Common Mistakes People Make When Getting Help For Emotional Pain
Stress at work, a sudden family demise, relationship woes, or a recurring personal conflict can sometimes affect your day-to-day life activities. If this emotional pain is not addressed immediately, it could lead to severe bouts of anxiety and depression. So seeking expert advice from a psychological counselor is vital to help you get your life back on track.
A psychological counselor can understand what triggers your mood swings and advocates the appropriate therapy to treat your condition. However, there is sometimes a stigma associated with visiting a psychological counselor, which could lead to patients seeking the wrong advice and making mistakes during the rehabilitation process.
To help you avoid some basic errors that could prove to be detrimental to your health, Lee Horton, Ph.D., has put together four of the most common mistakes people make when getting help for emotional pain.
1. Thinking medicine is the only answer.
The drug industry has convinced you that you need to alter your brain chemistry or hormones to change your mood. While it is certainly appealing to think you can change your mood with a pill, the evidence is clear that your pain is more complicated than that. Changing your mood requires examining the way you think, behave, and respond to your feelings. There is no “happy pill.” The more broadly you look at change, the more likely you will discover a path out of your pain.
2. Relying on a physician.
Typically, you will initially consider going to your primary care physician for an evaluation of your mood. While this makes sense as a first step, it is essential to understand that your physician will only have medicine to help you. Few physicians have the time to talk to you and understand your mood. It is more time-efficient for the physician to recommend an antidepressant medication. The sheer number of antidepressant drugs on the market should tell you something of the likelihood that this will be a path to a better mood.
3. Seeking counseling from friends and family.
When seeking a counselor for psychological issues, you are likely to find the least trained person first, be it your family, friend, minister, or bartender. Granted, these folks are inexpensive and readily available, but their response will be solely based on their personal experience. Psychologists are trained to avoid bias and understand that your life is unique.
4. Expecting a cure.
The medical model of treating mood disorders has led you to expect a cure. While moods can change, it is more likely that your spirit will be resistant to change. A more practical model of recovery would be similar to a chronic pain patient. In this model, you learn to cope with your state of mind. This way, you will not allow your internal struggles to diminish your ability to have a life filled with healthy relationships, work, and love.
If you’ve been suppressing emotional pain over the years, it may be time to get professional help. As a recognized counseling psychologist in Memphis, TN, Lee Horton, Ph.D. has been helping clients find a path to a happier and more fulfilling life for over twenty years. My field of expertise includes personal counseling, marriage counseling, relationship counseling, anxiety management, work-related stress management, and men’s issues.