Some of you reading this have gone to therapy and have seen the benefits it can provide. Others reading this might be dealing with a mental health issue but haven’t tried going to therapy and this post is for you.
I’ve been there
I get it because I have been in your place. There is a stigma of going to a therapist and having a mental health issue. Another reason it took me so long to go to a therapist was because I didn’t want to admit that I might have a mental health issue – I just wanted to deny the whole thing. Whatever reason you might have for not going and seeing a therapist there are twice as many reasons to go to a therapist.
When I was in high school I struggled with my own mental health issues. For a while I didn’t do anything about it but one day I decided that I should just try it – and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Getting It Under Control
The biggest thing I got out of going to a therapist was that I was able to get my mental health issues under control. For my eating disorder, my therapist helped me get down to the root cause so I could fix it. I will never forget the first few sessions I had, every question my therapist asked felt like we were peeling an onion. Layer after layer we were able to figure out why I was thinking the way I was thinking and then we were able to change that thinking, which changed my behavior, getting my mental health issues. It wasn’t just my mental health that we were able to do this with, it was with any issue I had as a teenager. Lashing out at my parents, issues with my friends, social anxiety, depression, and daily stressors – my therapist helped me figure out why certain things were affecting me and what that meant, which helped me manage anything life threw at me.
A Safe Place
I was going to therapy 2-3 times a week when I was at my worst and I it saved my life. Having someone who I was able to say anything to without being judged and worry about what anyone thought of me within those four walls made me feel incredibly safe. It was something I quickly began looking forward to every week. I also loved having someone to talk to who wasn’t my parents. Any issues I had with my parents, my therapist would have them come in and we would talk it out. My therapist helped me understand where my parents were coming from and helped my parents understand where I was coming from which helped tremendously.
Lifelong Tools, Strength & Resilience
Lastly, the lifelong benefits I have gotten from going to therapy are invaluable. I was able to get my mental health issues under control but I also gained tools that I could use for the rest of my life. I handle stress better than anyone I know, I have a better handle on my everyday emotions, I communicate better with others, and have learned so much about myself. Eight years later, I have my eating disorder and depression completely under control yet I still see my therapist because of the advice she provides for anything life throws at me.
So, if you are struggling with a mental health issue, just try it. Try therapy. It was one of the most helpful tools I had in my teenage years until now, as a senior in college – and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. For those of you who don’t have a mental health issue and are maybe just dealing with bullies at school, relationship problems, just being a teenager, or any other life stressors, try going to a therapist because they can give you advice and tools to use in those situations where you might not know what to do.
Now Go Sign Up!
Are you still sitting there asking “Should I see a therapist?”…. YES!!! If you need help finding a good therapist that is a good fit for you there are resources.
Contact your insurance provider and ask about therapists that are in your or your parents’ network. Many of these providers not only list what therapists in your area are available in their network, but they’ll also provide reviews and extra descriptions. Read these carefully to decide what sort of therapy will best fit your needs (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, full-service eating disorder facilities, etc)
Good luck on your journey to mental wellness! Share your stories and comments about therapy below!
By: Natalie Richards, AiT Contributor