Have you ever seen a psychologist?

  • Nayro

    Posts: 1825

    Nov 20, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    Hey, I was wondering wheter or not its a taboo in the USA when someone goes to see a psychologist. Here in the Netherlands its not so common to speak about going to a psychologist.

    I have been struggling with the fact that I am gay for a while now. I am sick of it, done with it. There is this service my university offers, The first session is free. A student can get 10 sessions with a psych for 40 euros in total. I decided I am going to do it. I made an appointment a few weeks ago and next week I have my first session with the psychologist. I am quite nervous about it, I also feel kind of ashamed, even though I know I dont have to and I am not the only one with this issue. I study psychology so I know how these things go but when it comes to myself its different. This also makes me think that I should know better and there is nothing wrong with me, so why can't I just accept that I am gay?..

    Anyway, any of you guys ever went to see a psychologist or is there too much of a taboo on it?


    I had my first intake session today. It was horrible icon_razz.gif I became very emotional but the psychologist was very nice. So over all I guess it went fine. Its a bit of a relieve that I told at least someone in real life. Thats a totally new experience for me, I never did that. It kind of made it official for me that I am in fact gay. Now the acceptance process can begin. I have a new session within 6 weeks and she thought she could be of help for me.
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    Nov 20, 2012 11:38 PM GMT
    I'd have a harder time thinking of anyone in my family who hasn't used the services of professional psychology. Oh yeah, I can: the ones who are still fucked up.

    My last psych, a shrink, actually, gave up on me and wound up my friend and mentor instead, in my life for about 30 years. I was fortunate to know him though I think he just wanted someone to play pool with. That guy was smart as hell & helped me a lot. Kept me grounded when I was much younger and later in life he help guide me in taking care of my mom.

    I'm glad he was there for me when I needed someone of his caliber and I am honored that he later became my friend. I will always remember him with great fondness. He died in his 80s, still practicing psychiatry.

    The only shame in this regard would be not taking every measure available to explore yourself. To know who you are as fully as you are able. My mother was a great example in this. A very bright and funny woman, she was in some sort of therapy most all her life. Some ladies go to bridge club; she went to group therapy. Ladies that lunch? Not mom. She was too busy with transactional analysis or transcendental meditation.

    "Know yourself; if you need help, call the FBI." Tony Hendra's Deteriorata

    "The unexamined life is not worth living."~~Socrates, right after a 50 minute long therapy session with his shrink.
  • curtis818

    Posts: 13

    Nov 21, 2012 2:01 AM GMT
    As a psychologist living in the US I can only give you my biased perception. I feel that most people do use or at least could use a little help now and again. Seems to me there are far more getting help from a profession, rabbi, pastor, next door neighbor than are going to own up to it. I had always thought the US was slanted towards professional services than Europe. Anyway, what I say is don't fret it. I worked in school counseling centers for a number of years. We saw people for everything from test anxiety to rap and drug addiction. Only you and the psychologist will know why you are there. The staff doesn't even know so relax. Until you feel comfortable talking to others about it, tell them you are there for test anxiety. Congratulations on taking this step to get help. I think that it the hardest part. It only gets easier for here on out.
  • Fable

    Posts: 3866

    Nov 21, 2012 2:02 AM GMT
    yeah, and she said i wasn't bat shit cray.

    thank fuck
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Nov 21, 2012 2:10 AM GMT
    Mine saved my life, actually.

    Taboo or not, this is about you. The support structures are there if you need them. Use what's being given to you.
  • alliedguy

    Posts: 32

    Nov 21, 2012 2:19 AM GMT
    If you have something physically wrong, you go to the doctor. This is no different. You need help figuring something out within yourself, go get help. Nothing to be ashamed of! My doc says that the crazy people don't come to see her, only the stronger more balanced people that are looking to sort out a few issues for themselves. Good luck...and don't be so nervous, everything will work out fine!
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:22 AM GMT
    Psychologist can be counselor you know. Sometimes people are lost or confuse about things and they are there to let the person recognize their patterns and put you on the path that you want in life. It has to be positive behaviors though......they have the skills and the training to reorient a person to focus on themselves.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    yes.....anxiety. Sometimes things underlying can set it off....not just sexuality.

    I always assumed that sexuality in the Netherlands was pretty stress-free, based on what i saw there, ha ha.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Nov 21, 2012 2:35 AM GMT
    I find it odd that "head" or mind/emotional state doctors are placed in a different category than other doctors and that going to one of them seems shameful.

    Isn't it a sign that you care enough about yourself you are willing seek outside objective opinions about how you conduct yourself?

  • monet

    Posts: 1120

    Nov 21, 2012 2:41 AM GMT
    I am sure that most people here in the United States have been to see a therapist at some point in their lives. And many of the people who haven't could probably benefit from doing so.

    Some people go just once or a few times and they find it very helpful. Others go for many years. There is very little stigma here in the US about going to see a psychologist or a therapist.

    What goes on between you and your therapist is totally confidential. It is nobody else's business what you and your therapist talk about. Your closest friends and your family do not have to know that you are seeing a therapist unless you want them to.

    Since you have access to very reasonably priced therapy as a university student I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the therapy.

    Talking to someone about your issues can be very helpful. Good luck.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:57 AM GMT
    Nowadays seeing a counselor/psychologist is a badge of honor.
  • PrinceOfKeys

    Posts: 37

    Nov 21, 2012 3:01 AM GMT
    Eh, if someone treats you weirdly or lesser because you see a psychologist, then they really are super uneducated in my eyes.
    Seeing a psychologist is almost the same as seeing a "normal" medical doctor. The only difference is that a medical doctor will give you medications or perform a surgery to "fix" you. When you see a psychologist, you are given the tools to "fix" yourself and you have to do all the work.
    At some point in everyone's life, they need help in one way or another. Seeing a psychologist is like going and talking to a very close friend or family member, except the psychologist is more likely to know what to say an how to say it.

    I have seen a psychologist. Before my first session, I TOTALLY felt like "Oh my God...what if someone I know sees me going in to his office?" "How do I tell someone that I saw one?" "What do I say if someone finds out that I saw one?" But after I started going to sessions, it just felt so natural and right. Trust me, if you can find a good psychologist, then eventually you will feel so much better about yourself and your life that you won't care if someone has any hangups about you seeing a psychologist. If something ever comes up, I will very confidently make an appointment and will recommend him to my friends and family.

    (And, one of the main reasons that I went to see a psychologist is because I hadn't forgiven myself for hating and not accepting myself as a gay man before I came out. I can honestly say that I've never been prouder of our heritage.)

    Even if you "don't have any problems", I think it would also be somewhat eyeopening and beneficial to see one for a session or two if you can get a good deal.
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    Nov 21, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    I've seen one twice and it was the greatest thing I could have done for myself. In the early '90's I had a meltdown after losing my partner of 5 years to HIV/AIDS, my dad, and countless friends to HIV/AIDS in just a couple of years.

    The last time I saw one was just last April, when I needed to bounce stuff off a professional (because your friends will only tell you what you want to hear), regarding my ex - who was using me and a master at manipulation - a sociopath, if you will.

    If you have the need, go for it.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Nov 21, 2012 3:32 AM GMT
    You don't have to tell your friends you went to a physical doctor, why should you feel you have to tell others that you have seen a psychologist?

    The only people I know who are against mental health services are seriously crazy and would benefit the most from it.

    I have done therapy three times, and each time helped me with the primary issues in my life enormously.

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    Nov 21, 2012 3:34 AM GMT
    If you at asthma would you go to the doctor? If you had a sprained ankle would you go to the doctor? If you have problems... See a doctor, they have heard and seen it all before and they can give you real perspective. It also might mean that you may be in need of Meds, which is nothing to be ashamed of because it's a physiological aspect of your body not a mental
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Nov 21, 2012 4:04 AM GMT
    Yes, two different ones at two different points in my life. Like others have mentioned, it was very constructive to have a professional neutral party actually listen closely and offer suggestions for looking at things from different angles or constructive ways to process some issues that were causing a great deal of stress (both relationship related).

    It definitely helped me. I think, too, I went into it looking for tools to work things out on my own, and that helped me to be very proactive about it. I only went for a limited time (maybe six or seven visits each), and that was enough for it to be productive.
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    Nov 21, 2012 4:09 AM GMT
    Yes I have because I had anxiety issues. When I felt like I wasn't in control of a situation I got restless legs and hands. It started affecting my schooling because I got anxiety whenever I couldn't figure out a math problem or had writer's block. Just talking about your issues and getting them out of your chest really helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2012 4:12 AM GMT
    The less dependent you become on how others view you, the stronger in life you will be and able to handle anything thrown at you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2012 4:21 AM GMT
    It's no big deal here. At least it isn't for me. I'm pretty open about my health care usage because somebody else may be helped by my openness.
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    Nov 21, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    I've found it to be a tremendous help. I don't understand why it would be considered 'taboo', I think it's a pretty common thing and it's wise to go to a psychologist/counselor/etc. when you are experiencing issues you can't resolve or manage on your own.
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    Nov 21, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    No issues for me - have definitely seen one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2012 4:48 AM GMT
    I don't know too many people who haven't seen one at some point. Not only is it accepted here, but it's actually kind of bizarre to meet someone who has never seen one. We all reach points in our lives where we need guidance, so I think highly of people who go. It's no different than going to the doctor when you're physically injured.
  • monet

    Posts: 1120

    Nov 21, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    I saw a counselor in my teens/early 20's who helped me very much. Then in my 30's my partner and I saw a counselor together to work on some problems we were having; now 20 years later we are doing great but I'd readily go again if I felt the need.
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    Nov 21, 2012 6:46 AM GMT
    Back in the 1990s, it seemed that "being in therapy" was trendy and almost some kind of perverse fashion statement amongst those so inclined.

    A good shrink can be very helpful. Unfortunately, there are so many ambivalent or even bad ones out there who will just waste your time and take your money. Ask around, and no, you shouldn't worry about stigma or embarrassment in seeing a psychologist or psychotherapist. In a lot of ways, no different from seeing a doctor if you have severe, explosive diarrhea or some other medical ailment.
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    Nov 21, 2012 6:50 AM GMT
    I went to a group counseling session for LGBT students during most of my senior year in college. I was heartbroken over getting dumped by my first boyfriend, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I thoroughly enjoyed to the group meetings every Friday afternoon to talk about what's on my mind and to hear from others. It truly was helpful.