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Finding a good therapist

r4ch3l

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As an INTP I feel misunderstood by people in general and as an INTP female I feel particularly misunderstood by psychologists.

As a child my weirdness, curiosity, independence, and competitiveness were celebrated but once I started coming into my own as a person my dissatisfaction with the answers people had to offer regarding my questions about morality, mortality, and experience led to a phase of some trauma and questionable decision making because I felt I needed to test the limits for myself to get the (existential?) answers I needed about myself and about life in general.

In being fueled by curiosity I picked up some coping mechanisms (mind loops, substance use, questionable communication and relationship patterns) that probably are not the most healthy and also a few that have really helped (breathwork, nutrition, chiropractic, actively cultivating empathy).

I am 26 now and just finally finished my degree after a few years of health problems, a broken engagement, and world travel. While I finally have a handle on the health side of things I feel like my distrust of psychologists due to previous bad experiences is holding me back from getting some valuable help. I would be very open to therapy and readily pay out of pocket if I could find a compatible therapist who has a high degree of patience with my trust and communication issues.

It seems that attractive, opinionated women with a history of drug use and relationship problems get thrown into this Borderline Personality Disorder box these days (which -- imo -- is just a re-branding of the outdated and questionable "female hysteria"). I don't have a problem with being labeled as a Borderline if I fit the criteria but I really feel that there are some other underlying things going on that fuel this instability that have less to do with out of control emotions or past trauma and more to do with the fact that I have serious sensory processing problems, issues making decisions and concentrating on things I don't care about, and low confidence because I know I am not stupid but I continually fail at the 3D part of life. [I recently wrote an article on this here: http://www.xojane.com/issues/fighting-about-the-jodi-arias-trial-with-my-mom-led-me-to-seek-an-official-aspergers-diagnosis

My youngest sister was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and Auditory Processing Disorder and I suspect my (dyslexic, 16-hour-workday-for-fun engineer) dad may have Asperger's although there's no way he would ever be open to the idea. I showed classic signs of Asperger's from a young age (can't make eye contact, picking at my hands, obsessive counting and organizing, little empathy or interest in other children) but because I did so well academically nobody thought anything was wrong.

Bottom line: do any of you guys share this feeling of being misunderstood by therapists and how have you navigated your search if eventually you found someone you clicked with who has been beneficial to you?
 
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Bottom line: do any of you guys share this feeling of being misunderstood by therapists and how have you navigated your search if eventually you found someone you clicked with who has been beneficial to you?
For what it's worth my bipolar was initially misdiagnosed as asperger's and then schizoaffective disorder with comorbid PTSD. (The PTSD may turn out to be accurate, or, more likely, be a result of a shared causal mechanism in the HPA axis).

In my experience, if you come right out and demonstrate that you're semi-sane and intelligent enough to understand the more complicated aspects of psychology (on their level), you're more likely to get an honest relationship as a result. "You know, I've been diagnosed as borderline but I honestly don't think I meet the criteria because X, Y, Z." If they don't respond well to this then pick a new one. I actually found a psychiatrist who's a damn good therapist as it is during an hour appointment block, so I don't find a therapist necessary. She just trusts me.

At the very least, if you keep searching, you'll find one who'll play along just for the privilege of billing your insurance company on a steady basis. :angel:
 

BigApplePi

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The way I see it what you (or anyone seeking therapy or counseling) is emotional resolution. Your feelings are your possessions and that is what you want to learn how to handle.

As an INTP I feel misunderstood by people in general and as an INTP female I feel particularly misunderstood by psychologists.
Your next counselor: tell them that.

As a child my weirdness, curiosity, independence, and competitiveness were celebrated but once I started coming into my own as a person my dissatisfaction with the answers people had to offer regarding my questions about morality, mortality, and experience led to a phase of some trauma and questionable decision making because I felt I needed to test the limits for myself to get the (existential?) answers I needed about myself and about life in general.
Where are you now? Do you have answers or is this ongoing?


In being fueled by curiosity I picked up some coping mechanisms (mind loops, substance use, questionable communication and relationship patterns) that probably are not the most healthy and also a few that have really helped (breathwork, nutrition, chiropractic, actively cultivating empathy).
That's something.


I am 26 now and just finally finished my degree after a few years of health problems, a broken engagement, and world travel. While I finally have a handle on the health side of things I feel like my distrust of psychologists due to previous bad experiences is holding me back from getting some valuable help. I would be very open to therapy and readily pay out of pocket if I could find a compatible therapist who has a high degree of patience with my trust and communication issues.
Past counselors are done. Can you tell a new one about how they "failed"? Can you state it here?

It seems that attractive, opinionated women with a history of drug use and relationship problems get thrown into this Borderline Personality Disorder box these days (which -- imo -- is just a re-branding of the outdated and questionable "female hysteria"). I don't have a problem with being labeled as a Borderline if I fit the criteria but I really feel that there are some other underlying things going on that fuel this instability that have less to do with out of control emotions or past trauma and more to do with the fact that I have serious sensory processing problems, issues making decisions and concentrating on things I don't care about, and low confidence because I know I am not stupid but I continually fail at the 3D part of life. [I recently wrote an article on this here:
Do you like being labelled that way? You are entitled to be you, no matter how different as long as it's not self-defeating.

???
My youngest sister was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and Auditory Processing Disorder and I suspect my (dyslexic, 16-hour-workday-for-fun engineer) dad may have Asperger's although there's no way he would ever be open to the idea. I showed classic signs of Asperger's from a young age (can't make eye contact, picking at my hands, obsessive counting and organizing, little empathy or interest in other children) but because I did so well academically nobody thought anything was wrong.
When I was a kid, I sat in my rocking chair and started counting to pass the time. After a while I decided I'd count by tens as that made better progress. I don't recall what happened after that.:D


Bottom line: do any of you guys share this feeling of being misunderstood by therapists and how have you navigated your search if eventually you found someone you clicked with who has been beneficial to you?
When I went to grad school I got hung up on some girl. The psychologist interviewed me and sent me to a psychiatrist. I don't think he was of any help. The only cure for inexperience is experience.
 

Beat Mango

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Bottom line: do any of you guys share this feeling of being misunderstood by therapists and how have you navigated your search if eventually you found someone you clicked with who has been beneficial to you?

Absolutely. I've been seeing therapists on and off for the past 15 years (I'm 29). None of them "get" me. To deal with it, I treat them like the rest of people: just accept their positives despite their limitations, and try not to get jaded that they aren't what I wish they'd be. My current one is a clear and kind of intense IxFx who always wants to go into family history etc when I feel there are more pertinent issues. But at the same time, there are genuine benefits I get out of it, so i just take what I can and leave the rest.

Honestly therapists are not the magic wand but they can help a bit in conjunction with other tools like the ones you mentioned. That's something.

Maybe what you're really dealing with is just the desperate ad generally doomed desire of the intelligent INTP to be understood. That would further make sense if you're in a work environment which doesn't cater to that. It pains, I know. (I'm probably just projecting here :lol: :'( )

I envy people who can just express their pure selves and find understanding in such dreary situations such as work, a social dinner, etc (these people are called sensors and extroverts). There's no "gap" between themselves and the world. I really envy that.
 

r4ch3l

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Where are you now? Do you have answers or is this ongoing?

I feel that I have had so much external and varied experiences that my curiosity when it comes to relationships, intense and untethered phases of personal research (i.e. sitting in my room for 6 months reading philosophy/physics, making diagrams, and not giving a fuck about the outside world), and pleasure-seeking/hedonism (drugs, travel, etc.) has reached somewhat of an end and that now I am looking to set up functional structures that give me a routine and a rhythm that makes me content. I am now seeking financial, creative, and health fulfillment and have little desire to aggressively explore. Yet I am in an awkward in-between phase at the moment and would appreciate assistance and insight while trying to set up this next phase of my life.

Past counselors are done. Can you tell a new one about how they "failed"? Can you state it here?

I don't believe that I used the word "failed" when referring to the people I have seen in the past. [ETA: now I see the context and that you are summarizing my main point for me to relay in the future...which is, I guess, saying they failed.]

I had one woman treat me for several months when I was 18 who helped quite a bit; she had been a homeless drug addict and then went on to get her phd at Stanford and I deeply respected her for the wisdom she had gained through living more than anything else. Then my insurance changed and I did not connect with or feel that those who I had initial appointments with listened to me or cared to explore what I felt and why before shoving me into a box and tuning me out completely.

Beyond this the only psych med I ever tried (Wellbutrin) gave me a seizure and kicked off years of chronic health issues that I finally resolved through my own research and persistence. This may contribute to my distrust of doctors.

Do you like being labelled that way? You are entitled to be you, no matter how different as long as it's not self-defeating.

Not really, but as previously stated I have my own political beliefs surrounding this particular diagnosis.

When I went to grad school I got hung up on some girl. The psychologist interviewed me and sent me to a psychiatrist. I don't think he was of any help. The only cure for inexperience is experience.

I agree, and I'm willing to step it up and commit to action. Yet I believe that my need for feedback and general intensity is too overwhelming for friends and lovers and that it might be useful to have someone to speak with who can provide the insight I crave without being emotionally burdened.
 

Minimalist

"The wise man knows that he knows nothing" or some
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I would venture to say that an individual best suited to understand you is another intp. I would also recommend psychoanalysis as opposed to any pill popping that they'll push on you (psychology took a turn towards drugging people into conformity around the 1950s). I have offered psychoanalysis for free to a couple before who said that I had helped them more than their $200 marriage counselor. I am not certified (psychoanalyst Is Not A legally protected Title) , I just became a bit obsessed with Freud and Jung, read about their methods, and attempted to replicate them. I would recommend that you find someone to tell you more or less that you are fine being you, unless your goal Is productivity. I myself am 26 and ran off at 22 to live in the wilderness to prove I could as well as to gain skills and get away from myself more or less. You are very correct about INTPs being misunderstood. Find some.
 

Hadoblado

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I think it's very healthy to approach the topic skeptically, psychiatrists can have a lot of power over people and they are only human after all. I've had two, and heard about others second hand from close friends.

The first one I had was an idiot, she was very obviously trying to fit me into her preconceived notions, and it wasn't working for me at all. I think she was a neo-Freudian , but I'm not entirely sure. Anyway, she pissed me off and wouldn't listen.

The second one which I still see every three months or so is also the one that got me into MBTI. I have a lot of disagreements with her (she's an INFJ), but it feels more like a bidirectional interaction. She has her opinions (many of them unsupported), I have mine, but she (correctly) understands that she must convince me of anything she believes before we both assume it. While sometimes I wish she was more open to alternative perspectives, I always leave with a sense of energy and optimism, and maintain it for at least a few days. She has contributed much to my perspective.

From what I've heard from friends, there are a lot of terrifyingly bad psychiatrists out there. My advice is to shop around. If they cut corners to make their job easier, apply your Ti, and fight them every step of the way. If they still refuse to justify their conclusions, leave.

This of course comes with the caveat that you shouldn't give up just because you don't like the answers you're getting. Make sure your reasons for leaving are rational, though I assume this shouldn't be a problem.
 

kvothe27

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Bottom line: do any of you guys share this feeling of being misunderstood by therapists and how have you navigated your search if eventually you found someone you clicked with who has been beneficial to you?

Yes, I've been misunderstood. I've received numerous diagnoses from numerous different therapists, doctors, and psychiatrists: ADHD, Avoidance Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, and, recently, I've been told I'm on the Autism Spectrum.

I "clicked" with my last psychiatrist. He's very open regarding communication and actually takes time to listen to what I'm saying. He reads between the lines and catches me when I'm just telling him what I think he wants to hear. He pays attention when I disagree with what he's saying, etc.

I'm sick of the whole process though. Group therapy and individual therapy were beneficial, but I've reached the point where I'm done trying to "fix" myself, which may mean it all helped out in the end. I've finally accepted myself.
 

Polaris

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Counseling is basically problem-solving. This is why it never worked for me. I sat there thinking everything that was being said was essentially what I knew already.

The problem is, even if I know the solutions I do not necessarily act upon them. I then identify why I don't act, and it is always procrastination. This is obviously a hurdle. The hurdle seem so great that I cannot even contemplate beginning.

So then what is needed next is determination and a will to change. That will to change is usually dictated by my level of inspiration, which is closely related to level of contentedness. If I'm going through a phase of depression, it will be a challenge. The depression is usually an indirect result of my procrastination. The loop is firmly closed.

So how to break the loop?

This may be dependent on many things. But one thing I have found; talking to a stranger who really doesn't give a hoot, and will nevertheless give you solutions you've already worked out for yourself seems futile, and quite humiliating to be frank. I do not enjoy laying myself open to strangers.

What I have found is interaction and time with close friends who 'get me' have been far more beneficial in that I have felt less isolated with my issues. All the time spent brooding alone may be great for some problem-solving, but having other people who you are close to as sounding boards has helped me to snap out of procrastination-mode by giving me some joy and therefore inspiration to change.

I think spending some time on this forum interacting with like-minded people is one aspect of this process. You seem to have a firm grasp on who/what you are, perhaps you just need to be around people who can relate to you on an equal level. Being in that rather awkward counselor/patient dynamic can be difficult, particularly for INTP's who are rather prone to analysing situations from a detached perspective. I find that dynamic off-putting as it places me in a vulnerable position.

Do you think you need counseling?
 

Duxwing

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Counseling is basically problem-solving. This is why it never worked for me. I sat there thinking everything that was being said was essentially what I knew already.

The problem is, even if I know the solutions I do not necessarily act upon them. I then identify why I don't act, and it is always procrastination. This is obviously a hurdle. The hurdle seem so great that I cannot even contemplate beginning.

So then what is needed next is determination and a will to change. That will to change is usually dictated by my level of inspiration, which is closely related to level of contentedness. If I'm going through a phase of depression, it will be a challenge. The depression is usually an indirect result of my procrastination. The loop is firmly closed.

So how to break the loop?

This may be dependent on many things. But one thing I have found; talking to a stranger who really doesn't give a hoot, and will nevertheless give you solutions you've already worked out for yourself seems futile, and quite humiliating to be frank. I do not enjoy laying myself open to strangers.

What I have found is interaction and time with close friends who 'get me' have been far more beneficial in that I have felt less isolated with my issues. All the time spent brooding alone may be great for some problem-solving, but having other people who you are close to as sounding boards has helped me to snap out of procrastination-mode by giving me some joy and therefore inspiration to change.

I think spending some time on this forum interacting with like-minded people is one aspect of this process. You seem to have a firm grasp on who/what you are, perhaps you just need to be around people who can relate to you on an equal level. Being in that rather awkward counselor/patient dynamic can be difficult, particularly for INTP's who are rather prone to analysing situations from a detached perspective. I find that dynamic off-putting as it places me in a vulnerable position.

Do you think you need counseling?

Just a point: not every INTP is like this. I've been in therapy for years, and all but one of my therapists 'got me' like the close friendships that you describe. I've never felt more at ease than with them, and I've had no trouble laying my entire life-story bare-- I've even made flow charts of my psychological development to help my current therapist understand how I've become what I am today. Trust also places a limit on frankness of communication, thereby placing an indirect limit on the quality of care: you wouldn't tell Hannibal Lecter how you tick, now would you?

-Duxwing
 

r4ch3l

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The problem is, even if I know the solutions I do not necessarily act upon them. I then identify why I don't act, and it is always procrastination. This is obviously a hurdle. The hurdle seem so great that I cannot even contemplate beginning.

Yup. I feel that my problems are actually fairly worked out in my head but the mind loops and procrastination stop them from being implemented because my confidence and mood is low. I have serious confidence problems from (mostly) well-meaning people trying to *fix* me my whole life and now I see that I don't want or need to be fixed; I must become confident in who I already am and can't help but be in order to improve my quality of life. For this reason I agree that therapy could be counterproductive and possibly just a more formal extension of the misunderstanding that has damaged me so badly in the first place.

This may be dependent on many things. But one thing I have found; talking to a stranger who really doesn't give a hoot, and will nevertheless give you solutions you've already worked out for yourself seems futile, and quite humiliating to be frank. I do not enjoy laying myself open to strangers.

God, yes. This is why I kind of ran in the other directions after a few invalidating and humiliating experiences...and have not been back.

What I have found is interaction and time with close friends who 'get me' have been far more beneficial in that I have felt less isolated with my issues. All the time spent brooding alone may be great for some problem-solving, but having other people who you are close to as sounding boards has helped me to snap out of procrastination-mode by giving me some joy and therefore inspiration to change.

I agree. I had an experience like this recently where when I wanted to shut down and isolate after an argument with family and stress over some other things a very persistent person convinced me to come out and stay over for a few days. When I left it was like I was a new person. But, once again, I feel that I am so intense and seeking a certain level of counseling that may make friends feel an unfair or demanding level of responsibility. It would be nice to offset that with someone who is not actually involved in my personal life.

Do you think you need counseling?

I think I am actually good at solving my own life problems and crafting plans to break out of them, but as you noted above the solutions are not implemented because of focus problems and procrastination. I have been labeled as having Major Depression because I get depressed when I can't break through my procrastination and focus issues to accomplish the things that I want to do. I am nervous to suggest that I could be suffering from ADHD-Pi and that the focus problems are affecting my life so badly that it makes me depressed as a result because in the past that gets immediately judged and brushed away as well. Basically my confidence issues are so bad and I feel that so many conflicting labels have been suggested when it comes to my problems/symptoms that I have no idea where to even begin or if I should at all.
 

Happy

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I have been labeled as having Major Depression because I get depressed when I can't break through my procrastination and focus issues to accomplish the things that I want to do. I am nervous to suggest that I could be suffering from ADHD-Pi and that the focus problems are affecting my life so badly that it makes me depressed as a result because in the past that gets immediately judged and brushed away as well. Basically my confidence issues are so bad and I feel that so many conflicting labels have been suggested when it comes to my problems/symptoms that I have no idea where to even begin or if I should at all.

I developed serious depression problems a while back from the same causes. Was put on loads of antidepressants which turned me into a shell of my real self. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with ADHD-PI that I turned it around. Turns out it was the cause of my depression and anxiety problems.

This could be likewise for you. It's worth at least finding out. I'd recommend seeing an adult ADHD specialist psychiatrist if you can. Only they know the real ins and outs of the disorder. Getting this under control was probably the best thing I ever did.
 

r4ch3l

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I developed serious depression problems a while back from the same causes. Was put on loads of antidepressants which turned me into a shell of my real self. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with ADHD-PI that I turned it around. Turns out it was the cause of my depression and anxiety problems.

This could be likewise for you. It's worth at least finding out. I'd recommend seeing an adult ADHD specialist psychiatrist if you can. Only they know the real ins and outs of the disorder. Getting this under control was probably the best thing I ever did.

Yes, I really want to. I'm nervous about it because as a skinny girl in my mid-20s with a history of depression many doctors assume that I am like...doctor shopping for pills and looking to get high. I just want to function. While I have used drugs in the past recreationally I never went beyond a typical early 20s every-other-weekend-max party habit that I chose to step away from when the comedowns weren't worth the fun anymore. Then I got with someone who had never done drugs I adopted his lifestyle, was clean for two years, and didn't miss my old habits.

I have several friends who have been on ADHD meds since elementary school (all massive stoners now) who often forget to take their meds and while I was finishing my degree they offered me some of their pills a couple of times. It was like everything rattling around in my head could finally come out in the correct compartmentalized order and then be assembled properly. I've always intuitively stayed away from SSRIs because I think that deep down I know that I am not actually depressed. I am just overwhelmed and a bit dissociated and in my head.
 

r4ch3l

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Also, I feel like the symptoms I have that could possibly be ADHD-Pi are seriously holding me back in a time when I need to be pushing forward and fighting to make headway and break into a career. The idea of being in an office for 8 hours and trying to wrangle mundane tasks while being surrounded by social rules and people in general sounds like hell and I have no idea how I am going to deal or if I will even attempt to at all. I know it's important for me to get out there and get experience working in a team and making connections. But I feel my stomach turning just thinking about it.

In a way this is why stripping really clicked with me. If I fumbled an approach trying to hustle someone I could just abandon the mission and move onto the next target armed with new feedback. If I felt like I needed to take a time out and just stare at a wall for two hours in the back I could. Then I could go back out whenever I felt like it and hit the play button on the game again. If I messed up and had a bad gaffe I always had the reassurance that I could just say "screw this/you" and walk away and there would be no bad consequences (unlike a real job with normal social rules).
 

Duxwing

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I'm no psychiatrist, but I agree with those who think that you might have ADHD-I, especially after that experiment with the drugs, and I also agree that seeking an adult ADHD expert would help. Also, who says that you have to work in an office? Have you ever considered the trades, the arts, the military, or the caring professions?

-Duxwing
 

Happy

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Yes, I really want to. I'm nervous about it because as a skinny girl in my mid-20s with a history of depression many doctors assume that I am like...doctor shopping for pills and looking to get high.

This is why it's important to see an Adult ADHD specialist. If that's all you were doing (looking for drugs) they would probably see through that. When they prescribe ADHD meds for the first time they further weed out the drug seekers on the second visit.

Besides, a good ADHD doctor uses medication only as a supplement. The real treatment is in working with you to develop real strategies on a range of topics (organisation, emotions, nutrition, etc.)

I rarely take my meds anymore because the strategies actually work. But it takes some effort on your part in order to make them work.
 

Polaris

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Just a point: not every INTP is like this. I've been in therapy for years, and all but one of my therapists 'got me' like the close friendships that you describe. I've never felt more at ease than with them, and I've had no trouble laying my entire life-story bare-- I've even made flow charts of my psychological development to help my current therapist understand how I've become what I am today. Trust also places a limit on frankness of communication, thereby placing an indirect limit on the quality of care: you wouldn't tell Hannibal Lecter how you tick, now would you?

-Duxwing

I understand Duxwing. However, if you look carefully I never implied every INTP is like this ;)

I think r4ch3l's experiences sound eerily similar to mine, so I provided my perspective...and it is just my perspective, but it may help to identify some patterns if R4ch3l indeed can relate. Bonus.

I am very pleased that you are getting so much benefit from therapy, btw. I see you as lucky in that respect.

Yup. I feel that my problems are actually fairly worked out in my head but the mind loops and procrastination stop them from being implemented because my confidence and mood is low. I have serious confidence problems from (mostly) well-meaning people trying to *fix* me my whole life and now I see that I don't want or need to be fixed; I must become confident in who I already am and can't help but be in order to improve my quality of life. For this reason I agree that therapy could be counterproductive and possibly just a more formal extension of the misunderstanding that has damaged me so badly in the first place.

I can relate to the people trying to 'fix' me....as if there was something wrong with me. And no, it does not bode well for self-confidence once it's been hammered in again and again. Unfortunately, self-confidence is something that is going to happen over time. It has taken me years. Part of regaining that confidence was sheer stubbornness in my career pursuits when I was feeling inspired; once I threw myself into the challenges I was shying away from I realised with every step I moved forward I also felt a degree stronger. Realising the world wasn't going to collapse around me or that people would give a damn if I failed or took a misstep was another part of gaining that belief in myself.

It would be nice to offset that with someone who is not actually involved in my personal life.
I understand that. I hate to burden other people with stuff too. But you would be surprised to see the support people are willing to give if you are willing to let other people share the burden with you. I found that I was always stubbornly trying to carry it alone, and thus running off to the therapist rather than talking to people I trusted.

But if you genuinely believe your issues are that serious, it may be good to see a pro. The problem is picking one that you will feel comfortable with, I have been there and this is why I gave up.


I think I am actually good at solving my own life problems and crafting plans to break out of them, but as you noted above the solutions are not implemented because of focus problems and procrastination. I have been labeled as having Major Depression because I get depressed when I can't break through my procrastination and focus issues to accomplish the things that I want to do. I am nervous to suggest that I could be suffering from ADHD-Pi and that the focus problems are affecting my life so badly that it makes me depressed as a result because in the past that gets immediately judged and brushed away as well. Basically my confidence issues are so bad and I feel that so many conflicting labels have been suggested when it comes to my problems/symptoms that I have no idea where to even begin or if I should at all.
Here is something very interesting. I think it would be a good idea to investigate the ADHD-Pi issue, as Happy already wisely pointed out.

To be honest, if it is indeed ADHD, and you are able to get help from medications, I think your confidence will automatically and gradually restore itself. You will be able to achieve the things you dream of, but as Happy emphasised, it will take some effort on your behalf. I think you definitely have the oomph and the brains, so go for it. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with you and there is nothing about you that needs to change, except perhaps your confidence.

Of course, if you think you need counseling, if anything the meds will probably assist you in making better progress and providing you with the focus you need to get the benefit from therapy.

Good luck with it, whatever you decide :)
 
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cynibon

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I think I am actually good at solving my own life problems and crafting plans to break out of them, but as you noted above the solutions are not implemented because of focus problems and procrastination.

I realize this thread is old, but I'd like to run something by you. In order to illustrate that the model of the way the mind works that you are using is flawed.

You say above that you know the solutions. And that you just don't implement them. But you know that you have a high powered mind. And as an INTP, you know that you have strong logic skills. So doesn't it follow, that if the problem was in your conscious mind, you would have resolved it already. You would have just decided what you wanted to do, and done it. So where does this lack of focus and procrastination come from? It can't be in your conscious mind, or you would see it. That's where all your focus is.

I'm going to present an alternative model of how the mind works. A model that explains your procrastination, and also why conventional therapy hasn't resolved your problems. Our behavior is determined by our subconscious mind, and it's goal is to keep us safe. It does that by preventing us from changing. It thinks (symbolically), what we've done so far has got us this far, so why not keep doing it. So, if you want to change yourself, you have to change those programs in your subconscious mind. Talk therapy deals with the conscious mind. It tries to make your conscious mind understand your problem, so your conscious mind can change. But that's not where the problem is, so it is ineffective. Hey, even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while, so sometimes it works. However, if you want consistent and predictable change, you have to use a technique that changes the subconscious programming.

Here's an example of subconscious programming. You're in third grade. You get up to do a speech in front of the class, and make a mistake. Everyone laughs at you and teases you about it. Your subconscious experiences your strong negative emotions, ties them to public speaking, and from then on you have a fear of public speaking. Your subconscious has decided that it is dangerous, and keeps you away from it. When we're young children, it doesn't have to be anything as dramatic. We have no frame of reference, so even seemingly innocuous things can create trauma that our subconscious turns into rules for living. The dog barks at us, we become terrified, and now have a fear of dogs.

The subconscious is very powerful. It's on 24x7. We can override it for a while with the conscious mind, but it almost always wins any conflict. Your experience bears that out. Consciously, you know how and why you want to change, but when you try, your energy just peters out, like water flowing into sand. That's the subconscious sabotaging you, not to hurt you, but to help you by preventing you from changing.

So, I suggest you find a therapist that works with the subconscious. Hypno-therapists do. As do many other unconventional therapies. If you want to get a better understanding of this, and you have access to a library at a university with a medical school, go there and read the case studies of Milton Erickson. It will give you an intuitive understanding of this view of the psyche. Milton was a genius, though the solutions he implemented were constrained by the society he operated within (he died in 198?). They seem rather banal by today's standards. There are still gems of understanding to be abstracted from his work, though.
 
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paradoxparadigm7

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This is very late in the game as I wasn't registered as a participant but if you haven't found someone, here are some of the things to look for. BTW, interviewing a therapist is a good way to go about it.
*Stay away from therapists who tell you what to do. Any therapist worth their weight will ask the right questions to help YOU make decisions.
*A good therapist helps you understand how past issues align in the present. I DON'T think endless sessions digging up the past and childhood wounds is helpful. Working in your present will take you the furthest.
*Diagnosis is useful only for insurance purposes.
*Look for someone older. It's not a guarantee but a therapist will have limited effectiveness if he/she hasn't gone through and come out the other side in dealing with their own shit. You can get a clue if you sense wisdom (not just analytical faculty). Another clue is do you feel slightly uncomfortable. This is good because being too comfortable with a therapist is someone who won't confront you. You want to feel productively uncomfortable.
*Lastly, keep on interviewing or finding the right one. If you don't think it's going anywhere, stop and keep on looking.
 

r4ch3l

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^^^ Thank you.

Things have really turned around in the last few months and I finally feel like I have broken out of depression and my focus and motivation is coming back. I moved out of my bad living situation and now live in a house with mostly good people.

I think part of my problem was thinking in the first place that someone else could tell me how to fix my life when I really just needed to learn to trust my own judgment, make concrete decisions, and be patient. And realize that many of the things that make many people happy don't make me happy, and that that is okay.
 

Grayman

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*Stay away from therapists who tell you what to do. Any therapist worth their weight will ask the right questions to help YOU make decisions.

Providing tools, general advice on how to handle a situation, is good as long as they don't pressure you to use them.
 

ZenRaiden

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I feel that I have had so much external and varied experiences that my curiosity when it comes to relationships, intense and untethered phases of personal research (i.e. sitting in my room for 6 months reading philosophy/physics, making diagrams, and not giving a fuck about the outside world), and pleasure-seeking/hedonism (drugs, travel, etc.) has reached somewhat of an end and that now I am looking to set up functional structures that give me a routine and a rhythm that makes me content. I am now seeking financial, creative, and health fulfillment and have little desire to aggressively explore. Yet I am in an awkward in-between phase at the moment and would appreciate assistance and insight while trying to set up this next phase of my life.

In the bold / that is what I was told by my counselor/ therapist. She said basically that I need routine. I was labelled as psychotic. That being said I am not psychotic at all, but ..... who cares. I know I function above the normal level. Only problem is that I found out just latelly that I have a cousine that is paranoid schizophrenic or something, that being said I just have huge paranoia that people are following me, want to kill me etc. That being said its true, not psychosis.
 

ZenRaiden

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Counseling is basically problem-solving. This is why it never worked for me. I sat there thinking everything that was being said was essentially what I knew already.

Bingo. No magic there. Just sit and listen to your self talking and someone noding their head saying yeah, but .....
 

Jennywocky

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I know some of the conversation has gotten deeper and I'm just going to address a few of the basics I saw on a scan of the thread.

1. r4ch3l, you mentioned "borderline" diagnosis in your OP, but that seems kind of unlikely given your posting style here at least? Borderline? The way I've seen that kind of diagnosis thrown around in the past few years makes me think it's become the new catchall. I also lived with someone who was officially borderline for a year (she wasn't diagnosed until after we had been sharing rent together), it was one of the scariest/hellacious years of my life, and I never want to repeat the experience. Her presentation was nothing like yours.

2. I have actually had a decent experience with therapists, but I was always choosy. My first psychiatrist was positive but couldn't make progress with me (she was better at medical angles); she found someone else in her practice who she thought would be a good fit. This new counselor was an ENFJ lady who played a mother role for me and she was excellent, I miss her and will think well of her to the end of my days. I ended up with an INFJ lady to help me with some practical things, and she was good with that, but I never warmed up to her as much as the ENFJ. I totally agree with paradox about finding a new therapist when the old one doesn't seem productive; be HONEST about it (don't leave if you're simply scared of what you're finding out), but if you're bored, things are stagnant, and there's no "click" between you and the therapist, get out and find another.

3. Tying this into Polaris' comments, the reality is that only some people attend therapists for "information/self-knowledge." I never went in order for someone to tell me something I didn't know; I'm naturally introspective, and I can honestly say the occasion was few and far between where I actually learned something new or got some new global insight from therapy. My issue actually was that my parents had torn down my ego from day #1 and I had no faith or confidence in my own natural abilities; I was also feeling very fettered in life and couldn't just "be myself." My ENFJ "therapist-mom" created a safe space for me where I no longer had to guard my thoughts or feelings. It sounds simple, but it was the thing I had never really had, and within that safe space, that's where I grew and developed my confidence so now I can go around and wreck forums. :D
 

Grayman

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Bingo. No magic there. Just sit and listen to your self talking and someone noding their head saying yeah, but .....

It important for removing ingnorance of certain situations.
 

Grayman

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My ENFJ "therapist-mom" created a safe space for me where I no longer had to guard my thoughts or feelings. It sounds simple, but it was the thing I had never really had, and within that safe space, that's where I grew and developed my confidence so now I can go around and wreck forums. :D

It it is good to know that someone is doing something right. It happens a lot that fathers try to teach their sons confidence using the opposite method. Something I will try to avoid. I get the sense that fathers will often roughen up their sons confidence to make them tougher. Often their insequirities strengthen but they get better at hiding it. This results in arrogance or confidence through ignoring your own faults.
 
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