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15 People Reveal the Moment They Decided to See a Therapist

On Monday, July 20, a Reddit user posted the following question to the site’s “Ask Women” subreddit: “What was your breaking point when you decided to seek help from a mental health professional?” Reddit users began sharing the moments and realizations that helped prompt them to look into therapy. For some, finding someone to talk to marked a turning part in their beginning to feel better.

The Mighty decided to compile some of the responses in case any of them resonate with you, too —whether you’re on the fence about seeing a therapist or not. Take a look:

1. “Three years ago, I spent six hours crying uncontrollably. Six. Hours. I’ve always been good at managing my issues, physical or mental, but I could tell my mental health was deteriorating to a point where I could no longer handle it or even hide it.”

2. “When my friends and family were tired of hearing my same, sad stories. So, I decided to pay someone to listen. Therapy is amazing. I think everyone should go to therapy… we all have sh*t we need to work through.”

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3. “When I realized it’s not normal to ruminate about things (could be as big as a life change to a dog barking) to the extent that I shake, can’t sleep, don’t eat or end up being irritable to the extent of hurting myself or others. I got so tired of worrying about everything. Also, my world was getting smaller — I gradually had less and less energy to do things I used to love or they’d make me anxious, so I stopped.”

4. “When everyone — from friends to strangers — asked me, ‘What happened to your arm?!’ I was too ashamed to tell them that it was scarred and infected from me compulsively picking at it.”

5. “When I had a complete breakdown on the phone with my mom, and I just couldn’t go back to my job. And I started having panic attacks in the middle of the night last year. I’ve had a really hard time over my first two years of college, and this was just the breaking point. My first visit is tomorrow!”

6. “I failed one of my classes, and I realized that it was more about depression than anything else. I got a full-on F when I had gotten As and Bs in harder classes freshman year. Once I thought about this, I also realized that I don’t want to be miserable my entire life.

7. “When, even though I was achieving great things, I still felt like a failure. I still felt like I was doing something wrong.”

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8. “When I had my second child. I want to be a good mom and know there’s stuff I need to work on.”

9. “I had started hurting myself in order to end my panic attacks, and I realized I needed to learn a better way to cope with my emotions.

10. “On the first day of college. I didn’t think my social anxiety was that bad until, as an introductory exercise, my tutor told our class to stand up, walk over to someone and introduce ourselves. I was paralyzed to the spot in fear and had a panic attack while everyone else started moving and chatting around me.”

11. “It wasn’t a breaking point, it was a realization. My heart had been racing for weeks, I’d been too nauseous to eat and I had various constant aches, pains and tension headaches from literally just holding all of my anxiety inside of me. And then I thought, ‘Wait, what if it isn’t normal to be tense all the time?‘”

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12. “When I realized I wasn’t even able to make myself do things I enjoyed doing anymore, and the thought of perfectly reasonable work deadlines could send me into an anxiety attack.”

13. “When everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning stirred up feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and anger. Around the same time it was getting harder to leave my house because of my anxiety, and I knew if I didn’t nip it in the bud, it would keep getting worse.”

14. “If you really feel bad, then why not alleviate the pain? If you get sick, you’d go see a doctor or get some medicine. If you got hurt, you would take a pain killer. Why not get help when you feel [badly] enough to inflict harm upon yourself. I got counseling after a bad breakup, and it was the best idea I’ve ever had.”

15. “I realized my anxiety had ruined two relationships for me. I’ve been going [to therapy] for about four years, and it has helped so much. Just having someone to talk to who doesn’t judge you is such a nice feeling.”

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*Some of the responses have been shortened and/or edited.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.