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17 Ridiculously Common Insecurities, According To Therapists


When you feel depressed, anxious, insecure, angry, paranoid, or otherwise shitty, you've probably asked yourself, "Am I the only one who feels like this?" at least once.

AND GUESS WHAT. You're seriously, definitely not the only one dealing with some unsavory stuff you might need to work through.

To help you feel less alone, we asked therapists what feelings and worries come up again and again in therapy, no matter what specific unique issues a client is dealing with. Turns out, no matter what you're going through, more people than you might think can probably relate, and maybe there's some comfort in knowing that other people are going through it, too.

Special thanks to the mental health professionals who provided intel for this post: clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, PhD; clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, PhD; former clinical psychologist and author Alice Boyes, PhD; Beth Rue, MSS, LSW, primary therapist at Summit Behavioral Health; Vancouver, Canada-based clinical counselor Joanna Boyd, MCP; psychologist and director of medical services at Delphi Behavioral Health Marc Romano, PsyD; clinical psychologist Amanda Zayde, PsyD; Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine; clinical psychologist Jennifer L. Taitz, PsyD; clinical social worker Gabriela Parra, LCSW; Barbara Nosal, PhD, chief clinical officer at Newport Academy; and several therapists who wished to remain anonymous.

1. You ruminate on the tiniest shit, even though you know it's irrational.

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Like, you're often really bugged by a small thing someone said in passing or find yourself overthinking something your boss wrote in an email to the point you convince yourself it MUST mean something negative. As annoying as these thoughts are, tons of people deal with them. (And, sidebar: Learning how to deal with those thought patterns is a skill you can pick up in therapy!)

2. You still don't feel like an actual grown-up.

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Don't worry, pretty much everyone doesn't automatically feel like a functioning adult just because they're technically the age of one. Most people tend to secretly assume that everyone else feels more put together than they do.

3. You don't think anyone finds you attractive.

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In many therapists' experience with their clients, a lot of people think that they're not as attractive as other people — and have a hard time imagining other people being attracted to them. And yes, even people who are super conventionally good-looking deal with these self-esteem issues.

4. You feel like everyone is always watching you or judging your decisions.

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It's easy to think that people pay attention to us and to feel self-conscious about what they might be thinking, but GUESS WHAT? Most of the time, everyone else is too busy worrying about their own stuff (and probably worrying that people are watching them, too).

5. You worry that you're crazy.

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At one point or another, many therapists will field the question "Am I crazy?" from their clients. Sure, might be dealing with a mental health issue that makes you feel that way, but mental health isn't black or white, all or nothing. So, maybe you need some help or treatment or care to get through a thing, but so do most people every now and then.

6. You think if people knew the real you, they wouldn't like you.

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So many people convince themselves that the external facade they show to the world isn't ~authentic~, and if they showed people what was beneath it, people would reject and abandon them. Truth is, though, everyone has stuff about themselves they don't like or are ashamed of — but other people probably wouldn't care as much as you think they would.

7. You have random violent, bizarre, or gross thoughts that freak you out.

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Most people deal with occasional intrusive thoughts, so don't worry if you've ever had a really weird urge to do something irrational. Like, even really dark stuff. Having the thought is not the same thing as having the desire or intent. Brains are weird.

(That said, excessive intrusive thoughts might be a symptom of OCD, so definitely check with a professional if it's interfering with your daily functioning or causing you distress.)

8. You feel at a loss about how to form connections and meaningful relationships.

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Sooo, you know that feeling of being alone in a crowded room, like everyone else was given a handbook on making friends that you missed out on? Unfortunately or fortunately, plenty of people feel just as lost as you — they just might hide it well.

9. You think everyone is definitely happier than you.

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The old "grass is always greener" thing holds up — therapists often have clients who are feeling depressed or some kind of unhappy, and many of them are sure that other people must be feeling a whole lot better. Unfortunately, feeling dissatisfied in life is more common than you'd assume.

10. You have total impostor syndrome.

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If you live in fear that everyone at your job or school is going to realize any minute that you actually have NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING, you're definitely not the only one.

11. You think it's your responsibility to get rid of negative feelings like anger, sadness, envy, etc.

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Negative feelings like that bring a lot of shame or guilt, and a lot of people come into therapy thinking they need to learn how to stop feeling them. But nope, acknowledging and working through those feelings is a lot healthier, so don't put so much pressure on yourself.

12. You worry you're a horrible person because you don't care as much about a family member as you think you should.

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Maybe you're estranged from your parents and feel like you should care a little more about the fact you haven't talked for three years. Or maybe you're a parent and thought the parental instinct would kick in and it just...hasn't. Not having Traditional Familial Feelings, whatever form that takes, is totally common.

13. You've had passing thoughts of suicide.

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Believe it or not, casual thoughts of suicide (as opposed to thoughts of suicide that come with intention and planning) are common and don't mean you're actually suicidal. Not that suicidal thoughts should ever be discounted or considered insignificant — but therapists report that many people would be surprised just how many others have the occasional thought of what it would be like to die or briefly consider if it would be worth it for whatever reason.

14. You think everyone is hanging out without you. / Via

You're not the only one under the impression that everyone else is always doing fun stuff, having wild social lives, and generally having the best time while you're sitting alone at home watching Netflix. (Also, if you're getting caught up in wondering why you didn't get an invite somewhere, check in with yourself about the last time you initiated a social hang — if everyone's waiting for an invite, no one's getting one, just saying.)

15. You don't think anyone can relate to what you're going through.

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It is human nature to feel like when you're going through something, you're immediately set apart from other people, because they have no way of knowing what it's like to be in your shoes. And while it might be true that no one will understand exactly, isolating yourself by assuming people people can't understand usually makes you feel more alone.

16. You keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself because you figure no one cares.

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It's really hard for a lot of people to accept their own value — and, as a result, they feel like a burden when they share. But guess what: People probably care about you more than you think they do, and you shouldn't avoid sharing your point of view.

17. You just feel really freaking alone.

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More than anything, many people think they are alone in feeling alone. But most people have something that makes them feel ashamed, different, or lost, which often leads to feelings of isolation and aloneness. Feeling alone is one of the most difficult human experiences, but most of us struggle with it at some point in our lives. So, at least we're not alone in that.

And remember, just because these issues are common doesn't mean you should have to live with them — plenty of people can and do get help and work through these feelings, and there's no shame in that.

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By the way, if you’re feeling curious about therapy yourself, you can learn more about how to start here, since pretty much everyone can benefit from talking to a professional. For more information on free and affordable mental health care options, check out this guide.

And if you need to talk to someone immediately, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found here.

Follow along at from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8, 2017.

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