Here’s why you should talk to a therapist.
To begin, I believe I am better than most at one particular thing: self-reflection.
Self-reflection is an art form. Self-reflection is power. It is not for the weak-hearted. Being able to look into your soul for the parts of you that need work is hard.
But you will never see change unless you do. You will never see growth unless you do.
For me, there are times when the self-reflection becomes too overwhelming and I overthink.
Self-reflection turns to over-analyzation.
My heart starts to race and my breathing becomes laboured.
When I get in that mood, I travel down the rabbit hole to find more bits of things in my life to be miserable over:
The fact that I live alone and don’t have many friends.
That I’m miles away from home and that I’m juggling too much at once and don’t have time to enjoy myself.
And that I somehow let my dishes pile up to the brim and I don’t want to wash them.
I know in those moments you’re supposed to find your happy place, count to ten, while simultaneously counting all the blessings in your life. But in those moments, I feel like I’m drowning.
It’s later on, when my adrenal system has settled, that I realize I might have a problem.
That’s when I decided to see a therapist. And I’m going to tell you why you should talk to a therapist, too.
First off, depression affects everyone. Whether it’s through a friend, co-worker, or you experience it yourself. And I’m going to tell you something else: it’s normal. You are normal.
I realized that I was so focused on the things in my life that demanded immediate attention, like school and work, that I never took the time to care for my mental health.
I would compartmentalize problems, fears and pain to focus on the task at hand. All that really does is create a larger problem for the future.
And I’ve gotten to a point now where I have to deal with my demons. This is why you should talk to a therapist: you don’t want to bottle up your issues so much, that they start to spill into your everyday life.
The next part consists of looking for the signs.
My issues were first manifested mostly through my dreams. I would dream of things chasing me, fighting with me, physically killing me.
You know when you’re having a nightmare and you wake up before dream-you gets hurt? Yeah, that didn’t happen for me.
I would wake up in the morning, shaken up and in tears. Every night was a different dream with the same outcome. It got so bad I was afraid to go to sleep at night, and would do what I can stay up.
Finally I decided to go see a therapist. Not a sleep specialist, because my problems are deeper than that.
I went to go see a psychiatrist. Like, a real counselor yo.
I walked into her dimly lit office and the ambiance reminded me of a 90’s porno, but my game plan was simple: I would tell her about my dreams and she would do one of the following: 1) prescribe me some sleeping pills, 2) interpret what my dreams were telling me and give me a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of them, or 3) send me to an institute.
Instead, she probed me with open-ended questions: she asked me about the past ten years (years that were ridden with insecurity), about my work-life balance, and about how those things could have affected me and my relationship with others.
How I’ve protected other people’s feelings my whole life by not communicating mine.
And how for the first time in my life I’m dealing with anger and resentment, feelings I’m unaccustomed with. And, in the name of self-preservation, I’ve lost the ability to forgive.
I broke down in tears in the first fifteen minutes of the session. She highlighted significant occurrences in my life that, although have no significant effect on my day to day life, have shaken up my subconscious. When we sleep, your mind should be in its most restful state. But my subconscious is unable to be still.
I believe I may have depression – at the very least, depressive episodes. I have unresolved issues that I need to deal with. And I’m not the only one.
There is no shame in realizing that you may have a problem. We are affected by life’s trials and tribulations, all which leave a mark on our internal hard drive. Hence another reason why you should talk to a therapist – everyone, at some point, will be hurt by another person or an event.
Our experiences may change our personalities, our way of thinking. Nobody goes through life unscathed.
So, why should you talk to a therapist? Does talking to a professional help deal with depresson?
The answer is: no.
Talking to a therapist does not mean you will be cured from depression. Depression is not a virus, it’s a mindset that starts to decay our mind. It’s a new normal that is triggered by a number of things from hormonal/chemical imbalances in the body, to traumatic events.
Talking to a therapist will help you identify what the triggers are. At first, it’s painful to speak on the things that trigger you. You would rather forget about the monsters in your life that continue to plague you.
But I guarantee that it gets better. The more you talk about it, the less scary it becomes.
Another reason why you should talk to a therapist is that they will give you personalized coping mechanisms. Not that “be mindful and distract yourself” generalized crap.
You need concrete coping strategies to help you work through your depression. An important reason why you should talk to a therapist about how you are feeling.
The important thing to realize is that this is your life, and we have the authority to reclaim our control.
If you are unable to let go of the past, if old demons are still haunting you, it may be time to talk to someone.
Whether that’s your best friend, your family, your significant other, or a therapist, find someone non-judgemental who you can speak freely to.
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”