Therapy is possibly one of the best inventions of mankind. It is cathartic, it gives you perspective, and it is very good for you if you need it.
Like all things that are cathartic and give perspective, there is a huge taboo about being in therapy. If we had to rank it, there it is; slightly more acceptable than your sexuality but way less acceptable than your free thought.
Like everything else that is probably going to the get in the way of ‘finding a nice husband’, therapy is considered a generally odious thing to be associated with. I think it’s because it is looked upon as one of two things: a) You’re a crazy psychopath who will hurt people. You are Norman Bates. b) You’re an overly self indulgent person with no self control. You’d probably have been better off blocking your feelings and moving on? Drama queen.
I once mentioned my therapist in passing to a friend and he suddenly looked at me like I was eating rotten fruit. ‘You’re seeing a therapist ?’, he asked. ‘Well of course I am. I am a student, when else am I going to fix my mind?’, I responded.
In my head, it made sense to get help. It was my anxiety, my fear. Wouldn’t I try to fix a stomach bug or scoliosis? It is a part of me and this is how I function.
Besides, anyone who has had therapy will tell you how amazing it is. It’s like having a best friend who will care about your dreams .
“I had a dream that I was making out with John Krasinski but when I looked him in the eye he suddenly turned into Nicolas Cage . I knew at that instant that I could change him back into John, but I didn’t, it’s like my dream self knew that I did not deserve John.”
And some times, it’s like having someone you can pour your deepest nonsense that really disturbs you into.
“I had an upset stomach last night and I was in the bathroom with a runny stomach, it really reminded me of that guy I was in love with in college, and my Dad and Mom fighting when I was in sixth grade.”
Jokes aside (jokes are never really aside), therapy brings peace. It keeps families together. Some times, it will bring out memories that you did not even know existed. Some times, it will just help you function better and live a more fulfilling life. And you’re not alone. Without making up completely bogus statistics, I can assure you that 65% of the people that this article resonates with will feel empowered to ignore the social taboo on therapy and get help. There is nothing worse than ignoring your mind.
Nobody is saying there is no downside. Social taboo is just not one of them. Things could go wrong. You may have to try for a while before you find someone you’re comfortable with. I had to change therapists twice before I found one that I did not think was judging me. And the break ups are hard. Losing a therapist can be terrible. Your therapist is like a friend who is not blinded by their love for you, and that objectivity is hard to let go of.
But all things said, there is only one thing to remember. There is no shame in asking for help. You’ve already accepted that there is a problem, so don’t hide from your therapy. Debilitating depression is a vicious cycle and this hiding and useless pride is making your life harder. Why are you so afraid of letting people know your mind is healing? It’s like a dentist appointment, without all the rinsing and spitting. It is YOUR therapy. Own it. See you in the waiting room.