With some regularity, clients wonder, and somewhat tentatively inquire whether other people ask questions similar to their own….and it’s a fairly common way of wondering out loud with me and without these actual words: HOW DIFFERENT AM I? OR AM I AS BIG A MESS AS I SOMETIMES THINK I AM? 

    I believe one aspect of my job as a therapist is to help people learn to frame/define their issues, concerns, and life challenges in a way that leads to resolution — releasing and healing bottled up feelings and problem solving. Since most of us engage in distorted thinking that can lead to turning a “fixable” problem into a crisis, I find it’s important for most people to know they might not be as alone with concerns as they typically think they are….that in fact OTHER PEOPLE SOMETIMES FEEL THE WAY I DO SO I CAN’T BE AS TOTALLY MESSED UP AS I FEAR I MIGHT BE….. 

    So if you are encountering challenges and also wondering how off track you are, how alone you are with your difficulty in figuring out life, I’m giving you a list of the things people ask me on a day to day basis….See if any of these questions run through your mind from time to time… it’s just a “perspective building” exercise. And for some people it’s helpful to know your concerns are shared; that you aren’t the only person struggling; and finally, that it’s really okay and quite important for you to consider taking the steps to talk to someone about how you are feeling …. and any challenges you are facing and struggling with.

    -Do you think I’m crazy? Or Am I acting crazy?

    -Do you think there’s something wrong with me? 

    -What the _____ is wrong with me?

    -Is it weird that I am making such a big deal out of _____(fill in the blank with any issue)

    -Do I need medication?

    -Is this normal?

    -Do other people think about hurting themselves?  -Does wanting to hurt myself mean I’m in serious trouble?

    -Why do other people cope so much better than I do?  -My friend/colleague has far bigger problems than I do and he/she is managing just fine, so what’s my problem?

    -Why can’t I get ________(insert name) to leave me alone?

    -What did I do to deserve this?

    -Is it all my fault?

    -Will I ever feel better?

    Please know that these questions typically mean it would be important for you to talk with someone… to get the questions out of your head and into a conversation where you can begin to problem solve….and consequently feel better.  And if you think you are the only person who has such questions or self doubts, just that belief can keep you from talking because you think everyone else is so much healthier than you are. We all have problems and self doubts, and it truly helps to talk about them, to ask for help. Give it a try! 

    Listen to Dr Linda Moore and Mike Manko discuss more on therapy question at Steve and Mike Radio.

    Additional topics in Linda’s book ….What’s Wrong With Me? Maybe not that Much.