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Kathleen Moore

PhD student,

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What do you think it is that moves a person from trying to use personal coping skills towards being willing to seek outside support?

For many who experience difficulties with mental health, support is often sought/provided when he/she reaches their 'rock bottom'. For others, their willingness to seek support begins prior to this point, and for a variety of reasons. What is it that enables someone to admit their difficulties and seek support? Is it an emotion? An experience?

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    Oct 21 2012: Unless a person sees a fault in one's own life, one is not inclined to seek help. Rock bottom is different for different people. Those who see themselves as misfits see what they are doing as something that they need to do to keep going.

    Many individuals recognize unfavorable behaviors and seek to keep them at bay. Not individuals are that lucky.

    I worked with an individual with an alcohol problem. He totaled his vehicle, but since he and no one else was hurt, he was unmoved by the tragedy. He was aware that losing his license would cost him his job, and yet he refused to see his problem as a problem. It took an ultimatum from his wife to get him to seek help.

    There is a book "The New Primal Scream" by Doctor Arthur Janov that describes how early childhood or birth trauma can cause psychological effects that evade rationality. How a person thinks, and the subconscious motives that drive that thinking are disconnected. No amount of reasoning can solve the problem. Until the underlying motives are exposed, it is futile to reason with the person. People in this dilemma need a different kind of help than just dealing with the problem because the problem is a symptom, not a cause. Hanny describes it well; it is suppressed pain that leads to the problem, not the other way around.

    Juniper talks about trust. If you do not trust the person who you are seeking for help, it goes no further. Also, if the person you are seeking for help is not insightful to your needs, it is unlikely that they will provide a useful outcome. There has to be a sense of trust and the idea that the person helping you understands you if there is to be any resolution. That can be a difficult bridge to build.
    • Nov 14 2012: Probably most alcoholics don't seek help without experiencing some life-altering event. It may be a felony DWI or a spouse or other family member that gives them an "either or" choice.
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        Nov 14 2012: I believe you are right. Most alcoholics do not see alcohol as a problem. They see it as a solution to some other problem. It is not until they can see alcohol itself as a problem that must be solved that they move on it. Very seldom do they come to this revelation without a life-altering event.

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