“Hello. Is this Dr. Ward?”
“Yes, who’s calling?”
“Well, uh, my name is Mrs. Smith and I’m Just calling to ask a question. ”
“Okay, go ahead.”
“Am I crazy to come see You? You see I’ve been feeling so unhappy for three months now but I don’t know what to do about It. A friend of mine told me to call you.”
I frequently get calls Just like this one, or people will ask me this question on their first visit to my office. I always reassure them that seeking help (an emotional or psychological problem is not a sign of craziness but a sign of health and strength. Admitting and facing a problem signifies inner strength and demonstrates an investment In living a healthy emotional life.
Taking care of yourself by getting help for yourself or someone in your family is an open expression of love and caring. We don’t hesitate to get our car or refrigerator or furnace or TV fixed but often when It comes to our personal life, we believe that ‘being strong’ or maintaining the image of a ‘rugged individual’ will somehow solve the problem.
Frequently our solutions simply don’t work or make the problem worse. Persistent and nagging problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, feelings of guilt or helplessness, irrational fears, marital and sexual problem.s, poor school performance, rebelling against authority are areas where professional attention can help.
The news media has plenty of examples of people who wouldn’t ask for help. But most people don’t have the type of life and death problem that gets into the news. However, many good people will wait until disaster looms before seeking help.