Why is there such a strong stigma around attending therapy? So many individuals, families, cultures, and societies make it seem like a bad thing when someone decides to attend counseling. This doesn’t happen when you say you’re going to make a doctor’s appointment. Why? Because your physical health is important and you should go to the doctor if something feels out of whack. But what about your mental health?
Just because others can’t see the concerns you may have about your mental health doesn’t mean it isn’t just as important as your physical health. It’s actually arguable that your mental health is MORE important than your physical health. Suffering from things such as depression, anxiety, marital issues, childhood trauma, or a laundry list of other mental health concerns are all valid reasons to make a therapy appointment.
When you take into consideration how your mental health affects your day to day life, it can have a direct tie to every other part of your well-being. If you are experiencing anxiety about work performance, that can lead to more days taken off from work, less pay, and eventually financial issues. Or you may choose to continue attending work through all the anxious feelings and then experience an increase in migraines. In both scenarios, “avoiding” and “powering through” lead to decreases in your ability to manage and cope with those anxious feelings. Mental health can affect your relationships, work, finances, nutrition, and physical health, which is why it is so important to take care of yourself mentally.
I could continue giving examples of how checking in with a therapist on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis can be a preventative measure taken to ensure you are healthy in all aspects of your life. But the point of this is not to remind you how quickly your life can spiral out of control. This is about bringing self awareness to your needs. So here are 5 responses for when someone asks, “Why are you going to therapy?”
“I go to talk about how annoying you are.”
“It’s the one hour a week I don’t have to listen to you.”
“So I have someone to talk to about all the crazy sh*t you tell me.”
“So I can make it through the next [insert amount of time].”
“Why aren’t YOU going to therapy?”
This is the time of year that New Years resolutions start looking like “that thing I still haven’t done, even though I said I would”. So if you told yourself that you would take better care of your body, mind, and soul this year, this is your reminder to go ahead and find a local therapist to make an appointment with. It can be the one New Years resolution that you actually complete!