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What are you actually supposed to do, when therapy doesn't work for you, so many times

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chasingowls

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And honestly it's not even real therapy. Counselors are garbage. But the one psychologist I went to was equally useless.

I made an account here because I'm circling the drain. Some people aren't clinically depressed, but they fall into a pattern of depression they can't get out of. I'm not suicidal nor have I ever been. But for a long time I never saw any point in self improvement or goals, because I just never saw a future for myself. I cut friends out of my life and waited too long, so that reconcile was impossible. And then for over 10 years I've been unable to replace them.

This lifestyle is like a waking death. It's really easy to stay alone when you live in a small and somewhat remote town, with no real opportunities to meet anyone. I'm now past college age, and one thing they don't tell you when you're a teenager, is that after 25 nobody cares too much about finding new friends, and obviously, everyone's busy with family & life. I grew up in an era where it felt like all you had to do was ~go online~ and you'd be able to find similar people. And things aren't like that anymore. And what's worse is that I've been blaming this on the internet changing, when in reality it's because I've actually lost my ability to interact with people normally, and to be ok with the prospect of another (1, 2, 4, 10) years being alone. Without relationships to invest in. And without long lasting, solid friendships.

I'm actually also pretty angry, because the more I try to talk more, smile more, be more friendly-- the more vulnerable I make myself, the more stupid I look when I have nothing to say but speak anyway.. and I think the more of your private thoughts that you put out into the world, the more you come apart. But personally, my brain tells me that if I want to solve A Problem (and I do), then I have to think about and talk about that problem constantly. I don't even have an outlet; I just watch youtube & "talk" on places like reddit & youtube, whenever I'm not literally sleeping or working.

What do you even do, in a situation like that? Personally I think talking to so many counselors helped cause this. And now I can't relate to normal people, in a normal way.
 

TheRealCallie

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Therapy isn't a magical fix. You are the one that has to do the hard work to get where you want to be in life. That said, a therapist can be helpful for outside perspective and give you tools you need to accomplish whatever you want to accomplish. But, not every therapist is a good fit for every person. How many therapists have you seen? If it's only one or two, keep looking if they aren't helpful, but they do recommend giving them at least 3 or 4 months before you decide anything. Also, in order for therapy to be helpful, you have to be open to it being helpful.

Just keep trying. Especially new things. Things that interest you or you think might interest you. Keep meeting new people. Do you have anywhere you can volunteer? That is a very good way to not only meet new people, but also give yourself a purpose. Helping others can do a lot to help yourself.

As for the friend situation, how open are you? In order to have friends, you have to open yourself up and after pushing everyone away, that can be really difficult to do, even if you think you are doing it.
 

Sarah G

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I don't know. I just want to say welcome.

All we can do is keep trying and hope for the best. I do find self help books useful and just keep trying to do the work to make my head a comfortable place to be.
Self-compassion is important.

Is there really anything 'wrong' with you or are you just different, melancholic, think 'too' deeply?
 

U-122

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And without long lasting, solid friendships.

I'm actually also pretty angry, because the more I try to talk more, smile more, be more friendly-- the more vulnerable I make myself, the more stupid I look when I have nothing to say but speak anyway.. and I think the more of your private thoughts that you put out into the world, the more you come apart. But personally, my brain tells me that if I want to solve A Problem (and I do), then I have to think about and talk about that problem constantly. I don't even have an outlet; I just watch youtube & "talk" on places like reddit & youtube, whenever I'm not literally sleeping or working.

What do you even do, in a situation like that? Personally I think talking to so many counselors helped cause this. And now I can't relate to normal people, in a normal way.

Don't worry about long lasting friendships and relationships. They exist only in holywood fantasy films. In someone's wild imagination. When i was your age i was the same way. Must have friendships and relationships or else i'm not complete, not normal. Took me a few more years to realize i had to get rid of all my frenemies for good. I haven't let anyone into my world since. A few slipped in and i immediately noticed the same pattern as with my previous frenemies. They all had to go. Now almost twice your age as if history hasn't taught me anything, i tried to get close to someone and offer friendship. Nothing more because we're not compatible for anything serious. It backfired so hard i still can't recover after 5 months and she still makes me feel terrible. I no longer believe in friendships or relationship. This person proved me right. She also doesn't have anyone in her life.

I used to do the same, talked, smiled, tried to be friendly. The more i tried the harder it backfired. I have a lot to say but nobody listens. Nobody cares. Now i don't talk at all. To no one except few in my circle and i don't let anyone too close to me. Myself, most likely, and many around me will be alone until the end. Nothing can be done about it.

Have you ever thought that YOU are the normal one and everyone around you is not normal? When you say you can't relate to "normal" people maybe you're the normal one. Absolutely everyone around me is not normal. I can't relate to anyone where i am now. I'm very different. Of course almost everyone thinks the same and they are right. In their heads they are normal and everyone around them is not. That's perfectly ok. lol Except what they do to themselves and others is not normal. Also many guzzle xanax, valium, or whatever other psych meds, controlled substances, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc. That's perfectly normal, but when someone with a healthy clear mind meds-free doesn't do what they do, doesn't conform to them, doesn't dance to their music, that's not normal.

Online is a good way to find support, friends or connections that you can meet up with once in a while and do things. I've had luck with meetup.com, OKC when it was completely free, some travel companion site/forum, which probably doesn't exist anymore. Just be careful because not all who look for friendship and relationship have good intentions.
 

Colster

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And honestly it's not even real therapy. Counselors are garbage. But the one psychologist I went to was equally useless.

I made an account here because I'm circling the drain. Some people aren't clinically depressed, but they fall into a pattern of depression they can't get out of. I'm not suicidal nor have I ever been. But for a long time I never saw any point in self improvement or goals, because I just never saw a future for myself. I cut friends out of my life and waited too long, so that reconcile was impossible. And then for over 10 years I've been unable to replace them.

This lifestyle is like a waking death. It's really easy to stay alone when you live in a small and somewhat remote town, with no real opportunities to meet anyone. I'm now past college age, and one thing they don't tell you when you're a teenager, is that after 25 nobody cares too much about finding new friends, and obviously, everyone's busy with family & life. I grew up in an era where it felt like all you had to do was ~go online~ and you'd be able to find similar people. And things aren't like that anymore. And what's worse is that I've been blaming this on the internet changing, when in reality it's because I've actually lost my ability to interact with people normally, and to be ok with the prospect of another (1, 2, 4, 10) years being alone. Without relationships to invest in. And without long lasting, solid friendships.

I'm actually also pretty angry, because the more I try to talk more, smile more, be more friendly-- the more vulnerable I make myself, the more stupid I look when I have nothing to say but speak anyway.. and I think the more of your private thoughts that you put out into the world, the more you come apart. But personally, my brain tells me that if I want to solve A Problem (and I do), then I have to think about and talk about that problem constantly. I don't even have an outlet; I just watch youtube & "talk" on places like reddit & youtube, whenever I'm not literally sleeping or working.

What do you even do, in a situation like that? Personally I think talking to so many counselors helped cause this. And now I can't relate to normal people, in a normal way.
maybe it's time you stopped chasing councillors and therapist, and used the knowledge that you appear to have. New meaningful friendships are difficult to find. But how about volunteering to do something within the community, a stepping stone to building rapport with random folks.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that you have already been given all the answers you need, and the real issue is applying them in a consistent manner.

Religion isn't my thing, but I bet you can walk into most churches and chat to someone. Literally walk straight up, introduce yourself, tell them you are not great with conversation, but really just wanted to talk. Again, these folk might not be the lifelong friends you are looking for, but it's a start, and by the sounds of things, one up from where you are now.

My only other suggestion is an online group where you don't hide behind a keyboard, and instead, interact in live stream conversations.

Do you need a psychologist to do this, or are you metaphorically seeking someone to hold your hand during the baby steps.
 

TheRealCallie

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Don't worry about long lasting friendships and relationships. They exist only in holywood fantasy films. In someone's wild imagination.

That is simply not true. I have several long lasting friendships. Several of those are with people I have known since I was 5. Several others are with people I originally met online. Lasting friendships are NOT fairy tales.
 

U-122

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That is simply not true. I have several long lasting friendships. Several of those are with people I have known since I was 5. Several others are with people I originally met online. Lasting friendships are NOT fairy tales.

Then why are you here? lol

Ok we can fix this. I agree with you. You're right. I'm wrong.

@chasingowls - Do worry about long lasting friendships (and possibly relationships). They exist not only in holywood fantasy and someone's wild imagination, but in real life. Just not for me and many others around me, but my environment is extremely toxic, so do worry and keep trying. Never give up.
 

U-122

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Because I choose to be here?
Not really sure I have to justify myself to you. Not everyone is here because they have no one at all.

You don't have to justify yourself. I thought everyone here is lonely because they have no one at all. Like me. I guess you have your reasons.
 

Lucylou

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You don't have to justify yourself. I thought everyone here is lonely because they have no one at all. Like me. I guess you have your reasons.
Maybe practice counseling? I've had the same experience with therapy. When my counselor knew I worked in the automotive industry she started relating everything to a car, driving in the fast lane, oil changes, dents in the body. What, and I'm paying you? Last time I saw her.
 

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Maybe practice counseling? I've had the same experience with therapy. When my counselor knew I worked in the automotive industry she started relating everything to a car, driving in the fast lane, oil changes, dents in the body. What, and I'm paying you? Last time I saw her.
I got a good laugh from your post. Ha! ha! Some professionals really have no clue.
 

U-122

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Maybe practice counseling? I've had the same experience with therapy. When my counselor knew I worked in the automotive industry she started relating everything to a car, driving in the fast lane, oil changes, dents in the body. What, and I'm paying you? Last time I saw her.

I don't know everything about everything but when i do try to help and offer advice, especially health related, nobody listens. Especially when something works for me and i know it'll work for others. Since my 9-5 job ended, i have zero credibility, zero reputation, zero status, zero respect. No matter what i do and say. I was mostly in healthcare and something else on the side. Now i'm ignored and treated like invisible garbage. I prefer to stay out of everyone's way. The last time i gave someone a good advice it backfired so hard now i need a medical advice. I'm buffled and a few doctors i asked also don't have any solution.
 

Scarlet2020

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I just recently gave up my last therapist. It wasn’t helping at all. I believe there are some good ones, but they’re hard to find. I was beyond what she could help me with. It’s just nice to have someone listen, even if you’re paying them:
 

ewomack

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I can really identify with friends being hard to make. I feel like I've lost quite a few in the last decade. I don't have any lifelong friends. I've lost touch with my entire High School class (I was kind of an involuntary outcast) and now some of my college friends have dropped away as they maintain families, make lifestyle decisions and decide who fits in with them and who doesn't, etc. I'm here for this reason, I don't know why I've lost so many friends and I seem unable to make new ones. I honestly don't know what to do about it.

Therapy had mixed results for me. I connected with some therapists and not with others. If you live in the U.S., unfortunately the health care system doesn't really take mental health seriously so it can end up costing a small fortune for a decent therapist. I had the least amount of luck with the "cheaper" therapists, who seemed to use cheat sheets for questions and kept asking "how does that make you feel?" over and over. I accomplished the most in therapy when I challenged myself and thought about why I do certain things or feel certain ways. The therapist doesn't "cure" you and therapy doesn't "cure" you, the best therapy just gives you tools and triggers to help you deal with issues that bother you. It should help you introspect about yourself, which will ultimately do the most good, but it likely won't "solve" anything all by itself. Again, I had mixed results.

All one can really do is to keep trying, keep thinking of ways to meet and relate to people and hope that something, somewhere works out.
 

Sunless Sky

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And honestly it's not even real therapy. Counselors are garbage. But the one psychologist I went to was equally useless.

I made an account here because I'm circling the drain. Some people aren't clinically depressed, but they fall into a pattern of depression they can't get out of. I'm not suicidal nor have I ever been. But for a long time I never saw any point in self improvement or goals, because I just never saw a future for myself. I cut friends out of my life and waited too long, so that reconcile was impossible. And then for over 10 years I've been unable to replace them.

This lifestyle is like a waking death. It's really easy to stay alone when you live in a small and somewhat remote town, with no real opportunities to meet anyone. I'm now past college age, and one thing they don't tell you when you're a teenager, is that after 25 nobody cares too much about finding new friends, and obviously, everyone's busy with family & life. I grew up in an era where it felt like all you had to do was ~go online~ and you'd be able to find similar people. And things aren't like that anymore. And what's worse is that I've been blaming this on the internet changing, when in reality it's because I've actually lost my ability to interact with people normally, and to be ok with the prospect of another (1, 2, 4, 10) years being alone. Without relationships to invest in. And without long lasting, solid friendships.

I'm actually also pretty angry, because the more I try to talk more, smile more, be more friendly-- the more vulnerable I make myself, the more stupid I look when I have nothing to say but speak anyway.. and I think the more of your private thoughts that you put out into the world, the more you come apart. But personally, my brain tells me that if I want to solve A Problem (and I do), then I have to think about and talk about that problem constantly. I don't even have an outlet; I just watch youtube & "talk" on places like reddit & youtube, whenever I'm not literally sleeping or working.

What do you even do, in a situation like that? Personally I think talking to so many counselors helped cause this. And now I can't relate to normal people, in a normal way.

Yeah, therapy hasn't worked for me much. At least I don't think it has. I just get there, talk about my life for an hour and leave. Even the talking is like pulling teeth since my problems don't change from week to week. So what do I do when I have to mention the same problem over and over again.

I had some old friendships from high-school but they have long died from neglect. That's my fault of course as I was the one who was acting cold and distant to my friends. I even do the same with my family. I don't hate them or anything but I guess I learned this behaviour when I was a young teenager at the ripe age of 13.

I also feel like my ability to socialise has been greatly diminished. I used to be able to make friends and conversation with almost anyone but I've grown more reserved since I was put on medication.
 

Finished

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Yeah, therapy hasn't worked for me much. At least I don't think it has. I just get there, talk about my life for an hour and leave. Even the talking is like pulling teeth since my problems don't change from week to week. So what do I do when I have to mention the same problem over and over again.
Try taking control of the therapy and discus what you want / need to discus.
 

U-122

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I can really identify with friends being hard to make. I feel like I've lost quite a few in the last decade. I don't have any lifelong friends. I've lost touch with my entire High School class (I was kind of an involuntary outcast) and now some of my college friends have dropped away as they maintain families, make lifestyle decisions and decide who fits in with them and who doesn't, etc. I'm here for this reason, I don't know why I've lost so many friends and I seem unable to make new ones. I honestly don't know what to do about it.

I had a small circle of school mates who used to be my neighbors, lived nearby, we worked together, hung out together, i'd known them for many years. We weren't best friends for life but we good buddies. Many disappeared, got married, had kids, moved away. Probably few remaining in the area i used to bump into at local supermarkets. They pretend not to know me. They are very accomplished and successful high status money grabbers with families and homes, and i'm just a nobody. It's not appropriate for us to interact with each other anymore. We are out of each other's leagues. We are not on the same level anymore. That's another segment of frenemies that i got rid of long ago.
 

ewomack

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I had a small circle of school mates who used to be my neighbors, lived nearby, we worked together, hung out together, i'd known them for many years. We weren't best friends for life but we good buddies. Many disappeared, got married, had kids, moved away. Probably few remaining in the area i used to bump into at local supermarkets. They pretend not to know me. They are very accomplished and successful high status money grabbers with families and homes, and i'm just a nobody. It's not appropriate for us to interact with each other anymore. We are out of each other's leagues. We are not on the same level anymore. That's another segment of frenemies that i got rid of long ago.
If that's the reason that they don't talk to you anymore, I think it says more about them than about you. Regardless, it sucks when people decide to detach for reasons that aren't always clear or unspoken. America does have a class system (or people like to pretend that it has one, though we're all really middle or lower class in the end) and it can be just as snobby as the British one.

I have to admit that I have blown off old friends a few times myself, but in every case they had crossed a line and I at least let them know. One friend from college just took advantage of me. He wanted to keep rooming with me because he ate my food, drank my drinks and used our apartment for storage while he went off and did things with other people and stayed with his girlfriends. I told him over the phone that I wasn't going to live with him again, explained why, and he didn't seem to get it. Another one became irritated when I first met my current wife and would act out angrily when I mentioned her. When we first met he told me that he was bisexual, so I sometimes wonder if he had formed an attraction to me and perhaps became jealous of my then girlfriend. I was very upfront with him that I was straight. The problems didn't start until I met my wife. I don't know. In any case, it goes both ways.

In my case, I have this feeling that my last group of friends faded away because I didn't follow "the rules." I could afford to buy the house, take the vacations, have kids, etc., but I chose not to. I live comfortably in a small condo and I try to accumulate as little as possible. They all bought houses, had kids, went on vacations, posted frequent updates on Facebook, bought fancy furniture, etc. I never criticized them for any of this, or made fun of them, nor did I think they were "wrong." I just didn't want to live that way, but perhaps my actions spoke loudly enough? I tried to "reconcile" with one of them, but she just said that "nothing was wrong" and "nothing had happened." I never heard from her again, so I find it hard to believe her. I've concluded that it will remain a mystery and I need to move on. I try to get involved in local boards, post on forums like this one and, if Covid ever allows, I'd like to join some actual face-to-face in the flesh groups. I miss having a group of friends, but the last one I had just sort of appeared out of nowhere, lasted for a number of years, and then vanished just as inexplicably as it began. I don't get it. I keep hoping that another one will "just appear" again, but I have my doubts.
 

U-122

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If that's the reason that they don't talk to you anymore, I think it says more about them than about you. Regardless, it sucks when people decide to detach for reasons that aren't always clear or unspoken. America does have a class system (or people like to pretend that it has one, though we're all really middle or lower class in the end) and it can be just as snobby as the British one.

I have to admit that I have blown off old friends a few times myself, but in every case they had crossed a line and I at least let them know. One friend from college just took advantage of me. He wanted to keep rooming with me because he ate my food, drank my drinks and used our apartment for storage while he went off and did things with other people and stayed with his girlfriends. I told him over the phone that I wasn't going to live with him again, explained why, and he didn't seem to get it. Another one became irritated when I first met my current wife and would act out angrily when I mentioned her. When we first met he told me that he was bisexual, so I sometimes wonder if he had formed an attraction to me and perhaps became jealous of my then girlfriend. I was very upfront with him that I was straight. The problems didn't start until I met my wife. I don't know. In any case, it goes both ways.

In my case, I have this feeling that my last group of friends faded away because I didn't follow "the rules." I could afford to buy the house, take the vacations, have kids, etc., but I chose not to. I live comfortably in a small condo and I try to accumulate as little as possible. They all bought houses, had kids, went on vacations, posted frequent updates on Facebook, bought fancy furniture, etc. I never criticized them for any of this, or made fun of them, nor did I think they were "wrong." I just didn't want to live that way, but perhaps my actions spoke loudly enough? I tried to "reconcile" with one of them, but she just said that "nothing was wrong" and "nothing had happened." I never heard from her again, so I find it hard to believe her. I've concluded that it will remain a mystery and I need to move on. I try to get involved in local boards, post on forums like this one and, if Covid ever allows, I'd like to join some actual face-to-face in the flesh groups. I miss having a group of friends, but the last one I had just sort of appeared out of nowhere, lasted for a number of years, and then vanished just as inexplicably as it began. I don't get it. I keep hoping that another one will "just appear" again, but I have my doubts.

We had a much simpler connection. Only hangout buddies, school mates. Went to the beach, billiards, bowling, movies. We didn't have any drama between us. Families were more or less the same, not rich at all. Some were better off than others but not wealthy. It's customary here when one gains a high status, one looks down on others who are lower on the scale. We simply went separate ways. Those who became successful got married, had kids, bought homes. They simply have no business dealing with someone like me if they can't get anything out of me and i'm not on the same level with them or higher. No one here ever says "i have this friend who doesn't grab money from others, he's really nothing, doesn't have a family, home, good friends, i hope he's doing ok, i'm worried about him". Never! All i hear is "my lawyer friend... my dentist friend.... my surgeon/doctor friend... my real estate developer friend... my car mechanic friend... my (insert any other useful occupation) friend, etc." Going back in time, gradually they realized they need to stick with those who are on their or higher level. They couldn't get anything useful out of me for free. I couldn't provide any kind of service to them for free, i was completely useless. When i'm useless here, they need to distance themselves from me. Same happened with every other frenemy in my life. I got rid of them all. I have no frenemies left. I made one last attempt recently to be friendly with someone who's way above me on pay scale. Never again.
 

Colster

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Getting back to the initial question posed.

Here in the U.K., there are some truly awful mental health practices. The legally required training and subsequent qualifications, are absolutely inadequate. Likewise, there is even less monitoring or screening of the professionals.

So what to do when it's not working.

I suppose the first thing is to determine your issues, and preferably have it medically confirmed.

Put your your grievances into writing, and follow the complaint procedure for your location.

Meantime, seek recommendations. I'll suggest this loosely, ask friends or family. Failing that, request information from the likes of the General Medical Commission.

If you know of treatments/methods that you want try, request them in writing.

Don't take no for an answer. Mental health my be brandished by even the most opulent of celebrities and media folk, but the truth is, much of it is swept under the carpet, due to funding, time constraints, or uneducated staff. Often, you are going to need to be pushy, to get the help you want.

I'm not too keen on self help, it can be a rabbit warren of misinformation. However, there is no harm in researching, educating yourself further, and knowing what your rights are, and perhaps what questions you should ask.

Also, a little personal introspection is valid. Did you complete any tasks set. Take proscribed medications. Did you acknowledge any given time parameters. Have your issues altered in any means. Finally, have you been truthful to the service provider.

My last point, and I am not sure how this would apply outside of the UK, but you can request treatment in another region. Again, don't take no for an answer!
 

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