The following thoughts represent some people’s worst fears or false beliefs about themselves that they worry about telling their therapists. They’re either too embarrassed or scared of judgment or even judging themselves.
What they don’t realize is that these fears and insecurities are actually shared by many. Check to see how many of them you can relate to and know that you’re not alone.
That We’re Irreparable
“I’d say a common one is believing that there’s something innately, irreparably wrong with them that makes them unable to ever truly ‘fit in.'”
“For a lot of people, it’s such a deeply ingrained belief that it can be extremely painful to acknowledge or express, regardless of the level of personal success in their lives.” —GuidedBySteven
Getting Physically Sick From Anxiety
“I ask if they would describe their experience as being anxious about being anxious, I get a lot of ‘omg, yes.'”
“Anxiety has such a physical impact on the body (heart pounding, trouble breathing, feeling faint or cold, tunnel vision) that we become aware of our body’s reaction before we even notice the anxious thoughts triggering the reaction.” —pomp_le_mousse
Putting Up A Persona
“I have heard some variant of ‘this is probably weird, but I feel if I am my true self around others then they won’t like me’ more times than I can count. ” —oreganick
We put so much of our value in the way others see us but in reality, we’re the ones who can make ourselves the happiest.
Afraid Of Failure
“Clients become quite fearful of admitting that they weren’t successful since the last time they had a session. This could include not succeeding in using a coping skill that they’re learning about, or not being able to complete a homework assignment I gave them. Humans aren’t robots, and therapy is a lot of work.” —DnDYetti
The fact that you’re even willing to work on yourself shows growth and is a step in the right direction!
Not Knowing What Makes You Happy
“Often they have people in their life, including therapists, say ‘try to do something fun today’ or ask ‘what do you like to do when you have free time?’ Many people I work with do not know what those are.”
“More often than not they feel like they should know and that everyone else their age has it figured out. ” —ljrand
Hearing Internal Voices
“I’ve found that a lot of people aren’t familiar with their own internal dialogue or ‘self-talk’ and that this is typically ‘normal’ internal processing.”
“A lot of people think that they are ‘hearing voices’ and hallucinating. There are some pretty simple questions we can ask to determine if it’s hallucinating or just internal dialogue, and most often it’s the latter.” —whatever-lola-wants
Having “Immoral” Thoughts
“Unwanted intrusive thoughts are normal and do not mean you are a bad person. By definition, these are thoughts that are unwanted because they go against your own values and highlight what you don’t want to do.”
“However normal these thoughts are (over 90% of the population), the moral nature of these thoughts means that often people experience a lot of shame and take many years before they first tell someone about them.” —cbearg
Not Understanding Our Own Feelings
“A common one is simply, ‘I don’t know.’ You’d be surprised how reluctant people are to admit that they don’t know why they’re feeling how they are. But that’s exactly why you’re sitting there with me; so we can figure out why together.” —kutuup1989
Feelings are too complicated to fully be understood. Even therapists need their own therapists.
Having To Hide Taboo Feelings
“A common one is ‘secret feelings.’ Private daydreams and sexual fantasies. Seemingly every time someone tells me, ‘I have this really weird daydream I’m always having…’ they tell me their variation of the Suffering Martyr Daydream. It’s so common it has a name! Other secret feelings include resentment towards a spouse or the difficulties of being a parent. Lost attraction in a spouse.” —my_other_throwaway90
Feelings fluctuate and it’s okay to fall out of love or fear the role of a parent even if it’s unconventional.
“I’ve had clients too scared to tell me their accomplishments. They think they should only be bringing their problems to case management and that if we see them getting better, we won’t care or prioritize them as much.” —sadbisexualbean
We can’t celebrate our successes if we don’t recognize them apart from our downfalls!
To Need A Break From Parenting
“Being tired of being a mother. There’s this social thing of loving your kids and them being the first thing in your life, but having a child is messy and really hard work. It is normal to just want to take a break once in a while from all that responsibility.” —niatpackcalb
No matter how many self-help books you read to prepare, it’ll be the hardest job you do regardless.
“Your fantasies are normal. No matter what you fantasize about, you’re not the only one, and it’s probably way more common than you realize.”
“As a sex therapist here, a huge part of my work is helping people normalize their sexuality and desires. Don’t be afraid to talk about it—I’ve heard it all.” —Seeking_Starlight
Not Grieving Properly
“The number of people I see who feel like they should be grieving a ‘certain way’ and are afraid that they ‘must not have loved someone,’ or ‘must not have cared.'”
“People grieve in all sorts of ways. The ‘five stages of grief’ don’t apply.” —sredac
Dealing With Guilt And Shame
For women especially, it can be hard when dealing with the wrong kind of attention. They feel “guilty for attracting the attention. Guilty for not speaking up. Guilty for enjoying being ‘seen’ by someone…” —random_girl_me
The goal of therapy at that point is to shift that blame because it’s not their fault that someone decided to give them that attention.
That Little Issues Don’t Matter
“I have come across a lot of people who also think they’d bore a therapist with their everyday problems and that they don’t want to take up resources for people ‘who will need it more.'” —zoe_2703
Every little thing adds up, and it’s okay to not want to brush them under the rug.
“Everything. You name it, I’ve heard it. You regret having your child and wish you never became a mom? OK. You love your spouse, but their cancer came back again, and you don’t know how you can go through this fight again? Yeah, I get that.”
“You wanna quit your well-paying job to sell carved soap figurines? OK, well, let’s talk through what that might look like. ” —incineratewhatsleft. Just be you as long as it’s not harming anyone!