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Something’s not right

New Contributor

Looking for advice

Thank you for reading my message. I would be grateful for any advice I recieved about my concerns.


1. I'm looking for advice about handling criticism. When I interact with other people, I feel troubled because I interpret their actions as violence. I know I must distinguish between other people's actions and my reactions, but find this hard to apply in practice. I'm only able to do so after analysing a situation, but this makes me sorry because the moment I could apply the knowledge has passed. How can I improve my practical communication and empathy skills?


2. I'm looking for advice about gaining friends. My strategy is to participate in activities that interest me because I'm more likely to meet others with similar nature to me here than in other places. I've made some progress, but when I see that my progress is tantalisingly close, but ultimately unsuccessful, I feel discouraged because I'm unable to have my needs for company and intellectual satisfaction fulfilled. 


3. I'd like to talk to a counsellor or psychologist to help me improve my mental health, but feel discouraged by the cost. Although I have a Mental Health Care Plan, the cost seems more than I am prepared to pay. Is this normal? Are there any alternative resources you can suggest?


4. My research suggests I might be experiencing existentialism. How can I handle my experiences?


Thank you.


Re: Looking for advice

Welcome to the forums @P12, and thanks for sharing your concerns Smiley Happy

There are quite a few of us who share your story of misreading social cues and only seeing them as non-threatening later when not in the moment. There are no quick fixes with handling criticism, but there are some great authors or scientists with advice on the first two concerns you've raised. Have you heard of Daniel Goleman? He has two books that are often recommended, one is Emotional Intelligence and the other is Social Intelligence. Another book that has been mentioned a bit is The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga.

It sounds like you're doing the right thing for meeting new friends and participating in things you enjoy will help improve how you feel about yourself as well as introducing you to new people (even if they don't become your friends). Keep doing what you're doing there and things should improve Heart

Existentialism is an interesting topic to explore. What are we, why are we here, what do we hold dear, what do we stand for? So many questions, but your mind lights up when you explore some of them. Jim Kwik talks a lot about how so many are focused on space or exploring the universe, but not enough people get to know their own mind, what makes them behave the way they do or have particular feelings. Someone once said our mind is a supercomputer, but if the algorithms aren't maintained then it can start recommending shows you'd never want to watch.


Costs can be prohibitive for some treatments and circumstances, you're not alone in finding that as an obstacle for healing. How are you doing tonight? Have you ventured into some of the other threads on here? There are a lot of lovely people in this community, so feel free to join some conversations Smiley Happy

Re: Looking for advice

Hi @P12  and welcome to the forums.  I can't really add much to @Ali11 's thoughtful reply to your questions and the resources they have offered you.  Just want you to know you are not alone in your experiences.  I often rethink my responses to others, I am still learning after many years of isolation and I think it really is a matter of time and practise to get the ability to apply what you know in theory to the actual moment you can use it. 

I am also new to making purely social connections and friends after years of being scared of criticism, rejection and also learning who and when to disclose my MH issues with.  Like you, I've joined some social groups where there is a common interest and it's not all about mental health - for me it's been learning to play bridge and going to water tai chi.  I've done both twice a week for several months and am just starting to feel safe with one person from each group to really be myself with.   All I can say about this is be patient, trust takes a long time to grow and to me (I have complex PTSD) it's got to be the foundation of any friendship.    

Re cost of therapy - it's worth ringing around to get prices - my psychologist charges $175 per hour and the rebate is $124.50 from medicare under the MHCP for 10 sessions per year, so it's $50 out of pocket for each visit up to that limit.  I'm on a pension so very limited budget, but I consider this cost as an investment in myself and my future.  

I fought hard and got accepted to the NDIS and they cover weekly sessions for the rest of the year.  It's hard to get but worth persevering with.   

However if you ring around and maybe ask your referring doctor there are some psychologists who only charge the medicare amount so you have no gap to pay.  There are also some places where you can get a small number of counselling sessions for free.  I don't know your gender, but for me this was at the local womens centre.  There are also a few charities that do it like catholicare and anglicare.  They don't impose their faith on you.  I've used them in the past and it was helpful at the time. 

You will find lots of supportive people on the forums and SANE also has a chatline you can use.

Tagging @CheerBear @frog @outlander @Shaz51 @Teej @Faith-and-Hope  

Re: Looking for advice

hi @P12 and welcome
i dont have much to add to what Ali and Eth have already said but im here listening

Re: Looking for advice

Thank you to you who responded to my questions. Your suggestions are helpful.


When I read your responses to my question about criticism, I feel troubled because I was seeking a more definite understanding of my challenges. I think I expressed my concern unclearly. As well as being about criticism, it was about self-esteem. I once had confidence in my ability to understand the natural world and myself, but I feel it is intentionally damaged by other people. Laws, governments, organisations, and individuals apparently have a right to force me to act in undesirable situations where I can only either remove myself or escape by intellectual play. However, I remain unsatisfied because I've suppressed my emotions and actions. Would you be willing to share your techniques for maintaining confidence?


I also feel troubled because I think I'm not seeking emotional intelligence. I believe I have strong emotions, but apparently lack the ability to relate them to my thoughts and actions and express myself  to communicate with others effectively. I've heard of Daniel Goleman, but haven't read his works because I've been reading other researchers and conducting my own behavioural experiments. Most people I meet simply have no interest in me.


Thank you for reading my comments.

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