There has always been a stigma around being in therapy. People say you’re broken, you’re depressed, something is wrong with you, or you are weird; I can list more. My mom is a psychologist and after a rough time in my life, she suggested I start seeing my own therapist. She understood, appreciated, and really wanted me to understand for myself that it did not say anything negative about me as a person. My senior year I tried it and that’s when I learned that finding a good therapist is equally as hard as finding THE one.
The travel time to Manhattan combined with the eventual lack of benefit from the sessions resulted in me stopping altogether. With the start of my freshman year of college fast approaching, my mom suggested I inquire about people in the Boston area. Being me, it took until my sophomore year to do that. This time, I understood the first person I met might not be the right fit. Either out of sheer luck or good timing, I found someone I was comfortable with right away.
I have been seeing her for over a year and half and I am in such a better place. At first, only one or two of my friends knew exactly where I was going once a week. When I got a medical pass sophomore year to keep my car on campus I told people I had to see a doctor. I knew there was still a harsh stigma about being in therapy and that scared me. Now, I am more comfortable with the idea of seeing a therapist. I understand that it doesn’t reflect negatively onto me as a person, but rather, helps me improve myself.
Having someone listen to me and talk to about anything frees my mind. I can get things off my chest and reduce my stress level drastically. It’s getting to the point that a lot of the burning issues I had been dealing with over this past year are resolved so there is less to talk about. Being able to go and vent still fuels me to keep seeing her. It is part of my “me” day. It’s the one day in my week I devote to my mental health and occasionally will make time to shop or get my nails done.
Being in therapy has taught me that it doesn’t mean you are broken or weird. In my eyes, it makes you a stronger person who acknowledges they have issues to work through and are doing it in a safe and healthy manner. I’ve become a believer.