Who knows 'you' better than yourself? YOU DO! That's why self-help products are so popular. The CDs that I sell have been developed and recorded by myself - Dr. Cathy Moser (a Clinical Psychologist). The CDs are based on techniques and tools that I use in therapy sessions with clients.
Although they are very effective for some, they are not beneficial for everyone. Before therapists and therapy tools were so readily available, there was a different process for accessing help. You called a friend, or a family member, and you asked for help! If that wasn't enough, you went to your Physician; and if that didn't solve the problem, you were referred to someone who specialized in the type of problem you were dealing with.
Times are a little different now - friends and family are still there - but because of the fast pace of life that most of us lead, we don't connect as often. Physicians often fill a different role - more of a clearinghouse for referral to specialists, rather than the person in your life who guides you through your challenges in physical- and mental- health. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information out there about every imaginable disease/disorder on the internet, in print, and in other types of auditory-visual media. It's so easy and it makes so much sense.... the first step in your journey begins with research. Sometimes, the journey ends there and you find the answers that you are looking for. If that's not enough, it's wise to talk to friends and family members for advice. If that's not enough, it's time to bring in the 'professionals' - either through direct contact or through the self-help materials that they've developed. Finally, if that's not enough.... it's time to invest in the face to face therapy process in one way or another.
I liken the hiring of a mental health professional to the use of any professionals. If you have a toothache, you wouldn't fill it or pull it yourself, would you? If you have a very complex income and expense situation, you wouldn't do your own taxes - most likely, you would ask for consultation from an Accountant. Of course, you could do it yourself - but chances are, you would miss something, and it could wind up costing you more money than you would have paid for the professional. So... when your problems are relatively uncomplicated, it's OK to try and tackle them yourself. Your job is to then do the research and obtain the necessary information to help you (i.e., advice from friends, internet information, self-help materials). If that doesn't help, the investment in seeing a real live professional is well worth the cost (of your time, energy, and money).
Some people are stubborn (myself included), and will do everything possible to solve the problem themselves. Others are too shy/embarrassed/proud/afraid to reach out, or they have had a bad experience that has jaded their view and squashed the hope that their problem can be solved. If you are that person.... please don't stop there. I promise you, there are ways to feel better. Sometimes you just have to keep on searching to find the right tools and the right people to guide you in the use of those tools.