I’m Afraid to Get Diagnosed – Do I See a Psychologist vs. Counselor

By | March 22, 2019

Some people are afraid to go to therapy because they don’t want to admit that something’s wrong with them, but having a diagnosis is a great way to manage your symptoms because you know what’s going on with you and can learn how to cope better. A diagnosis isn’t who you are, and it doesn’t mean that there’s anything fundamentally wrong with you. Instead, it’s a guideline that will help you function. One reason to see a psychologist is that they can assess your symptoms to give you an accurate idea of what’s happening with you. For example, maybe you have panic attacks, and you don’t understand why. A psychologist can help you discover the source of the panic attacks, diagnose you, and treat you.

A diagnosis isn’t you

Getting a diagnosis doesn’t define you. If you went to the doctor and found out you had a thyroid condition, you wouldn’t become a giant thyroid. Beyond a diagnosis, you’re a person first. However, having a label can help you understand what you’re experiencing and make the necessary changes to learn coping skills. One of the reasons you might be afraid to receive a diagnosis is that you might feel like it’s an identity. However, a mental health condition will never be who you are, and it is not your identity. For example, if a psychologist diagnoses you with Bipolar disorder, you don’t have to go around saying “I am Bipolar Disorder,” because that doesn’t make sense. Instead, you live with Bipolar disorder, or you have it. It doesn’t define you – it’s just a group of symptoms that you manage, and a psychologist can help you understand them. They can help you understand why you’ve had abnormally high levels of energy, why you’ve been engaging in risky sexual behavior, or why you’ve been participating in behaviors like compulsive spending, talking really fast, etc. because those are signs of mania and mania is part of Bipolar Disorder. They can also help you understand why you crash into a depression afterward. Psychologists have studied different mental illnesses in graduate school, and they can help you figure out what’s going on with you.

Counseling vs. psychology

Hearing what’s “wrong with you” might be scary, but a diagnosis isn’t a bad thing. It’s okay if you don’t want to go the route of diagnostics yet. Maybe, you’re not ready to receive or explore a diagnosis, but you want to go to therapy. A counselor, is a person who can help you manage your everyday life concerns, and they’re not there to tell you “what’s wrong with you.” they’re there to provide therapeutic services. If you’re thinking about going to therapy, maybe you’d like to start with a counselor first. Having someone to go to for support will help you feel at ease, and you’ll have a place to discuss your concerns, and that’s what therapy is for; it’s a place to express your emotions. Whether you work with an online therapist or someone in your local area, it’s up to you.

Online therapy can help you manage your feelings and potentially receive a diagnosis

If you’re working with a psychologist in online therapy, they’ll help you receive a diagnosis if applicable, and they’ll help you build a treatment plan. If you’re working with an online counselor, they’ll help you manage day-to-day concerns. Online therapy can provide you with the level of support you’re looking for so that you don’t have to feel alone. Consider online therapy as a method of treatment, whether you’re debating between a psychologist vs a counselor, and you’ll find out what mental health professional works best for you.

This is a featured post by site sponsor Better Help.

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