My Battle With Mental Health Part 9: Therapy
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Health and Wellness

My Battle With Mental Health Part 9: Therapy

How does that make you feel?

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My Battle With Mental Health Part 9: Therapy
The Huffington Post

Experts estimate that over 83 million people suffer from some form of diagnosable mental illness. Some generalize it as anxiety. Some generalize it as depression. Some generalize it as bulls**t. The media romanticizes suicide attempts and self-harm because they make a touching story about someone overcoming struggles by finding “the one” or through some feat of their own strength. But the very real truth is that these conditions are not fun. They are not sexy. They do not come with a tearful confession at just the right moment or a swell of dramatic music when you make a breakthrough. They wound those who have the resources and support to get through them, and they cripple or kill those who don’t. Many people don’t know what mental illness is, or what it looks like. So I guess I’ll have to try to explain it. Listen up.

Therapy is one point that always gets brought up when discussing mental health issues. I think therapy gets a bad rap at times. Everybody knows the stereotypical therapist who makes you lay down on a couch and talk about your feelings. But having been in therapy for years, I can say that’s not really the case. Therapy can take many forms, and with a variety of individuals.

I first started therapy in sixth grade with a therapist named Karen. She was about the polar opposite of what I expected out of a therapist—a young, thirty-something woman with piercings and tattoos, somewhere between hippie and punk-rock. She took therapy notes on a pad of paper and asked be about fourteen times if I wanted to see the notes. I understand she did it to alleviate fears that she was judging me, but I really didn’t give a s**t.

Our first session was fairly routine: getting to know one another, why I was there, etc. The second session was less so. She led off the session falsely accusing me of staring at her breasts the whole first session. She then asked me if I knew how babies were made. I stared at the wall for 45 minutes then left. I would later find out that she began seeking therapy herself shortly thereafter. It was incredibly upsetting at the time, but looking back on it I find it so absurd that I can’t help but laugh.

I continued on in therapy with a counselor named Lynn. She was a sweet older lady who I really connected with and saw for nearly eight years. She saw me through anxiety, panic, high school drama, relationships, everything. She retired last summer. God bless, Lynn.

I’m currently seeing two therapists between home and school, both the kind of people who tell it to me straight and don’t mind me using the word f**k in our sessions.

Ultimately, my experience with therapy has been a good one. Even when things were going well and I didn’t feel that I needed to be seeing someone, it’s nice to have a chunk of time carved out of every week to talk about life. Not just to talk about it, but to talk about it with someone who is trained and licensed to handle those sorts of things.

Now things are a little different, and I feel that I rely on my therapy more. It’s certainly more than just a weekly check-in for me. As I mentioned with medication, I will mention with therapy—I like it. I endorse it. A lot of people think that therapy is a crock of s**t but my therapists can provide me with far more accurate and in-depth advice than “just let me know if you ever need to vent.”

So I’d recommend therapy. I’d recommend therapy to anyone at all. I think it’s a great part of being a healthy and well-balanced person. Not that I’d know what that’s like. But I’m working on it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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