How do I get men to seek help with their mental health?

Image by the excellent Stuart F Taylor

I have two questions for you. First one: if there was a dodgy step on the staircase in your house, how long would it take you to fix it? Let’s say that the step itself is mostly irritating, but occasionally dangerous. You have to remember to jump over it every time you go up or down stairs, but sometimes you forget and your foot just plunges straight through, causing you to twist your ankle, or worse. When close friends and lovers come round to visit you, they often get trapped by your dodgy step, then extract themselves and help you patch it up. Most of them recommend you call a carpenter. So, first question is: how long would it take you to get it fixed? Question two: how’s your mental health lately?

I’m in my mid thirties now, and I’ve had quite a lot of counselling. It took me a while to ask for it, at first. I kept telling myself that I didn’t really have a proper problem, I was just stressed. I led a busy life, with a few complications (Hello, double life as an anonymous sex blogger!), and that’s why I used to cry so often. Panic so frequently. Vomit for no good reason.

Then, one day, I went to the doctor. The doctor referred me to counselling, which put me on a path to getting better. She didn’t magically fix me, though. I’ve talked quite a lot about the first time I had a breakdown and had to do a lot of work on myself (buy my second book, innit), but I haven’t talked much about how I became utterly fucked again at the start of 2018, and the fact that I basically put my foot straight through the dodgy staircase again. The short version is I dropped quite a large amount of work last year to try and minimise my anxiety, while doing a lot of counselling to scrape my way back to the good place I was in a couple of years ago.

What’s this got to do with the dodgy step on your staircase? I’m hoping that most of you read the example and thought ‘well OK, so that’s annoying – if I had the money/time to do it then of course I’d get it fixed as soon as I could!’ If it’s a dodgy staircase, or a broken leg, most of us would admit we couldn’t fix it on our own. But with mental health, it’s a different story.

Men find it hard to seek help with their mental health

Now that I’m in my mid thirties, in a friendship group that is pretty good about talking about mental health, a massive divide seems to have appeared – a distinctly gendered one. Of the women I know who have struggled with mental health, all of them have had help of some kind. Via doctors, where they’re usually offered tablets or CBT from the NHS, or via a private counsellor or therapist who can help them work through their problems.

A lot of us have problems, by the way. They are not uncommon. Just as very few people will get to my age without seeing the inside of a hospital once or twice, so few people will reach their mid thirties without accumulating some mental or emotional struggles too. So why is it usually only women who’ll ask for help in dealing with them?

The men I know who have difficulties are reluctant to ask. In fact, ‘reluctant’ is an understatement. Men who ask me for advice will usually – swiftly and definitively – reject any suggestion of counselling the second the word has escaped my lips. This will sound obvious to many of you. You’ll have heard the stats that men are far less likely to seek mental health support. They are also at much higher risk of suicide. Feeling unable to seek help is not only a persistent, common problem for men, it is also literally killing them. As if that step in your house could one day disappear completely, and you’d plunge to your actual death.

When we talk about men and mental health we often highlight the damaging things that have led so many men to this place: the idea that you should ‘man up’ or that ‘boys don’t cry’, which imply that you’re best off just pushing everything deep down below the surface so no one knows you suffer. You probably know that the idea that men must always be protectors is incredibly damaging. Less often mentioned, but equally important, is the fact that it’s also complete bollocks: the myth of the male protector is not only untrue, but impossible. You are a human being, and you have needs. Like you need food and water and shelter, so you also need comfort and solace and someone to talk to. You sometimes need help.

What stops men asking for help with mental health?

It would be callous of me to talk about mental health without noting that there are some significant barriers to access. On a practical level, it is not affordable for everyone, though it should be, and it requires a fairly significant commitment of time and energy that not all of us have readily to hand. But the men in my life who need help generally aren’t hurting for time or money – they just point-blank refuse. There’s something bigger standing in the way, and they cannot get around it.

So in times of help, men we love come to us – their friends. Usually, thanks to the ‘men shouldn’t display emotions because it looks unmanly’ bollocks, the people they seek help from are often the women in their lives. Hopefully we listen and we tell them we love them, and sometimes we recommend they find a therapist. Because the truth is that while we may want to help, we are often vastly, vastly unqualified. I’m sitting here on your stairs faffing around with a hammer and nails, but all I’m really doing is making a temporary cover for this gaping big hole in the staircase. I can try, and I will try, and I will keep on trying whenever you need me, but I would also like – really like – for you to take me seriously when I tell you to call a professional.

There’s another argument I’ve heard from many women, that men’s failure to seek help for mental health problems is centred around selfishness or entitlement. That many men have an expectation that women will do emotional labour that you could otherwise pay a therapist for, or deal with the fallout when your repressed problems bubble up to the surface and cause harm. Summed up succinctly by the Onion article that inspired today’s post:

Man Doesn’t Get Why People Waste Money On Therapist When They Could Just Emotionally Crush Girlfriend

There’s truth in this, but it’s not helpful to harp on about it, because there will be guys reading this article who are struggling to ask for help and for whom the ‘stop leaning on your female friends, you selfish prick!’ argument will do far more harm than good. The fact is, it’s not selfish to ask your friends for help, it’s natural. But if you ask your friends for help, sometimes you need to realise that no matter how much they want to help you, they are not necessarily able to. When my own friends come to me to ask, the last thought on my mind is ‘God, how laborious! What a selfish bellend!’ What I’m feeling, in fact, is despair. Despair that I cannot help them, though I desperately want to, because the only thing I think will make a difference is the one thing they’ve ruled out.

If you’re struggling, it may well be that your friends can only help so far. There are certain questions and techniques and thoughts that will only really come out when a trained professional prods at the right bits of your brain. There are some difficulties that you may not even know how to articulate. It won’t be true for everyone, but it was true for me. And if you’re feeling like shit, and you can afford it, and you’ve a spare hour once a week then well… it’s got to be worth a try, right?

I wish I knew the answer, but I don’t

I want to end this post with a suggestion or idea or a call to action. I’ve thrown in all the arguments I can think of off the top of my head to persuade men that professional mental health support might be beneficial. But in all honesty I’ve no idea how to do this: I have failed spectacularly in my personal life, so there’s nothing that makes me believe I might succeed here instead. Men are nervous of speaking to a counsellor. They don’t want to commit to weeks of it. They’ve not been diagnosed so there simply can’t be a problem. It’ll all be OK if they get a new job/more money/a better place to live/a partner.

Are any men reading this and thinking ‘hmm, yeah I guess I could actually do with talking through some stuff with a professional’? The answer is probably ‘no.’ The answer has been ‘no’ nearly every single time I talk to a guy friend in real life about it, so I can’t see why today would be any different. But I’m going to keep trying anyway, because one time in real life, the answer turned out to be ‘yes.’

So although this post has sat in drafts for months, I’m finally ready to publish it. Not because I think it’s good, or because I can’t still see the gaping flaws in it – like the fact that I’m repeating the same old tired arguments and expecting the result to be different. I’m publishing it purely on the off-chance that one person will read it and think: ‘yes.’ That someone may stumble across this post and realise that the turmoil in their head might just be worth attending to. Understand that there’s no shame in seeking help if life is getting hard. That you don’t need to do this on your own.

I will fail nearly every time I do this. But I’ll keep trying, because it’s important. You are important.


Mind – the mental health charity

CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably

BACP – directory of counsellors

(These are UK organisations and websites – if you’d like to suggest others for other countries, please do drop them in the comments. Comments with links are pre-moderated but I’ll aim to approve as soon as I can. If you’re a guy who has had mental health support and found it useful, and you’re willing to share your experience, I would love to hear more about it in the comments too)



  • CJD says:

    Dude here :)

    Around 18 months after my son was born, I was dealing with a lot of MH issues related to work, my place in the family, our marriage, our sex life etc. Small stuff in the grand scheme of things I know, but it was clear that just talking it through with my wife wasn’t enough. She first suggested counselling – understandably it was starting to be a burden on her – but in the end I realised it was the right thing to try.

    Fortunately for me, my work offered a free counselling service that involved an initial phone call and then a referral to a counsellor in my town, who I ended up seeing for 8 sessions in total – by the end just having someone outside of my marriage to talk to about this stuff made a HUGE difference to my mental health and improved things massively.

    So, worth checking if your employer offers anything before directly looking at private options… but YES if you’re struggling you have to seek help. It worked wonders with me.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey, thank you so much for the tip re: workplace help CJD! And thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m so glad you found some counselling that helped for you <3

  • David says:

    I went to a councillor once almost out of amusement. I won’t go in to details but I knew I was about to embark on something that was emotionally risky so I preemptively sought out someone to talk to about it. There was a part of me who thought “just in case” and a part of me that wanted to check that I wasn’t about to do something that was genuinely stupid but there was an equal part that did it out of a sort of arrogant whimsy, almost like it was part of the challenge or a way to brag about what I was about to do.

    In truth I went back, again and again. I had put myself in a vulnerable position (knowingly) and it didn’t work out. My therapist helped me through it and helped figure out what I needed to figure out. She didn’t fix anything herself – but when there was no one in the world I could talk to she listened and allowed me a format where I could process all that I needed to process.

    Since then I haven’t hesitated to call her if I needed another appointment. Once you know it’s value and you find a professional you trust they are there for you to contact should ever need them. So my advice is this, whether need one or not, GO. Even if if you are fine. You are probably underestimating what they can do for you now but most of all you will have them ready for when you really need them.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey, thank you so much for sharing – I totally get what you mean about having the format available to process things, even if you don’t think there’s a specific Big Thing to tackle. Really appreciate you sharing your experience, thank you <3

  • Nick says:

    I had a nervous breakdown in 2014 and took mirtazapine for a few months.
    By the time I got a referral for counselling some 9 months after, I was back to being functional enough to work/pay my bills which is what I assumed everyone wanted from me…
    So I never bothered accessing it.
    The idea that I might have needs and a life outside what was expected of me took a lot longer to get my head around.
    In many ways I’m a lot better off than I was but there are those times when I wish I had gone for it.
    After reading this post I’m thinking I should start looking into counselling again.
    Thank you x

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey, thank you so much for commenting Nick. It means a lot that this post might have made you think about accessing counselling again. I don’t want to be all pushy on anyone, but I did just want to say that if you think you need it, you totally deserve to be able to access it and spend some time getting the support you need. Wishing you all the best xx

  • Azkyroth says:

    So, 1: the linked onion article links to this: xD

    2: some followup about how to productively obtain useful counseling might be really useful. For me, the main reason I don’t seek it, aside from not experiencing an acute need, is that the first five multi-session attempts were actively unhelpful and I’m at a complete loss with where and how to look.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hmm that’s weird, for me it links to this:

      I’m out at the moment but will ponder your point 2 and send a proper reply later

      • Azkyroth says:

        Phone keyboard tiny. :( I meant that that one was itself linked from the Onion article.

        For the second point, on rereading I guess it comes off as a sort of whataboutism. I’d meant that, having successfully navigated obtaining useful counseling, your perspective/advice on how to do that would probably be valuable to a lot of people, particularly those with experiences like mine so far.

        • Girl on the net says:

          Ahhhhh OK got you re: the link =) Sorry my brain’s a bit fried at the moment so I missed your emoji at the end!

          To your question, I don’t think it’s whataboutery, it’s a good question. I think my answer is probably not going to be the best though, so bear with me on some perhaps-a-bit-random thoughts. Firstly while I genuinely believe that most people can benefit from some form of counselling, I’m wary of presenting it as a panacea, so it may well be the case that some people try with it and find it just isn’t very helpful. However, I’d also suggest that there are many different types – and many different people delivering counselling – so it may help to see if a different type could work for you. I’ve done (in order): individual CBT, group CBT, psychodynamic counselling, and then finally a really brilliant mix of CBT and a few other techniques, via a therapist who focused a lot on the evidence base for what was happening. We’d do various exercises and before each one she’d explain what the point of this was, and why it had been shown to help people who were struggling with X particular thing (whether X is catastrophic thinking, building motivation, etc etc). It was primarily CBT but mixed in other stuff too. The psychodynamic was helpful to a point (maybe for the first 6 months or so) but eventually it felt like I wasn’t really getting anywhere more helpful with it. I think for me it definitely helps to go in with an idea of what I want to work on specifically – like, I had an image of myself as I remembered before I started to slide into huge anxiety, where I was ambitious and enthusiastic about work/life, but without tipping over into having so much on my plate that it sent me into a tailspin panic. That was a helpful way to go into it because it meant I could see progress, and also we could target the specific things I wanted to do. Of course along the way there were also some things that I’d aimed to do but eventually realised I wasn’t that bothered about: one of the significant things I ended up ‘dropping’ was the core belief that i always have to do better today than I did the day before, and I always have to keep striving to achieve *more*. I’ve ended up rather just being better able to recognise when I have achieved something, and give myself time out/reward/satisfaction for that rather than constantly pushing towards the next big thing. So I guess my advice would be, if you’ve tried and are still struggling, to explore different types of therapy and see if there are any that might seem like a better fit for you: And the other would be to try and picture what it is you want to get out of it – which parts of yourself you would like to be stronger in, or more confident in, etc. I don’t know how helpful that is, but I hope it’s at least a bit useful!

  • I think one of the biggest differences here is not about why men don’t seek counselling, but why they don’t talk.
    The norm is that women’s support networks are advisory, whilst men’s are typically escapist. And there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But as a man who exists in a typically female role (ie I’m primarily a house-husband) I can give you various examples of how men are excluded from many situations in which women find support. So by the time men actually need help (as opposed to just an ear to bend) there’s a lot more to deal with. And that’s not only men’s fault, because men are expected to be men just as much by women as they are by men.
    (Also I’ve had quite a few conversations with other men recently about counselling and mental health and have been surprised by just how many have sought help.)

    • Girl on the net says:

      That’s great that you’ve found dudes who have sought help and found it – I hope things work out well for them. I’m a bit wary of the word ‘fault’ here, because I think broadly the fault for this is a structural one – we live in a society that tells men they aren’t allowed (or maybe ‘allowed’ isn’t the right word here) to express emotions, and that doing so is a sign of weakness etc. This comes from a lot of different places, and you’re right that men are frequently excluded from places where they may be able to talk. It sounds a little bit from your comment like you think I am blaming men for the fact that this is hard, but I am not doing that: I’m trying to kick back against this societal conditioning that says guys aren’t allowed to express emotions. The reasons for why they’re told this are numerous and complex, so the aim here isn’t to go ‘OK it’s your fault, or his fault, or her fault’ rather just to say ‘the message that you shouldn’t get mental health support is unhelpful, and there’s actually no shame in asking for it.’

      • It’s not just exclusion. There are profoundly contradictory themes within the current social negative. Men are required (across myriad social devides) to be simultaneously indestructible and fragile. We are expected to be strong and embrace our weakness, and that tends towards really confrontational messages.
        You’re right about my use off the word fault, but the same might be said of How do I get men to seek help? A semantic interpretation of that benevolent question might well suggest that it is your role to force men to man up and go get fixed by talking to someone about dismantling their masculinity. Perhaps it would be better to ask What can I do to stop men feeling obliged to conform to the constraints their grandfathers accepted? #JFKwasright

        • Girl on the net says:

          “Men are required (across myriad social devides) to be simultaneously indestructible and fragile.” Yes, this is a problem. And it’s a problem that potentially for many can be helped by talking therapies or similar. I feel a little bit like you’re trying to debate me here, but I broadly agree: expectations on men are causing them harm. I do quite a lot on this blog, I think, to try and challenge some of these harmful assumptions/expectations, including in this post.

          “Perhaps it would be better to ask What can I do to stop men feeling obliged to conform to the constraints their grandfathers accepted?”
          Not exactly a catchy title, is it? It’s also not in any way descriptive of the piece I wrote, being instead descriptive of your comment. If you’d like to write about this, please do go ahead, but the post I have written is about what I am thinking, based on things that are happening in my own life and the beliefs I have about why this stuff is so tricky for me and my own loved ones. Honestly, while I can sort of see your point (I could maybe have gone with ‘tempt’ or ‘persuade’), I find it really bizarre that you’re arguing with me as if what I have said is ‘men are twats.’ What I have said, in the piece is that I worry for the men in my life, and I want to help them, and I am desperately sad that the one thing I think may help them more than I can (because I’m not a qualified counsellor) is something they struggle to access.

  • Man says:

    It’s definitely an interesting topic. Mental Health can affect everyone, and not everyone is as willing to accept that they need help, or even that they have a problem. You’re absolutely right when you say that men often turn to women when they need to vent or explain how they’re feeling. However, I wouldn’t say that it’s entirely due to “macho manly man can’t talk about feelings” that this happens. Many male social groups are typically oriented around hobbies/common interests or meeting for a specific purpose. You can have purely social get-togethers where you actually ask that question “how’s everything with you?”, but more often than not you’re meeting to pursue some activity or other. Be it going to the pub, celebrating an occasion or getting together to play a board game. I see my group of friends once a week to play Roleplaying Games. More often than not, we don’t ask oneanother when we get together “how are you?”, because the answer is some variant on “work’s shit”. When a mate was going through a divorce, we all opened up. In many ways it was cathartic for the whole group, not just the newly-divorced. But what we’ve found is that instead of sitting in a circle and talking through our problems, we use the occasion (a roleplaying game, ala Dungeons and Dragons but not shit) to vent some emotions. If something comes up during the course of the game and someone reacts a bit ~off~, you can ask if everything’s alright. It’s like a gateway, because people are still having fun, and in the heat of the moment the player is less likely to offer the usual “work’s shit” answer. We’ve had car-chases and political-wheeler-dealing take an aside because someone accidentally opened up.

    I think, in essence, everyone is busy. Always busy, few people can leave their work at work anymore. I come in from my tradesman job and spend an hour and half minimum arranging quotes and estimates before I can have a shower and wash myself after a 7-4 day. Who the hell has time to set aside to talk about how you’re feeling inside? Everyone’s got problems, as you said right? One day at a time, get through it. That’s how I feel the general attitude is, not that needing to seek a councillor is a weakness or ‘unmanly’. If you have a get-together with fellow friends, it’s probably for a reason, that’s just the way things are. Are you going to be the one to hijack it and talk about your relationship problems and anxiety? You think Matt doesn’t have worries like these too? Everyone’s got something, why waste other peoples time with it?

    It’s a bit messy, but I find that subtly working it into the conversation or dynamic works. Otherwise you feel put-upon, like you’re at an intervention or something. You’re not, it’s just a chat about what’s been on your mind. Not the end of the world.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Thank you for joining in, and I see what you mean. I think the concept of expressing emotions through gaming is a really interesting one, and I can definitely recognise some of my own past experiences in that, with friends who I’d do that sort of stuff with (though I’ve never specifically played DnD and I am gutted because I really really want to!). I’d add, though, that women are also busy and we also do activities – these aren’t exclusive to men. But yeah you’re right that sometimes all these bits and pieces (too busy/feeling like you’re putting people out/not wanting to seem like you’re the only one with problems etc) do often add up to a feeling that it’s not the ‘done thing’ to talk about emotions. It’s gutting, because I think there’s a huge benefit for most people in having time/space to express themselves and talk through things that are tricky. Thank you for contributing!

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    This reminds me of a guy I knew, who was at one point clearly going through a serious crisis yet refused to seek help until just about everyone in his life told him to. His real fear was of being put on medication, perhaps not unreasonably in a job that involved operating heavy machinery. Eventually he agreed to see a professional, and I think it helped, but then I lost contact with him. I hope things got better for him.

    For my own part… it’s been ten years this year since I was first recommended to try therapy (by an uncle who said it was the best thing he ever did) and I still haven’t done it. I’ve spent ten years procrastinating and telling myself, ‘I’m managing fine. Other people have bigger problems, and need it more than I do. I have friends I can talk to if I need to anyway.’

    But I’m sure it would still be a good idea. Maybe one of these days I’ll get round to it.

    • Girl on the net says:

      “Other people have bigger problems, and need it more than I do.” I feel this, and I recognise it from a few of my friends who have said similar things. I don’t want to push you towards doing anything that isn’t right for you, but I did just want to say that I think there can be a huge benefit in addressing things that are scratching away inside your head before they get to any kind of crisis point. If we only ever wait for the crisis points, it can become much harder to access. But I’m not saying this to push you into doing anything – I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and I hope things got better for your friend too.

  • Zebra Rose says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m wrestling with a similar thing, someone near and dear to me has a lot of stuff to cope with, like his relationship with his mother, grief and trauma from life events, stuff like that. He’s from a cultural background that places strong emphasis on male stoicism and attributes low value to traits commonly (and erroneously) associated with femininity, like communication, vulnerability). Anyway, sometimes his baggage spills out and he is unkind to himself (this can result in collateral damage also). I think he could benefit so much from therapy but he won’t go – out of fear, bravado, defiance, dismissiveness, whatever. I often wonder if he’d be more open to it if the suggestion came from another man – as though he had social permission from the bro huddle to get help without being sneered at. It’s a moot point though because his friends are all indoctrinated with the same constraints he faces – the toxic ideas that men should always be strong and in control, that seeking help is weakness, that men are measured by their dominance and prowess. It makes me so sad because he’s a fabulous chap, he deserves to feel much better about himself and learn healthier coping mechanisms for a happier existence. There seems to be little I can do as a non-professional to help him. Ho hum.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah shit I’m so sorry, that sounds really tough for both of you. This makes me so sad too – I really hope that things work out for him and that he can get some help if he decides he’s ready for it. xxx

  • Somebody royally forked up says:

    I struggled in my 40s, took citralapam for a while and did some CBT which was reviewed with a counsellor. Everything helped in some way. I’m sure an understanding partner, a sympathetic boss, and friends I could talk all contributed as much as the drug and the CBTs. But, that first step, that morning in the GP’s office, accepting that I needed help, that was the start of my return to health.

  • kistanyer says:

    Many female friends of mine went to therapist, counseling, etc. and talked about how it helped them – to the point that sometimes I felt I’m the “crazy” that I don’t go to therapy :-)

    I have a couple of thoughts about this: I’m an introvert, at high school didn’t go to parties, “social gatherings”, because I was bored on these occasions, I felt I could use that time for a lot better things (including playing computer games). I didn’t have panic attacks, didn’t vomit, just felt bored, annoyed (sometimes even angry that I had to be there) on the few occasions where I attended a “party”. My high school headmaster later admitted that he thought he should have sent me to some kind of counseling back then. I sometimes feel like it’s the extrovert world thinks that introverts are “crazy” and I don’t think this is a right reason to go to counseling. I also don’t think that changing the core of my personality is a goal worthy to pursue.

    Fast forward couple of decades: I’ve seen a boy whose first sign of mental health problem was his suicide (and I think it’s a really stupid idea to include in high school curriculum a drama about teenagers committing suicide over love – aka Romeo and Juliet). I also seen men having addictions leading to huge problems – then putting down that addiction basically overnight. Of course, they never went to counseling. So it would be better if males would be more aware of their mental health and not let the situation deteriorate.

    There was a point in my marriage that I considered to go to counseling. I even started to look up professionals, but by the time I found one, the problem became moot. Also I never thought that the counseling would solve that particular problem, I planned to use it simply to talk about the problem to an other human being. Which leads me to my point: there are other solutions than counseling for some problems. Writing an anonymous blog post or forum entry can help. Doing some sport or going to a heavy metal concert sometimes helps with frustration, aggression.

  • The Wife has been seeing a counselor since the birth of our (now 2 year old) son due to postpartum depression. She recently recommended I see one as well. She thought it might help me work through some things that are constantly on my mind as well as a mild case of social anxiety. She basically said I’m due for a mental “tune-up.”

    Seeing as I have health insurance and don’t carry the common stigma that counselors and therapists are for “crazy people”, I took my wife’s recommendation and made an appointment. A couple of sessions later, I think I’ve gained some perspective and a grasp on how to work through some of my things.

    I have ceased seeing my counselor (as I don’t feel routine visits are necessary for my situation), but I am confident that those sessions were worth the investment and I’m happy I went.

    Even if you aren’t suffering from pathologic mental health issues, many of us can benefit from having a neutral party to soundboard our issues, concerns, and roadblocks to. They can help us work through things, prepare for things to come, and just develop a better baseline with which to navigate the world we live in.

    So to answer the question, sometimes all you have to do is make a recommendation that feels more like something that would improve one’s life and less like a crazy person needs a shrink.

  • sam says:

    For folks in the US, has a lovely find a therapist tool with filters to search by postal code, presenting concern, insurance accepted, and style of therapy. You can review credentials and a short bio, and most offer a free phone or email consultation. Know that finding the therapist that’s right for you may take a time or two.

  • Phillip says:

    This is a very good post. I meant to write more, but have ‘writer’s block’.

  • Phillip says:

    I followed you first because I love your writing skills. This post is a great example. It is also the most (my opinion) important post that you have written since I started following you. Many could benefit from some psychiatric help, but it is hard to find someone that one can really trust. I went to a woman for years. She in fact broke the rules and we became personal friends. Friends; that is all. It is all, but so much at the same time. I knew her for twenty-five years and came to see that she was incompetent in many ways and in fact caused some people lots of problems. This included me. However, since I knew her on a personal level for so long, I feel that I must take the responsibility for myself. It is hard to know if the person one selects to put their trust in is really up to the job. I don’t know if it is reasonable to think that an evaluation can really be made by someone who is vulnerable due to their mental state. I think that it is quite normal to focus on one’s own pain to the exclusion of what may be an obviously poor choice of mental health professional. This doesn’t mean that I would not seek further help. In fact I have. This time I knew better how much the person and I could relate and didn’t expect too much in certain areas. I kept a tight focus on what we discussed.

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    You just linked to this one from a recent post, so I re-read it, having forgotten reading it the first time. And was about to comment, when I saw that I already did when it was first posted, two years ago. Ouch! Two years on and I still haven’t got this sorted yet. Maybe in another two years, when I next stumble across this post, I’ll be able to say something different.

    I couldn’t even say for sure why I’ve never set up counselling (apart from a brief few sessions at university); although then again ‘not getting round to doing something I really should do’ is probably the biggest problem I need help with in the first place. :) I can make excuses like I don’t really need it (as above), I don’t have time, can’t be arsed to wait, one day I’ll have a partner I can talk to, etc. That saves me from confronting the reasons I’d rather not, like ‘I think my dad might be ashamed if he ever found out’. (Which is silly when my sister has been having therapy for years, but you know, the gender thing…)

    The other day, I had dinner with an old male friend I hadn’t seen in a while, and we talked about our COVID years. We both admitted we’d struggled at times, I admitted a mini-crisis a few months back. He said that his brother had had issues for years, until he got a diagnosis of ADD and a prescription, and that turned his life around. We both agreed we both probably have some kind of problems that would similarly benefit from diagnosis and help. I don’t think either of us is going to actually do it any time soon, though…

    Sigh. I don’t really know why I’m writing this comment, you don’t have to publish it. Hopefully by the next time I come across this post, I’ll be able to say something more constructive.

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