Staying Unwell (Not Wanting Wellness)

The strangest thing I’ve seen is when people don’t want to get better. Someone might have a physiological problem and there is a solution, but they don’t take the solution.

I would say most people that I’ve helped with mental health issues (we are talking 95%) don’t seriously want to get better. They are offered techniques by me or others and they just don’t chase it up. I have a friend who I’ve helped over the years. He has transformed through his own hard work. Whenever I suggested something he looked into it and gave it a huge amount of effort. If it didn’t work for him, he dropped it and tried something else.

Most other people I know didn’t try anything, or if they did they tried it once or twice and quit. I think this is the biggest obstacle to getting better. I have known people say about ‘I tried counselling once, I didn’t like it’. I can’t remember saying you’re supposed to like counselling. When I ask how many sessions they tried, it was one or two with just one therapist!

I think there are a few reasons why people might not want to get better:

  1. They are benefiting in some way from being ill (they get attention, or benefits, or they don’t need to work) [I’m not suggesting people shouldn’t be on benefits, I’m just saying that people who stay on benefits forever with no intention of getting better need to change]
  2. The fear of facing up to their issues
  3. To lazy to face up to their issues (it will take hard work… they can’t be bothered)
  4. A psychology lecturer I know says that people have their story. A story that they need to live by. A story about who they are. Sometimes their illness is part of their story or identity. If you get rid of that they don’t know who they are

Again it just shocks me that most people don’t put in the effort to get well. These days there are so many ways to improve your wellbeing it’s untrue. No single solution will likely cure you, however putting in the effort to find multiple solutions that will at least take the edge off is surely worth it?

Some people have have put in the effort and they remain ill. I have complete respect for anyone who has tried and hasn’t yet succeeded. I am less sympathetic these days with people who put little or no effort in and stick with their story.

If a counsellor or therapist sees that someone isn’t putting in the effort, they ditch them. And for good reason. It’s a waste of time for everyone involved if the client isn’t going to put in the effort.

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