Have you ever felt like you can psycho-analyze other people really well? You know, like you can just pinpoint what their issue is. By seeing their behavior on the outside, you feel like you can guess what is going on in their head. Like this guy – he has low self-esteem – that’s why he keeps buying more clothes to try to look good and impress other people. Or maybe you see someone on TV and think oh they are so narcissistic – they think they are better than everyone and act that way but really they have no real friends. Maybe you are right. Maybe you are wrong. We all do it – sometimes it is just funny or silly.
But when we do, we are really simplifying life.
Think about it. When you act a certain way, whoever observes you is going to come up with their own conclusion about what is going on in your head. But you are the only one who knows what is going on in there. And it is far from something simple. You are having many thoughts – all a jumble sometimes – it is not just one simple thing. One minute you feel one way. One minute you feel the next. If you think, no one knows the real me or what is going on inside my head, well, you are right. But sometimes – exactly because there is so much going on in there – you might not be the best to diagnose yourself with a problem if there is one.
Doing that is very hard. You have to stop, think about your thoughts, step outside of yourself and look at yourself from a bird’s eye view. It is much harder to do that for yourself than it is for someone else, who’s head you are NOT in.
This is why it can be totally normal to think, when a doctor tells you you are depressed or you are anxious, to think, what? they don’t know me, that’s not true. If you are depressed or anxious, whatever is going on in your head is your new normal – until you get treatment so you can think differently – it can be super hard to look back and then say – oh, those were my anxious thoughts but I’m not like that any more or I have those under control.
Try instead thinking, ok what is my life like now and how would I like it to be? Is there someone I can work with who could help me get there? Instead of thinking do I agree with them that I’m depressed? I don’t feel that way. What do they know?
Working WITH someone you trust – like a healthcare provider or therapist – can be so helpful. They have the eyes to look at you from the outside. The more you share about what is going on on the inside, the more they can help. But for you to try to get outside of you to look inside of you – that takes a lot of work – and without the help of getting treatment, it can be quite tough.
Do you agree or disagree? Please let us know in the comments!