First off,: a therapist doesn't brain-wash his or her clients. They don't tell people what to do or how to live their lives. They listen to a problem, diagnose the issue and prescribe a way to help a person feel happier and healthier. With a psychiatrist there may be drugs invovled and with a counselor there may be group therapy as part of the prescription.
Here's the thing, just like with a medical doctor, you aren't forced to take the prescription.
How do you know whether or not you need to go talk to a professional? It's the same thing with any other medical issue. If a medical problem is getting in the way of the quality of your life and is preventing you from doing what you want to do, then you need to go see a doctor. If your fear, anger, insecurities, or other emotions are getting in the way of your life, go seek mental help.
It isn't healthy to have your skin constantly itch and it's not healthy to have conflicts take over your thoughts for extended periods of time.
It is not the responsibility of people who love you to be your psychologist. Yes, these people can listen to your problems and provide advice and encouragement. However, it is not fair to burden them with issues beyond their ability to aid. While you may think that your loved ones can give you better advice because they know you, sometimes it's their closeness to you that keeps them from providing perspective and objective advice.
If you are thinking about going to find someone to talk to and you are are hesitating don't forget a couple things:
- You are not alone, You know someone who has talked to a professional to deal with an issue in his or her life. You may not realize it, but you do.
- Ask as many questions about confidentiality, qualifications, procedures and whatever else you want in order to make you feel comfortable.
- If you don't like the first person that you talk with, don't give up. Try a different professional and keep trying until you find someone that you get along with.
We have to move past our own machismo our own ego and seek help when we need it. If we don't, we are sentencing ourselves to a life that is less full-filling and we are hurting the people around us. If you care about the people that you love, then you owe it to them to take care of yourself.
At the point in your life when feel you need you it, go talk to a professional. You deserve peace in your mind and peace in your heart.