My father always said he doesn’t know one person that wouldn’t benefit from going to a therapist. I always thought “Yeah right like I’m gonna need to end up pouring my heart out to some stranger.” Well even if I chose to deny it, parents are right most of the time. My first year of college landed my right on the couch of the therapist.
Upon arriving in India I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety. My head was a continuous stream of questions and choices I was forcing myself to make even if the choices didn’t really exist. It was choices and questions like dating, who are my friends?, do I fit in India, do I even like the people I’m friends with?… and on and on and on. The questions may seem simple on paper but they consumed my entire thought process, elevating my heart rate and making me feel like a stranger in my own body.
It took the therapist sitting across from me, looking at my cry and listening to the problems I told myself were trivial, that got my head to stop spinning. Every two weeks I would sit in her office and she would help me comb through my choices. I never knew how much she could help me by just being a constructive sounding board.
I don’t suffer from chronic anxiety or depression, but this was the first time I felt like I just couldn’t be happy no matter how hard I tried. It was the first time I just couldn’t stop thinking to the point where my heart beat ran away from me. But I’m grateful for this experience because it gave me just a little more insight on the lives of those who do suffer with these issues day in and day out.
So the take away from my experience is that it made me realize, everyone needs therapy. It taught me how to catch myself in overthinking and taking control of my choices. These are skills everyone can use. It showed me that everyone is susceptible to feelings of anxiety and depression.
There stigma of going to therapy probably is born from the fact that is associated with “being crazy.” This needs to end. We need to start more serious conversations about mental health that are constructive and not victimizing or accusatory.
If you come across this post, please support the people in your life that go through troubling feelings and need help. Support them and their therapy. The problems they’re dealing with are real and it could always be you feeling this way.