Growing up the idea of therapy was never talked about in my family. Well actually, the only thing that I was told about therapy was that you do not go to a stranger and share all of your personal business. That was it. As a teen and pre-teen, I always was fascinated by the idea of therapy. I had never gone to therapy, but I liked the idea of going to talk about my problems because there was no judgement attached. I think deep down inside, I always felt that I would need to seek out the assistance of a therapist.
Back in 2014, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I was in denial about my mental health disorders because of the stigma attached to people who live with mental illnesses. I was suffering in silence. The thing about mental illnesses is that they are chronic illnesses that affect the brain. Society can be so cruel to those who do have mental health disorders.
About a year and a half ago, I decided to take my mental health seriously. This decision meant that I would go to therapy regularly (about once a week), and I would also go and see my psychiatrist every 8 - 12 weeks as needed. This was a change for me because I was previously in denial about treatment. Admitting that I wanted to take my mental health seriously seek help meant that I was admitting a deficiency.
Therapy is not a dirty word. It is in fact one of the best investments that I could have made. When I started going to therapy I was in a bad place. My illness was not in control and there were other issues from my past that needed to be addressed. Besides giving me the tools that I needed to effectively manage my mental health disorder, my therapist also worked with me on many of the past issues that shaped my views on myself, and life in general. Therapy in my opinion is one of the highest forms of self-care.
Working with the right therapist can be life changing. You are forced to look at your behavior and you gain insight on the reasons why you do some of the things that you do. You are also encouraged to make changes, and answer some of the tough questions that you may have had. In the time that I have been seeing my therapist on a regular basis, I have made a complete change. I gained insight on my childhood, upbringing, and familial relationships in order to become a better person.
The great thing about having a therapist to talk to is that you can talk to someone who does not know you and will be objective. There is also no judgement when you are sharing your deepest thoughts.You can literally say what you want without getting the side eye or looks of disapproval. Friends and family can be great to talk to but there is a personal connection in those relationships so the feedback may be impartial.
Therapy was designed to help. It is not a tool just for people with mental health disorders but everyone. If you are looking to make positive changes in your life and relationships, then I highly the assistance of a therapist.
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By: Andrienne Kennedy