Senior year was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life. However, it did not start off that way. Between college auditions and my first break up, the first semester of my senior year holds some of my most painful memories. My family immediately suggested therapy as a solution. However, I was hesitant to find help this way. I didn't want to rely on another person to solve my problems. I also didn't want to be a burden to my friends and family by telling them my troubles.

My biggest worry, however, was the judgment I would receive from others, and the shame I felt as I judged myself. After a few months of overwhelming anxiety, I finally decided to find a therapist, and it turned around my year for the better. Many teenagers experience similar emotional struggles but fear judgment from their peers. The stigma of going to therapy needs to end because in these situations, talking to someone about what is happening to you is the best solution.

The most important thing that my therapist helped me realize is I should accept myself and the problems that I face. I resisted finding help because I felt ashamed of my emotions and my lack of control over them. However, he helped me realize that everyone has rough patches where they need extra support. Resisting these negative emotions will only result in them getting worse. The best way to deal with them is letting them out to someone else, especially a professional. By speaking to someone outside the situation, it prevents biased opinions and any resentment that may occur when talking to friends and family. Although some issues may never fully be resolved, communicating your feelings will ultimately help your well-being.

I learned so many strategies to help myself through my weekly meetings. Instead of bottling up my emotions, I found healthy ways to release them through journaling, exercising, and even taking some deep breaths. I'll never say I'm perfect with handling my feelings, but through lessons from my therapist, I have improved.

Everyone has rough patches in their life where they need extra support. The key is knowing when you need help and then asking for it. I hope by telling my story, others can take the next step in helping themselves. By being a society that accepts and embraces those that need help, we can create a world where people don't need to hide their emotions. No one should feel like they can't find help when they need it. Forget stigmas, and above all, love yourself.