It's Okay To Ask For Help
Debunking the myths around therapy.
Asking for help can be scary. With the media and uninformed opinions distorting our perception of mental illness, it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s false about seeking treatment. There’s no need to worry, though. Throughout this blog post, we’ll be debunking some of the most pervasive, most untrue myths about seeking help and going to therapy.
Myth #1: Therapy is for “crazy” or “weak” people.
There aren’t enough words in the English dictionary for me to express how wrong this myth is. People go to therapy for any number of reasons, whether it be for treating anxiety or depression, overcoming trauma, or simply coping with the stresses and demands of everyday life. Unfortunately, stress can affect all of us. None of us are immune, and asking for help doesn’t mean you’re “crazy” or “weak.” Quite to the contrary, it’s a sign of strength; going to therapy means you’re doing what’s best for you and your mental health. Plus, you’re not alone in asking for help. Celebrities like Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, and Kesha proudly go to therapy, too.
Myth #2: Therapy consists of sitting on a couch, tirelessly answering the question “how does this make you feel?” and blaming everything on childhood experiences.
We somewhat have Freud to blame for this stigma. While Freud did use the whole “couch method” for his psychoanalysis, therapy doesn’t involve lying on a couch while a therapist bears down on you with their glasses halfway down their nose and a notebook full of diagnoses in their hand. Quite the opposite, therapy can take a variety of forms. There’s counseling, where you and your therapist talk through your emotions, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy in which you rework your behavior and thought patterns. This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the resources out there, but no matter what, therapy is a safe space for you to work through and overcome what’s bothering you.
Myth #3: Therapy is a quick fix; if you don’t feel better immediately, it’s not working.
Like anything, therapy involves some work. Think of it this way. If you broke your leg riding your bike to class, you’re not just going to slap a cast on and immediately start walking again.
You’re going to have to rest, see your doctor for follow up appointments, and maybe even go to physical therapy. Mental health therapy is no different. It starts off with a consultation, and once you find a therapist you’re comfortable with, it’ll take more than one session for you to really delve into your situation and find what’ll help you feel better. Therapy isn’t a lifelong commitment, but it isn’t an immediate fix, either.
Mental health matters. You wouldn’t shame someone for seeing a doctor after getting the flu, and mental health shouldn’t be seen any differently. The mind is as much an organ as your heart, and to that end, a therapist is no less important than a cardiologist. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Therapy is a great resource that you should proudly take advantage of.
If you require more immediate help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.