importance of therapy: seeking therapy changed my life

A lot of people have this preconceived notion about therapy—that it’s for wild and impulsive people. But what you need to know is that therapy is for anyone and everyone, just like if you care about your physical health, you go to the gym. It’s the same way: if you care about your mental health, you go seek therapy.

Well, the main reason I’m writing this is because there is a reigning stigma about therapy, especially against the minority of men doing therapy, and this is something that someone has to break. This is why I want to be part of the movement that advocates for therapy in general, not only for men but for everyone. I want to inspire the next generation to seek the help they deserve.

Personally, what prompted me to seek therapy was that I’ve been struggling with mental health, especially in the past few years, which in turn got to the point where I had suicidal thoughts and even suicidal tendencies (story of another day). Let me not dwell on the past, but what y’all should know is that I reached a point where it was either do or die. I either needed to seek the help that I needed or I wouldn’t be on this earth for very long.

I ultimately decided to seek the help I knew I deserved, and while taking therapy, I learned a lot about myself and what therapy is about. In this write-up, I want to relate my experience while taking therapy to show you that therapy is worth your time, energy and money

THERAPY, CHILD HOOD TRAUMA

I did therapy for a month, and this is what I learned.

1. Self-awareness is a prerequisite

One thing to remember before trying therapy is that you need to have basic self-awareness. I realized that a lot of people try therapy and do it for a few months, then stop because they feel that it’s not helping and things aren’t working out as they wish. The reason why it’s not working out for them is because they even don’t know the problem, and a lot of the time its not even the lack of self-awareness but the refusal to acknowledge the issue at hand, and that’s where the problem lies. The problem lies in you not allowing yourself to be cognizant of the fact that there is a problem within you. You should be willing to look within and be able to figure out what the problem is first before you go to a therapist.

What I basically mean is that you need to have a basic understanding of your symptoms. (In reality, you don’t go to doctors and tell them, “I don’t know what the problem is but something is wrong.”) They can’t do anything for you because you don’t know the symptoms. You need to have a general understanding of what is wrong with you in the first place so you can relay that to your therapist, and only then can they help diagnose you and provide you with the advice and resources to help you overcome your issues. In my case, I struggled with depression, anxiety and stress

2. Give yourself credit

Therapy helps you identify yourself; therapy teaches you to be proud of yourself without anyone’s permission or validation. You should always be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small they seem to be. Be proud of your inner growth.

3. Identify your childhood traumas

a picture of a mother comforting her child who is crying

Lastly, therapy helped me identify my childhood traumas, and right now I’m in the recovery process. Just like sweet childhood memories, we all have our childhood traumas. A childhood trauma is an event experienced by a child that evokes fear and is commonly violent, dangerous, or life-threatening. Childhood traumas can range from physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and many other experiences that might have negatively affected you while you were a child. Childhood traumas occur mostly during your formative years, from the day you were born until your early teen years. This is because during this period, your brain grows fast, and you can draw big conclusions from isolated events.

Childhood traumas have negative impacts on your mental health. Such traumas might cause anxiety, depression, poor communication skills, a lack of confidence, being easily emotionally triggered, shame, overdosing, and many other things that may affect your daily life. Seeking therapy helps you identify your childhood traumas, and a therapist helps you in the process of trauma recovery.

Well, therapy can, at first, feel nerve-wracking and challenging to go through, but once you cross the initial barrier and get more comfortable, you can learn to become more confident in your skin, gain self-acceptance, and become self-assured.

Taking care of your mental needs is as important as taking care of your physical needs. So let’s raise our voices against the stigma surrounding therapy and get the help we need.

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