Waiting for Things to Get Better

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in anxiety, Depression, Mental Health, Relationships, Stress, Therapy | 0 comments

Imagine the following bizarre scenarios.   You wake up and a tree has fallen on your house, so you decide to wait for it to decompose on its own. You hope that the tree will roll to one side eventually and you’ll have a nice skylight.

You are busy at work and there is a fire alarm. You assume it is a drill and stay at your desk. Smoke begins to fill the room. The lights have gone out and your computer stops working. You decide to hold your breath and wait and see if your computer turns back on.

You’re driving down the road and hear a loud clanking noise coming from the car.  All of a sudden you can only turn to the left. You decide to drive around the block, only making left turns, although now you can only go 5 miles per hour. You keep going around the block until you run out of gas.

You go to brush your teeth and you notice one tooth has turned black. You try to eat your breakfast but you can’t bite down. You’re in extreme pain. You decide not to eat for a few days. You find some white paint and paint your tooth white so people won’t notice. Your mouth eventually starts to swell up, so you tie a bandana around your face so people won’t notice.

All of the above scenarios are ridiculous. Yet that is precisely how many people deal with anxiety, depression and relationship problems.   We know something is wrong, but instead of looking for help, we go into denial. We attempt to distract ourselves with TV, sports, work, taking care of other people besides ourselves – but the problems get worse.  We blame life circumstances “Well, if I’d just get that raise, I’d be fine.” “If my wife would just listen to me, then we’d be happy.” “Once football season starts again, I’ll feel better.” “Nothing that a few drinks won’t fix!”

You don’t have to get counseling. You could talk to your spouse, or a good friend, or a family member. You could talk to your pastor, priest or rabbi.  You could talk with your family doctor. You could read a self-help book (almost no one follows the advice in self-help books, but that’s for another blog).  If you attempt to ignore serious mental health issues, they usually get worse.  Isolation and not talking to someone is usually the worst thing you can do.  People tell me almost every day:  “I wish I would have called sooner.” Or, “We were stuck in a rut but thought it was normal.”  “I was scared that if I told someone, they’d say I was crazy and lock me up.” Chances are, you are not crazy, but you might be suffering alone needlessly.  Confront denial, schedule a therapy appointment, and begin to make some changes!

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