Even if people suggest otherwise.
"It is not uncommon for clients to shyly express concern to me that their problems may not be bad enough to warrant my attention or time spent in therapy. Similarly, they worry that what what may have felt traumatic to them doesn’t really count as trauma."
Occasionally clients have been told by other professionals that their problems aren't real or severe enough to warrant being depressed and they should pull up their socks and get on with their lives.
Both of these ideas are unfortunate, and make me feel sad.
I have also seen YouTube videos about "first world problems", where people are informed that they shouldn't experience or voice their troubles given that they aren't truly suffering… as they would be in a developing country.
I get that.
We must certainly keep things in perspective, and I may help remind you about that. But we must also allow ourselves and others to feel compassion for our challenges, whatever they might be.
It is also inappropriate for someone not in our shoes to tell us that our problems aren’t compelling. This is especially true for depression because the current understanding of depression is that our perspective of reality becomes faulty; it tricks us. We come to feel, among other things, that life is too hard, we are not good enough, and that there is no point to living. This is not true but it strongly feels that way when you are in it. So telling someone who is depressed that their life is fine or even privileged, and they should just get a hold of themselves, is insensitive at the best of times.
If it is real to you, it is real to me. I am here to listen, understand, and let my heart do the work. Also, if an experience of any size or perceived level of severity feels traumatic to you, then it was traumatic. There is no need to worry if it counts, because it does.