Most people don't know that they need help. I'm not saying going to therapy is not for everyone, because it is for everyone. What I'm saying is most people don't know that the help is there for a reason. Going to therapy seems like such a demonizing subject. Most of the time people associate it with drug or alcohol addiction, or people that are 'psycho'. Yes, there is therapy for that, but it also offers so much more.

About a year ago at this time, I was biting my nails at the thought of my first therapy session coming up. I was scared and didn't know what to think. I knew I needed to go because something was not right with me. I've talked about this before on Odyssey that I was in an abusive relationship. It caused me severe depression and PTSD symptoms for months on end. While leaving it, I didn't feel like myself. I was paranoid all the time, hallucinate and see visions of my abuser while walking to class, or even when I would be driving a car. I'd wake up in the middle of the night gasping and seeing images of my abuser at the end of my bed. There were even times I would grab my hair and scream saying "I don't want to be here anymore!" (implying suicide). This is heavy stuff, but it was a dark time for me. I just wanted all of it to end but I didn't want to die. That's when I knew I had to go to therapy.

When the time to actually go into my appointment, I had a little breakdown in the bathroom beforehand. But I'm glad I did because when it came time to talk to my therapist, all the tears I was going to cry were gone. All I can say after the fact was, wow. I told her everything in detail, beginning to end. Even though I already knew what she was going to say, it was reassuring for her to tell me that what he did was wrong and that these things were happening because of what he did. She encouraged me to begin taking anti-depressants, and I quickly agreed.

When the meds finally kicked in, I never realized how much anxiety I had even before my abusive relationship. Not only was I feeling better, and the PTSD symptoms wearing off, I was so much more relaxed. I used to get anxiety going to the mall, or driving long distances. I would get nervous over the most unlikely things like going out to eat, flying, or going to office hours with a professor just to name a few.

Since I have taken anti-depressants I have noticed a huge change in myself, and that is definitely for the better. I wish I would have gone on them years ago just because they have made such a big difference in my life. I encourage you to not only go to therapy if you think you need it but try medication for your mental health if you are offered it. The doctor's interest in you is only the best, and they want to help you.

Without the help of anti-depressants, I don't think I would have landed two internships, a mentorship, or become president of my Odyssey community at University of Wisconsin Branch Schools. Going to therapy isn't bad for you, these services are out there to help better you and make you well again. With a happy mind, you'll have a happy life.