I wanted to write some informative posts on the topic of mental health. This is a very important topic to me that really hits home and I want to try to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. I will be writing one post a week that has to do with mental health until I run out of topics to write about! Mental health posts will mostly be on Fridays, so keep checking back for those!
Mental health is something I’ve struggled with all my life — it’s genetic in my family. Unfortunately, this means that our brains don’t work the way they should. However, I didn’t learn about my genetics until I was 18, since I was adopted. This means for years I’ve struggled silently, not wanting to admit it to anyone. I was ashamed of admitting it, to be completely honest.
Depression, anxiety, bipolar and many other mental illnesses are nothing to be ashamed of. They’re medical conditions, just like any other illness and should be thought of as such. I, personally, feel like we have to stop the stigma surrounding mental health so more people who are struggling will feel more comfortable to come forward and get the help that they need and deserve.
Let’s get right into how talk therapy can be extremely useful for mental health.
Talk therapy is extremely helpful
Speaking to someone who is an unbiased party is extremely helpful to your mental health and comfort. Your therapist won’t judge you or judge anything you’ve gone through or are going through. Their only mission and passion is to help you overcome whatever you’re facing.
When I started talk therapy I was very nervous about talking to a stranger about my feelings. However, therapists have a way of being very welcoming and making you feel extremely comfortable the first time you sit down to talk to them. They’re very good listeners and even better at helping you through whatever you’re going through.
You learn new ways to cope and deal with your feelings, triggers or situations
Therapists are well trained in different coping mechanisms and how to offer advice in different situations. That said, they’re amazing at helping you really rationalize whatever it is that isn’t rational in your head. They’re amazing at offering new and different ways of coping or looking at a situation. They always offer tips and tricks to overcome your triggers or handle your anxiety and depression so it doesn’t take over your entire life.
Your therapist’s office is a safe environment
Since your therapist is bound to keep doctor/patient confidentiality under Hippa laws, they can’t divulge anything said in that office. Your a therapist’s office is a very safe environment for you to spill all of your thoughts, cry, tell your deepest, darkest secrets, pull up repressed memories, etc… Your therapist wants you to do all of that so you don’t have anything left to haunt you and cause uneasiness in your head or your life.
There are options such as online therapy
If you’re someone who doesn’t like to leave the house or doesn’t feel comfortable talking face to face with a stranger, online therapy is definitely an option. There are options such as Better Help and Talkspace to allow you to talk to an online therapist. If online isn’t your thing but you still don’t want to leave the house, you can conduct sessions over the phone or through video conference.
I used Better Help for almost two years before I actually went to an actual therapist’s office. This is because I developed very bad agoraphobia from my depression and anxiety. The thought of leaving my house would get me so anxious that I would nearly have an anxiety attack. I was afraid of people judging me or trying to talk to me, getting hurt, etc… So at that point in my life going to a therapist’s office wasn’t an option for me.
I really enjoyed online counseling. Honestly, it doesn’t feel any different from talking to a therapist physically. They’re still well trained in their field, they still offer amazing advice and really do help you get through any situations that you need help with. I feel like this was a very good investment and very good choice for me to ease into therapy.
If you’re wondering if talk therapy is for you, you just have to try. It won’t be for everyone, some people may need medication and talk therapy or some people just won’t benefit from talk therapy. Mental health is pretty much all trial and error in every single aspect of the illness. You won’t know until you try.