Sunday, December 21, 2008
What brings many clients to my office is what I call the "Why Me" Syndrome. This is when a person feels that one bad thing after the other keeps happening to them. They are unable to cope with multiple issues at once and feel that the world is caving in on them. In a case like this, I feel it is important to prioritize what to start coping with first. If the person can organize their situations and choose one thing at a time to deal with, life might not feel as overwhelming. Some people need guidance in this department. I always suggest writing things down so their mind doesn't feel all jumbled and it is easier to organize yourself if it is in front of you. Some people resist writing it down because then it becomes real. The client in this position often uses the phrase "Why me?" quite often but once a plan is in place on what to start coping with first, the client usually feels a huge weight lifted off of their shoulders. This type of client tends to take on some issues that really aren't even their issues to deal with. For example, a mother might feel it is her responsibility to take care of or deal with her adult daughters problems. In this case it is important to help the client realize that although she can support her daughter during a difficult time, it is not the clients responsibility to resolve the problem. It is very important for clients to have patience and not to expect results right away. Being frustrated due to slow progress could add to the "Why me" syndrome. So, just to recap: if you have the "Why Me" Syndrome, write down all the current situations that you are unable to cope with, organize and prioritize your list from most important down, then start to tackle each situation. Make sure you get the support you need and try to conquer only your own issues, one at a time.