I’ve been seeing mental health professionals for half of my life, and that’s because I have suffered from the symptoms of multiple mental illnesses from a very young age. That’s not the case for most people. Not everyone has mental illness, but we all have mental health! Therapy absolutely changed my life and opened a lot of doors for me, but I think it’s something everyone should do regardless of if you qualify for a diagnosis from the DSM-V or not.
Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on social media joking about therapy. They say things like “Therapy costs $X, but telling myself ‘this is fine’ is free!”. I can’t really argue with that logic, but what I can argue with is the deeper issues that therapy will help you work through that saying, “this is fine” will not.
Anxieties, fears, depression, phobias, trauma, grief, and so many other mental health issues are things that are best worked through, not glossed over. Yes, sometimes it’s painful and an expansive process to open Pandora’s Box, but that’s why you’re doing it in the arms of a professional who is trained to guide you through it.
Even if you don’t identify with any of those types of “mental health issues”, we’ve all got our own “stuff” to work on, and hopefully through. Nothing heals without diving in deeper and becoming acquainted with the issue and the anxieties tangled up and associated with it. They can be deep-seeded from childhood or something more recent, but whether it’s a stress from your job or a self-esteem issue that started in middle school, we all have something that could benefit from the assistance of a professional, trained, neutral third party.
I also think if everyone were to try therapy out, even just for a few sessions, that mental health treatment (and consequently mental health in general) would begin to become less stigmatized. It’s unfortunately something we’re still not comfortable being forthright about with people because we’re worried we’ll be judged for not being stable, when really we’re just taking care of our bodies (brains are a part of the body!) the same way we would if a physical pain or illness arose.
There are many options for seeking out professional therapy, even if you don’t have insurance or transportation, like online therapy and sliding scale payment options. Always seek out your options before assuming something is out of your wheelhouse, because there might just be something perfect out there for you!
Therapy changed my life, and I’m not the only one with this story. Try it out and see for yourself!