Priest says I need a psychologist


#1

I now hate myself for sure. I don’t know why God punishes me so.

Now I’ll never be able to get a date with that girl who I go to Mass with.

Now I’m just another imperfect, crazy freak. :frowning:


#2

Don’t forget that we tend to punish ourselves more than anyone else.
What do you think about the priest’s suggestion?


#3

I won’t address your priest’s advice.
I will say - that I spent many a Sunday Mass setting my eye / my hopes on so many through the years…and got nothing. Some didn’t even say good morning or if they did to reply to mine - it was like they were doing me a favor.

You’re not a freak. And we’re ALL imperfect. If we were perfect, we’d be God - and NOBODY is God but God Himself. Sometimes, people can just be unkind or thoughtless - without realizing. I’ve been there. Stop setting your sights / hopes on just one person. Ask God to direct you.
Hoping this helps.


#4

Needing a psychologist or counseling does NOT make anyone a freak. Many people get counseling these days for many reasons. I do not know why the priest suggested it to you, but please don’t feel you are bad or a freak because of his suggestion.

It might be good for you to look into it with an open mind to see if you could be helped by it. It may even help you to get a date with this girl you are interested in. :slight_smile:


#5

I went to a psychologist. It was a really rewarding experience. It doesn’t make us freaks. Some people I work with have also been to see pyschologists which was a huge surprise to me. You’ll be in my prayers, but don’t think less of yourself because of it.


#6

Hey, I’ve consulted a psychologist and I’m not an imperfect, crazy freak. :eek: Well…I’m not perfect (far from it), so, ok, I’m imperfect. Umm, crazy? Well I hold down a responsible job, but the kids do think I do some crazy things sometimes…but that’s deliberate, to help them learn, or release the tension, or just plain have fun…besides doing crazy things does not mean you are crazy, just someone who does crazy things. That leaves freak. Absolutely not, in no way, no, no, no, I’m not a freak.

As for the date with the girl…umm, I’m a girl…so that’s out too. :smiley:

Seriously, Epistimes, nothing wrong with seeing a psychologist. I would assume that your priest knows you well, and has very good reasons for suggesting this. I’d say “Go for it.”


#7

I’ve been to a psychiatrist and I really needed it at the time (that was 25 years ago). Some of us need help once in a while. IF you hate yourself, you need serious help. Don’t be afraid to get help. Mental illness is like any other illness, it needs to be treated by a professional.

I went for at least 3 months until I felt I was back to normal. The guy wanted me to continue, but I think it was because he needed the money more than I needed the help. OF course, I may still be crazy and just don’t know it. :smiley:

There is no shame in seeking psychiatic help. IF your friend is any kind of friend, they won’t think anything of it. Seeing a therapist is like having a trusted friend that you can talk to. It just that you have to pay a lot to see this friend. IF you do have a friend that you can confide in, it could save you from having to see a therapist. BUT if he not as level headed or your problems are more than either of you are capable of handling then you may need the professional help.

Either way, seek the help, you will be much better off because of it.


#8

Have you not read the Bible or the writings of the Saints? God tries those he loves in fire, like gold that’s tested in fire.

A psychiatrist is not a psychologist. I have a deep mistrust of medicine, especially for psychological issues. I’ve read too much about side effects (and not just from psychological drugs). But I also know people who have and do need such medicines. Thankfully I haven’t had to go that route.

But I have seen a psychologist for a couple years, and I can’t speak highly enough of the experience. For me it was mainly working through things from the past that I had buried instead of dealt with. I also have friends who study psychology though. And as I’ve heard from them and seen for myself there are many people who could benefit from psychology but for whatever reason can’t or don’t go. It’s simply another tool to deal with life. Psychology gets a bad rap from the extreme cases that need it, but there’s no reason to think you’re the worst case or that you should even be grouped in with the worst case just because you use the same tool. Unfortunately though, the truth is that psychology is way undervalued and even stigmatized because of the ignorance people have of what it is. Just the other day I picked up a booklet purporting to discredit psychology simply because it was not ‘Biblically based’. Needless to say it was a very fundamentalist booklet (that had its own misconceptions of what psychology was).

The long and the short of it: it can’t hurt to try it.

Do find a psychologist that you’re compatible with though, and it will make things much easier. Don’t think it will be an easy process, but trust in God and he will lead you through (well, if you ask him for his help! which I’m sure you are).

peace,
Cephas


#9

Psychiatrist are usually also psychologist as well. They happen to have a medical degree, They may oversubscribe as you say, that’s another debate.


#10

“Ep” I’ve had counciling, in the past… for mild depression. And it really helped. You’re not a freak!

I won’t ask you what prompted your priest to give you this advice; but of one thing, I’m certain. He has YOUR best interests at heart. He really believes that it could help.

There is a stigma attached to mental and emotional illness… which is a lot HOOEY. Our minds are as much a part of our human “make-up” as our organs. Sometimes, our minds can catch little “bugs”… and we need some help with it. Simple! A good psychologist can help us wade through the muck. And there’s some great Catholic psychologists out there! Check out the Catholic Medical Association. You might be able to find one in your area:

cathmed.org/aboutthecma/ourhistory.htm

Chances are the young lady you wish to date… has either had counciling herself, or knows someone very close to her… who has. It’s no biggie! :wink:

God bless.


#11

I’m very upset. And now I’m in mortal sin because I needed “self-medication,” plus I’m mad at myself and mad at God for making me like this. :frowning:

All of the happiness of life that existed has just now been sucked away because I see clearly now that I need professional help, that I’m not normal, and now I can’t even have a decent relationship with God because I’m in sin. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

Please ask my friend, the Little Flower, to pray for me.


#12

“Ep”… please take a few deep breaths… and speak with Our Lord. I doubt you are in mortal sin, because at present you are upset. :console:

St. Therese of the Child Jesus… please come to the assistance of your brother; he is suffering and is in need. Please graciously recall the emotional difficulties which you suffered as a child, and ask Our Lady of the Smile to grant him the same healing grace… which she granted to you. St. Therese of the Child Jesus… pray for us. Amen.


#13

Dear Epistemes –

If you’re in mortal sin, go to confession. There’s no need to torture yourself on that score.

As far as needing psychological and/or psychiatric help, I speak as one who needs both. I suffer from clinical depression and anxiety. I look at it like diabetes or the migraines my sister suffers from – if I were diabetic, I’d go to the doctor, follow their advice, and take my insulin; if I had migraines, ditto, except for the kind of drugs. My body might not be functioning normally, but I wouldn’t think of myself as a freak because of it. (*Edited to add: Not that I wouldn’t be freaking out at the beginning, of course!)
*
Your situation may be less biochemical and more just a matter of talking things out with someone trained to help others do so; I don’t know. It’s a great relief sometimes to pour your situation out to someone who is uninvolved, doesn’t have a horse in the race, and who can see things more objectively. They also often have recommendations for concrete things to do, people to contact, etc., to help you with whatever it is. (For instance, I really need to change careers before this one has me go off the deep end. My therapist has found a good career counsellor for me.)

Speaking to a therapist should have no bearing whatsoever on whether someone will go out with you. These things are confidential and she will not know unless you tell her. I have actually found myself feeling more affection for men who accept that they are imperfect and have sought help when they’ve needed it, FWIW.

And God does test those whom he loves. You might want to read Fr. Groeschel’s Arise from Darkness. I loved it.

I will pray for you. Please feel free to PM if you want to talk more about this stuff.

In Christ,

Francesca


#14

I don’t feel like praying. I’ve turned my back on God and it feels like he’s turned his back on me too. I’m ashamed to even approach him. I’ve simply reverted back the primordial, precarious spiritual platform I stood so shakily upon one year ago, ignoring all the lights and revelations God has given me along the way, allowing to me to progress. None of that matters right now, and I will not be sensible. I am little more than a melodramatic child, thus I shall be.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, ya know? I was supposed to be in need of some psychologist, life wasn’t supposed to be this horrible, I was supposed to feel so alone and agonized. I was supposed to be so much better than I am. I was supposed to be able to provide clever, helpful aphorisms like withwind or Shin, or just be smart like LilyM, or be spiritual like beckycmarie, or kind like Trishie, but instead I’m just me - I’m this guy who is a depressed narcissist with low self-esteem, and I can’t love that person. That’s not who I was supposed to be. God tricked me. Instead of helping to progress past the purgative stage into the unitive stage, he’s made me so much worse than I was. I was better off going to bars and getting drunk and going to strip clubs and eating fatty foods all the time. That person never had to go to a psychologist, was never stigmatized by not being normal.

I’m nobody, and no one should listen to what I say. All these stupid threads where I pretend like I can give advice, no one should listen to me. I’m just some crazy, messed up guy with a horrible relationship with God.

The only friend I have is the Little Flower. :frowning:


#15

She’s a pretty good friend.

The problem with that analysis is that there are people who care about you. We wouldn’t write if we did. And it sounds like you care about you too. You want to feel ok. I’m sorry you feel like psychology is a stigma. That’s something that society needs to mature about. It shouldn’t be a stigma. I’ve also found that in reality, most of the stigma is in my mind. When I mention to people that I’ve been to counseling I find admiration and respect.

No matter how you feel or what you do, God will still love you. He thinks the world of you. You might not understand or believe, but he loves you and is inviting you back to himself. He doesn’t need you. You need him. He wants you with all his heart. Getting over the obstacles (like sin) isn’t going to be easy, but when you come through and know more and more the depth of his love for you, like no one else has ever loved or can love, you will be happier. Only it won’t be the happiness of ignoring the problems. It will be really good.


#16

Don’t compare yourself with anybody. I am learning that it can be very harmful to oneself.

I think you could talk to the Saint more … and away from the computer. She’ll pray for you to know what to do.


#17

You have a strong sense of self. From a religious perspective, this is not good. How do you feel about self-mortification? Forget about high self-esteem and achieve a high esteem toward religion and life.

I would warn you against seeking psychological treatment from a non-religious therapist. Finding a good religious therapist can be difficult.

So much of modern-day therapy centers on development of self as opposed to self-mortification. Be careful in seeking treatment. A single book: The Imitation of Christ may be all you need.


#18

Self Mortification is not a good option for someone with no self- esteem.It is for those who need humility.A single book is not all he needs.As Benedict Groeschel (psychologist says) “take you medicine”. Psychiatric problems are not a moral weakness nor is it weakness of character. it is an illness like any other illness. Take care of the physical part first(meds,therapy) - God will be waiting-He is not going anywhere


#19

Check out Sirach 38:1-15


#20

Dear E,

My pastor once said in a homily that when we suffer, we are being perfected.

We can either accept the suffering with resignation, trusting that God is burning away our imperfections, or we can fight it and lose our peace. Either way we are still going to suffer, and if we choose to fight it, we suffer even more.

If your pastor advised you to see a psychologist, then I think you should take his advice. Being in need of counseling doesn’t make you a freak. We are all wounded and it is a rare person who gets through life without ever needing counseling or some other psychological help. Here’s one resource you might find helpful:

catholictherapists.com/

Remember that holiness is a slow, lifelong process. The progress is usually imperceptible from day to day. Sanctity doesn’t happen overnight, and you cannot “go faster than grace” as Bro. Lawrence writes. It is quite possible that the holier you are becoming, the less holy you will actually feel. Growing in self-knowledge can be a painful process as that knowledge meets up with our pride.

If you haven’t read this blog by Fr. John Bartunek, I highly recommend it for you:
Getting Rid of Inner Ugliness

With prayers,
Becky


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