Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why You Should See a Shrink

Lately, I've had a lot of friends tell me stories about loved ones who need therapy but refuse to seek out help. This is probably one of the most frustrating things in the world for me to hear.

I've been going to see a therapist on and off since I was 16 and I've been to psychologists, psychiatrists, and even group therapy. I fully believe that I'm a better person for it. In fact, I'm so well adjusted that I am quite often a person friends go to for advice.

I love being there for my friends, I really do, but there's one draw back. I don't get paid for it, and shrinks do. Psychologists will also give you much better attention and advice than my freebies any day.

I would love for everyone in the world to go to therapy at some point to gain a better understanding and control of their emotions. But what I really want is for all the people that need therapy to go, and frankly, the reasons people give for not going are just not cutting the mustard -

Reasons People Give to Not Go To Therapy
  1. "Going to therapy makes me seem weak, like I can't handle my problems."
-When I heard someone give me this reason, my immediate unfiltered response was, "You're a f**kin' pussy. You're not going to therapy because you are afraid of what you might find." It actually takes a strong person to face their issues and work through them. So, don't wuss out, go get help, toughie.

2. "I already know how to help myself, I don't need help."

-If you think you know how to help yourself, and don't need any help - you're basically like a three year old struggling with shoe laces and shouting, "I can do it myself!" We all need help sometimes. If you're having a hard time dealing with an issue in your life, even if you think you know the solution - a shrink can sometimes point out an easier way to get there that can make life a lot better.

3. "It's not like I'm the only one suffering."

-Of course you're not. There are tons of stubborn fools just like you that don't want to get help. Instead of being one of the miserable people, why not try to be someone in control of your emotions? The people that go to shrinks, let out the sadness and suffering and find ways to cut the suffering.

4. "I can't afford a shrink."

-If you have healthcare, work it out with your provider. It's worth fighting for the right to mental health. If you don't- look up places in your community where you can get free help. There are tons of free groups that can give you support online and in person.

You honestly can't afford not to see a shrink if you're really depressed, or having a tough time dealing with issues your life. These issues can spiral out of control, and it could ultimately impact your physical health.

5. "They are just going to put me on meds, and I don't want to be medicated."

-Psychiatrists will put you on medicine, that's their job- to medicate emotional issues as they see fit. Psychologists will help you talk out your problems as much as possible. They are not there to medicate, they are there to mediate. Unless you have a present chemical imbalance, a psychologist will not put you on any medication.

6. "It's not like a doctor can solve all my problems."

-You're right, a doctor can't solve all your problems. In fact, nothing can solve all your problems. But, a psychologist can help you deal with your problems more efficiently so they don't overwhelm and consume you. Doesn't that sound nice?

7. "I'm not going to spend every day laying on my couch telling some stranger my problems."

-Most therapists actually don't want you in therapy forever. Talk therapy is meant to help you work out specific problems and get you on your feet. You might be saying, "Yeah, but, Sue, you said you were in therapy since you were 16. That's kind like forever." Nope, I don't go every week, I'm pretty much on a check-in bases with my shrink and I'm still working out a few issues, but for the most part - I go as much as I need to go.

Also, I've never laid on a couch. Never, not once. I've sat on couches. I've sat on comfy reclining chairs. I've crossed my legs and sat on the ground- because that's how I felt comfortable.

And finally, the stranger aspect - that is the best part! When you go to a shrink you can tell them anything, and I mean anything, about anything...or anybody.

Psychologists are wonderful third parties that you can bitch to with pretty much no repercussion. So, if you feel like your family/friend/loved one is suffocating you, but can't tell anyone because everyone you know knows the people involved in your situation, or could talk and it could get back to them - Voila! The stranger that actually wants to hear you bitch, and won't say nothing to no one about what you say.

8. "People might find out. It goes into your medical records that you see a shrink."

-Unless you're planning on joining the CIA, no one is really looking into your medical records when hiring you. If you are going into a job where they look at your medical records it might make you look better if you have gone to therapy, because it shows you learned how to coupe with and handle your emotions.
And, if you're worried about how your friends/family might think you should let them know you're doing it for your health.

Mental health is a huge part of your well being. If you are stressed, depressed, anxious, or feeling at all unbalanced the repercussions can impact just about any part of your physical health.

So, my crazy friends, and friends of friends - man up! Get some help if you are feeling despondent. There's no reason to suffer in silence, or depend only on your friends and family when you're feeling super blue. Shrinks are good and can be good for you.

Take it from someone who's been really down, and is currently out and about, and happy with where she is in her life.

Best of luck!

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