Skip to Content

Ask Dr. Margaret – Why You Should Ask for Help

margaret rutherford, dr. margaret, midlife boulevard

My last post Finding Your Courage in Midlife seemed well received.  I guess there are lots of people out there who either are finding or know someone who is finding that courage.  That was wonderful.    The comments written were beautiful stories.

So I was hoping that maybe a question or two would pop up for this month’s “Ask Dr. Margaret” column.  Maybe someone would write who was struggling.  Someone might admit, even anonymously, that they have a problem.  That they don’t understand how to get from A to Z.

Maybe even to B.

Maybe they are too afraid.  Paralyzed.  Numb.  Overwhelmed.  Depressed.

I didn’t hear from a soul.

I know the column is new.  I have been told it takes time for these things to grow – for folks to get used to the idea.

I think, however, that’s it is also still harder in our culture to talk about mental health than it is to talk about a heart condition.  Or maybe even an orgasm.

Because we guilt ourselves so much.

The belief is that we are weak because we can’t fix ourselves.  We aren’t spiritual enough, or strong enough.

I’m a psychologist because I got some great therapy.  I wanted to do for others what she did for me.  I was lost.  I didn’t have answers.  I know it was the one of the best choices I ever made.

To ask for help.  To seek another perspective on my life, other than my own.  To be guided by someone who had guided others out of a similar place.  Into a much better one.

As I am now reading others’ blogs or articles, as I talk with friends and patients, I learn from them every day.

I know I still have questions.

I’ve learned it’s empowering to ask them.

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Dr. Margaret Rutherford has been in practice in Fayetteville, Arkansas for over 20 years. She began blogging in 2012 with the website “NestAche”, and following with in April 2014. Her work can be found here on Midlife Boulevard, as well as the Huffington Post, Boomeon, WeWantMore, BetterAfter50 and Arkansas Women Bloggers.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedInGoogle Plus

Jennifer Steck

Wednesday 9th of April 2014

Thank you so much for answering the tough questions. There are a lot of us lurking and being helped by your words. :)

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 9th of April 2014

Lurking I will take gladly Jennifer! Thank you.


Wednesday 9th of April 2014

OK, I'll start the ball rolling. One of the things that has been a pattern in my life is asking for help and getting hurt, confused, or bad help. I can think of so many random things that come to mind it isn't even funny. A psychiatrist at the UT health clinic told me after I took the MMPI, and I quote, "well, you're not crazy but I think you would feel more feminine if you got breast implants". I kid you not. I noted years later that he lost his license, go figure. I did, thankfully, after that, meet an amazing psychologist that helped me so much just by being there week after week after month after year. But alas, he moved and then there was a psychiatrist that asked me how I felt about being exotic. I felt like an idiot. Then there was the psychologist I took my son to because of divorce and issues with his father and right in front of my son, he said "maybe you're the one with the problems". Soooooo, it can be a mixed bag to ask for help and I have needed help all my life. I can honestly say that it was worth the search, the weeding out of therapists that came on to me, the ones that didn't have a clue what to do with me, the ones that were terrified of my grief and confusion and it showed, and then the one that really really helped me. The one that made people ask 'have you done something to your hair? You look great!" My response? No, I just found a great therapist.

As I always say, lucky the people that find you Dr Rutherford because you are one of the gems.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 9th of April 2014

Wow Deborah. I am sorry you were the recipient of such gross and unethical behavior by what were supposed to be treating professionals. It makes me shudder to think about treatment like you describe. You get the courage to ask for help - and then your own therapist creates more chaos for you. I have written and will continue to write about how you know you have a decent therapist - your story makes me realize the need for it even more. I am glad you received really good treatment from someone with integrity and respect for the patient - you! Thank you for commenting.

Comments are closed.
Read previous post:
do your laundry or you'll die alone, life lessons, advice for new graduates, becky blades, graduation gift
Laundry Lessons and Midlife Losses: A Creative Journey

Editor's note: A few months ago Becky Blades asked me to take a look at her book, Do Your Laundry...