topic of interest to me is fracture mechanics, and how it relates to research, analysis, conserving nature, and reducing land development.

  7. Guest_9872
    Guest_9872 avatar
    17 posts
    10 September 2021 in reply to P12
    Those are really good goals P12. If it is the case that you are an 'Aspie' (Aspergers Syndrome person), then Aspergers Victoria is a really good organisation to join, regardless of what state you are in. They have a lot of good programmes for social things and mentoring.
  8. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    12 September 2021

    I appreciate again the feedback. I feel I would like to clarify the difficulties I face in case anyone knows the answers.

    How is the Beyond Blue Support Service different to other counselling and clinical psychology services? Several psychologists and counsellors whom I have approached in the past two years have told me they are unable to speak with me because I have another psychologist. However, despite having a mental health care plan I find the cost too high to speak with them more than once every three months. I am also confused by the policy. In my experience, it is necessary to diversify interests. I believe a decentralised economy works by someone being both an expert in a topic and an expert at giving the perception of expertise. If I persist with being only an expert I will not receive support because my life is too short for someone to find value from my interests. Then what is the purpose of an individual's life? Translated to mental health support, this means I am responsible for acquiring the mental health support I need and directing counsellors and psychologists towards the specific problems I face. But I am blocked by the policy?

    I believe the prevailing mental health treatment method in Australia is cognitive behaviour therapy. I have used it for the past three years. However, I feel I have reached its limit because I cannot determine how to overcome the disproportional effect of other people's actions towards me. I believe the theory says I cannot change other people's behaviour, only my own thoughts, feelings, and actions. However, my experience is that this is unsustainable because, regardless of my intellectual and emotional strength, eventually the criticism and exclusion I face will overwhelm me.

    I believe the second prevailing method is acceptance and commitment therapy. It says I should stop worrying about certain parts of my life and spend time on values that are important to me. When I shared my values with my psychologist they told me I should change some of them to be more socially appropriate because in the long term this will cause me greater satisfaction. I am confused by how to proceed. I'm not allowed to do what interests me and I must worry about whether my values are in other people's interests. That appears a contradiction.

    Thank you for reading my message.

  9. Petal22
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    12 September 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12,

    Thank you for your post…..

    I think it’s great that you have an interest in fracture mechanics just have that belief in yourself that you can proceed with this in any way you wish…… go for it! You could even write a book….. move forward with it… dream big…. You can obtain it….

    Yes correct we can’t change how other people perceive us…. It’s up to those individuals to change their internal world…… it’s up to their self development……… Ive done a lot of self development and I’ve changed my internal world to be accepting of others no matter their appearance we can learn a lot from other people if we just learn to not judge and open our minds…….

    I did metacognitive therapy I had severe anxiety OCD this therapy changed my life! It bought great self development for me…… I can sit back and see what my mind is doing and I’ve been able to challenge my thoughts and beliefs and change them and my behaviour towards others….. it’s been an amazing journey and I’m still growing… maybe you could see if this therapy is a fit for you…….

    Think big my friend and just do what really makes you happy……shine bright….. your path is waiting 🙏

    here to chat

  10. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    1 October 2021

    Some of the responses have suggested there is nothing preventing me from achieving my goals but I am unconvinced.

    I wouldn't need treatment if I could achieve my goals, but society puts in place barriers to prevent me from achieving my goals, which cause me to need more treatment, which tries to make me more like those in society who are unlike me, which makes me less likely to achieve my goals, which causes me to need more treatment.

    From what I can tell, this is a self-fulfilling cycle for the benefit of society, not me. How does society justify itself and how can I escape the cycle and achieve my goals?

    I wish I wasn't confused, anxious, sad, or stressed, and could action my goals without being prevented from achieving them by other people.

  11. Petal22
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    Petal22 avatar
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    2 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12,

    Im sorry you are feeling this way.

    I think it would be helpful for you to call one of our friendly councillors 1300 22 4636.

    Talking to a councillor can help…

  12. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    3 October 2021 in reply to Petal22
    Thank you, Petal22, for your suggestion. I phoned the service yesterday, though I can't really say I feel or think much differently as a result. Thanks again.
    1 person found this helpful
  13. Yen2
    Yen2 avatar
    19 posts
    4 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12,

    I just want to say that your experience was absolutely interesting to me (not in a judgemental way, sorry if that was insulting). I'm currently the opposite of you. Everyday I strive to be as normal as possible, believing that standing out was unnecessary and all I needed to do was live, breathe, eat, sleep and pass away (cuz thats normal). For this exact reason, I really admire your courage to do something out of the norm. I've been living with GAD for a few years now and I relate to you when you listed out your goals. The difference between us is that I think I'm TOO normal and should do something with my life more, but am scared to start step 1.

    Therefore, I really admire your confidence and self-acknowledgment in trying. I just want to say, in my experience, that you definately don't have to conform within the "normal" society. You should live life how you want it to be. A true friend would understand your goals and happiness. And you are already a wonderful person.

    I also wish I never had these thoughts and symptoms along with it, but am determined to live with it. I hope you feel better hearing a similar experience from the "normal" side.

    Everyone is different and that's the wonderful thing. Therefore, you are wonderful! :D

  14. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to Yen2
    Thank you, Yen2, for your comments. I act as I am naturally compelled to act, which is apparently as an outsider. It seems I must use conscious effort to try to conform, but then it is only as an actor would act in a film, which doesn't give me any satisfaction. Almost all of the time I wish I were more normal but cannot be. Being an outsider is not much fun on average. I believe many people in history have increased their esteem after their lifetime. I suppose my life belongs in the sky where the impediments of a human life are absent.
  15. Summer Rose
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    10 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12

    I hear your frustration with the mental health support that you’ve been receiving. I’m wondering if it would pay to pause a moment and take a step back.

    There are many different types of mental health treatments, CBT is just one. But people don’t usually pick and choose their treatments by themselves, even if they are recommended by friends or other people we may know.

    It’s really important to seek a professional diagnosis of the condition(s) you’re experiencing and then to let the professional recommend the right treatment.

    I think it’s great that you have a MH plan but feel it’s important that it’s based on a professional diagnosis. This diagnosis needs to take into account your unique needs and the ways you feel you are different from other people.

    From my experience, a psychiatrist is best placed to make this assessment.

    So, my question to you is: have you ever received a professional diagnosis?

    I really like your goals but it’s a really big list. I’d like to suggest that you prioritise and then break the goals into “chunks”. I do this all the time, so I don’t get overwhelmed when I have a lot on my plate.

    So, my first question is: what’s your top priority on the list? Second question: how can you break it down?

    For example, if your top priority is to make a friend, you might start by aiming to have a conversation with a neighbour and then to build rapport and then to build a friendship over time.

    Does that make sense to you? This approach makes it easier to achieve some measure of quick success and then continue to build upon it. I find this helps to keep me motivated and feeling positive.

    Happy to chat as are all the others.

    Kind thoughts to you

  16. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    13 October 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hello Summer Rose.

    The clinical psychologist referenced in my MHCP has told me he believes I have a recognised disorder. At the conclusion of my first six visits I returned to my GP who asked me what I was told during the visits and then wrote it in my subsequent referral. Is this what you mean by being diagnosed?

    The psychologist told me there is no proven treatment for my disorder and it will remain with me my life. He recommended I attempt the strategies I have described in these posts.

    I feel my highest priority goal is independence. I've tried for 14 years to make a friend but have been unsuccessful so I would like to try to reinstate my circumstances before I attempted to make a friend, when I was much happier.

  17. Summer Rose
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    13 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12

    A clinical psychologist is trained to make a diagnosis and treat mental health conditions, so we can give that a tic. Good that your GP is across everything.

    I’m sorry that there is no treatment for your disorder and that it will be with you for life. I know that’s a harsh blow, as my daughter also has a disorder (OCD) which will be with her for life. But in her case there are treatments available.

    We all have to deal with our challenges in life and not everything can be fixed—some things have to carried. You, my daughter and me, as I live with the legacy of severe physical injuries sustained in my youth, and most everyone I know.

    I’m sorry that you have such a heavy load. Please know that you are not alone.

    I’m going to think about your goals and sub goals and will respond in a fresh post.

    Kind thoughts to you

  18. Summer Rose
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    13 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi again

    I just came back to respond to your second post but it’s gone, or am I confused??? I’m sorry but I can’t remember all the sub goals.

    I do remember that you said you’ve achieved the first seven. So, I want to challenge your thinking a bit because you are actually making progress and kicking goals. Well done.

    Anyway, let’s start with your top goal to live independently and “chunk” it down. That takes money, which depends on employment. This could start with freelance work or volunteer work. This starts with a connection.

    I take it from your posts that you want to work in your special interest field, is that right? And you say the interest is: “fracture mechanics, and how it relates to research, analysis, conserving nature, and reducing land development.” And the two people in Australia who could collaborate with you won’t for selfish reasons.

    How about looking for people interested in fracture mechanics globally? UK, Canada or USA? Europe or Asia? You could look for an online community group or professional organisation to join. Or try to make a connection at a University.

    You write very well, how about writing a piece for publication? Having a go at a book? Volunteering for a professional association? Volunteering to assist on a research project at a university?

    I don’t know much about fracture mechanics (sorry, only what I could glean through a Google search) so I can’t really comment on whether or not it’s “relevant” to society but I find it hard to believe that it isn’t. Building industry? Engineering sector? Aeronautics? I wish I knew more about, just guessing here.

    There’s got to be a way to reframe your interest and find greater relevance. Think about it. If you want to explain more about the topic, we can brainstorm.

    I don’t know if I’m helping or not but I hope at least that me and all the other thread participants have made you feel welcome here. Your efforts to reach out, communicate and make connections have worked here—another win for you.

    Kind thoughts to you

  19. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    14 October 2021 in reply to Summer Rose
    Hi Summer Rose,

    Here are my sub-goals. I have tried some of the things you suggested in relation to my interest. For example, I have written and submitted several articles but none have been published, except by me placing them freely on my own website. I have organised several discussion events. Two organisations rejected my request to advertise with them. A third accepted but of the five meetings, three I sat in by myself because of the five registered participants none attended.

    • Avoid others.
    • Write and speak my ideas.
    • Ask others to leave me alone.
    • Complete a short walk alone in a wilderness area.
    • Receive payment for performing an activity, but with psychological cost because it doesn't match my talents or values.
    • Purchase food, water, and basic supplies.
    • Purchase mental health support.
    • Purchase a car.
    • Complete an extended walk alone in a wilderness area.
    • Practice double thinking by performing my own interests simultaneously with other interests without causing me distress.
    • Receive criticism and exclusion from others without negatively affecting my wellbeing.
    • Purchase land or house.
    • Obtain food, water, basic supplies from the land.
    • Receive support from an individual or organisation for an activity matching my talents and interests.
    • Others leave me alone unless they know their actions benefit me.
  20. Summer Rose
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    14 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12

    I think it’s great that you’ve already tried some of the ideas that I suggested. It takes courage to make yourself vulnerable and try new things. You should be proud of yourself.

    I am a writer. I’m in my first news room, some 30 years ago, and an editor makes a comment that I’ll never forget-good copy doesn’t lie.

    You write well and I’d like to suggest you keep going. It’s really really hard to get published but with each rejection you learn. So, if you make a realistic goal to learn and improve with each experience, you will succeed. In time, through this process, you may get published and meet another goal.

    It’s a shame the discussion event didn’t take off like you hoped. Why do think this happened?

    I’m wondering if maybe your desire to avoid people played a part? Could be that in-person events aren’t for you. That’s not a criticism (I’m not trying to upset you) just an observation. So, if you think that may be true, put your valuable time into something else. Thankfully writing is a solitary endeavour. Could you take the discussion topic, which obviously had relevance and interest, and turn it into a written work that you could market?

    I like the idea of achieving your walks in the wilderness. Exercise is very good for our mental health, as is nature. Have you tried to progress this one?

    Kind thoughts to you

  21. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3183 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12,

    I wanted to try and provide some insight on CBT, ACT and some of the experiences you've had with professionals.

    It makes sense that you are working to understand your goals and values and unpacking them with a therapist/psychologist. Reading your goals indicates a lot of purpose, self-fulfilment and independence, which are totally achievable.

    There are actually a variety of different therapies out there, even though you are right in that CBT and ACT are often a go to.
    Not being able to change anyones behaviour is sustainable because that's what we do day-to-day. That's why the goals are around resilience so that you are able to bounce back from negative criticisms without it being all consuming. I'm not sure what values you have that are socially inappropriate.

    With the Beyond Blue Support Service, I suppose the key difference is that it's short-term. A counsellor can get to know you in-depth, what makes you tick, your childhood, family, day to day living- such a really comprehensive understanding which can inform some of the therapies and tools and how they will work with you. I've always coped by thinking things through for example, so my psychologist knows that psychoeducation (learning about concepts) is really important to me.
    As for other psychologists, it may simply be the idea that they don't want their treatments to clash. A CBT approach in challenging negative thoughts clashes with an ACT approach in accepting the thoughts but not reading into them.

    With the disorder, yes, its' with us for life because there's no "cure" in the same way we'd have a 'cure' for an infection to treat it completely with an antibiotic. But that doesn't mean that the way we experience our condition is just as intense all the time. I see myself as always having depression even though there are times where I'm doing really well.

    It can take a bit of time to find the balance- like when you are alone in a park it's natural to not see people but at the same time, there will always be interactions that are unpleasant (like at the grocery store for example) but your willingness and determination is really strong and admirable so I hope more people will see that.

    Hope this helps,
    rt

  22. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to P12
    In case anyone is interested, my psychologist suggested I inform the other therapists that I am not visiting him in order to increase the chance of speaking with the other therapists. While this is only partly true, it is also not a complete falsehood if I visit my psychologist rarely and not in between visits with other therapists.
  23. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose,

    Thanks for your encouragement to continue my writing. I do enjoy it.

    However, I'm sorry I can't quite determine the meaning of your statement"good copy doesn't lie." Would you be able to clarify? Does it mean that if I write an article of which I am proud and which in my opinion is accurate then it doesn't matter if anyone reads it?

    From what I can see, being published is about chance more than anything. My experience is that receiving feedback is rare. Therefore a writer can either try to guess at what is wrong with their work or write as they see fit. Since I am apparently not much good at understanding what others want, probably I will mostly end up being unpublished, writing for an imaginary reader.

    I think my events were unsuccessful because there is only a small number of people with similar interests. I guess I will probably never make many collaborators or friends because my interests are uncommon. I have written an article about the events.

    I have completed two three-day walks, several two-day, and numerous one day walks with small groups. I have completed several day walks and one overnight walk alone. The past two years have been disruptive to this goal. In my view it is safer to be alone and dispersed in the wilderness than confined to a city during a pandemic, though realise this contridicts expert advice.

    My goal of independence means more to me than having money, as an independent person wouldn't need money. You have given me some encouragement nonetheless. Thanks for your comments.

  24. Summer Rose
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    17 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12

    “Good copy doesn’t lie” means that if you write well the reader will see that. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have relevant tertiary learning or professional experience and you want to be a writer. What matters is that you have talent. So, I encourage you to keep writing.

    Getting published is about a lot of things. Timing, understanding your market, knowing how to approach a potential publisher, topic, etc. If you go to the website of your State’s “writers’ centre” you can learn about this and purchase resources to help you get published.

    I also use the writers’ centre for feedback. I am able to submit copy for review and feedback, although there is a fee. I have done this in groups with other writers and by receiving a written assessment of my work.

    You do have to be able to handle criticism to go through this process but its a great way to learn and hone your craft.

    Great progress on your walks! You are doing an awesome job. Keep it up!

    I have a question for you. When you talk about your goal of being independent, what does independence mean to you in this context? I’m curious because the way I think, money is required to be independent. No pressure to answer but I’m here if you want to share.

    Kind thoughts to you

  25. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    17 October 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thanks for your comments romantic_thi3f.

    I have a little difficulty understanding your statement: "Not being able to change anyones behaviour is sustainable because that's what we do day-to-day. That's why the goals are around resilience so that you are able to bounce back from negative criticisms without it being all consuming." I think it means that others will eternally act differently to me and sometimes averse to me, this is natural, but true values will sustain me because they will give me something to fall back on that is stronger than the conflict. The process is perpetual, I will always be in conflict with others, there is nothing I can do to change it, except to accept it and put it out of my worries. Is that what you meant? If so, I can emphasise with some of what you say, though sometimes I do question whether it is true.

  26. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    18 October 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose,

    In my view, money is a currency used to facilitate interaction between different individuals. A truely independent person would not need money because they would not interact with other people. I believe this is a highly desirable situation because interacting with others does more harm than good.

  27. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3183 posts
    21 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12,

    Yes, you're on the right track.

    Let's say that there's an actor who loves being in comedies. There will be people who adore them, find them hilarious, and they'll be others who don't find them funny at all and have nothing nice to say about them. It doesn't matter how many acting lessons they've gone to, they'll still be people who just don't find them funny.

    It's a difficult spot to be in for sure, because the actor loves to make people laugh- but they have to decide how much they want to act and whether to keep going even though there's people who don't like them. It doesn't necessarily mean they have to ignore all the criticisms, but they need to be able to read it without letting it knock their entire self-esteem or self-worth. This is what I mean by resilience, and the values.

    Hope that makes sense! What do you think?

    rt

  28. Summer Rose
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    21 October 2021 in reply to P12

    Hi P12

    You have an interesting perspective about what independence means to you.

    To me, money is a pillar of independence. In order to put a roof over my head, feed myself, seek medical treatment, have clothes, gain an education, etc, I’ve always needed money.

    Money funds my life. So, if I didn’t have money I would be dependent on someone else for my life (or the government or charity) and I would lose my independence.

    Kind thoughts to you

  29. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi romantic_thi3f,

    In your example, the actor presumably has some followers who provide him with enough satisfaction or income to continue expressing his values regardless of how many critics he has. My question is who provides for those who have no followers?

    I would also like to return more closely to my original question of asking what mental health treatment tries to achieve and what methods it uses.

    For example, you could argue my observation of mental health treatment practices show it is in contrast with a competing strategy - Christianity. I believe it practices that the greater one's suffering, the greater their reward. Since my practitioners have apparently tried to help me identify my values and strive for their achievement, but I have been unsuccessful, and they are unable or unwilling to provide practical advice, am I supposed to subject myself to greater suffering? Are the methods of mental health treatment compatible with this practice? Or are they more a false claim, destined to fail?

  30. P12
    P12 avatar
    40 posts
    10 November 2021 in reply to P12

    What is the function of feigning skill and ability in society?

    Several practitioners to whom I've spoken have either suggested I am either feigning dysfunction, already know the solution to the condition I face, or that they are unable or unwilling to communicate with me. Presumably they don't wish to speak with me and by employing this strategy they are attempting to discourage me from seeking further treatment. I'm not sure it works, however, because the more I experience it, the more confused, sad, and anxious I become.

    Apparently they have a view that eventually by method of exhaustion I will find one person who knows exactly how to help me and willing to communicate with me. Apparently most people have this view. However, statistically speaking it will not occur during my life time.

    What role do outsiders have in society and why is it so difficult to live without being part of a society? I think there is no habitable land on earth that is not owned by a country. I wish I could understand the operation of society so that I could find meaning in my life.

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