22 Messages for People Who Think They 'Don't Deserve' Therapy
Sometimes the first step is the hardest. A step towards acceptance. A step towards treatment. A step towards recovery. When you live with a mental illness, often times that step involves therapy.
But therapy can be a scary concept, especially if the same voice in your head that’s fueling your mental illness is saying you don’t deserve it. There’s always someone worse. It would be a waste of time. Therapy makes you weak.
But who cares if there’s “always someone worse”? Therapy is not a waste of time, and it certainly doesn’t make you weak. If you think you might need therapy but are hesitant to take the first step, here are some messages from our readers that might change your mind.
If you don’t think you deserve therapy, here’s what our community wants you to know:
1. “You may not think you deserve therapy, but you do deserve to be happy. Therapy could be a key component in helping you get there.” — Syrena Clark
2. “Not every therapist will be a good fit for you. If it isn’t working with one, don’t give up! I went through several psychologists/psychiatrists before I found the right one for me. When I found the right doctor, he saved my life.” — Angela Wetuski
3. “Would you deserve chemotherapy? Would you deserve insulin? If you have a child who needed therapy would you think he or she deserved it?” — Mary Mazzarella
4. “As someone who has struggled with depression my entire life, I totally understand feeling like you don’t deserve therapy. I understand self-loathing. I’m comfortable in my misery. Treatment means stepping into something unknown, and that’s scary! When I feel like this, I image myself as the child I once was. I want to protect her and give her whatever she needs to become well again. Even if I feel that I don’t deserve the opportunity to get better, she does.” — Sarah Carson
5. “The voice of depression (or whatever mental illness you have) does not tell the truth. It feeds you lies and tears you down. You are fighting a battle, and you deserve to have an army on your side.” — Nicole Campbell
6. “Can you imagine a world where everyone who needed help was deemed undeserving of it? People’s minds can be sick in the same way that people’s bodies can be sick, and if you wouldn’t deny yourself a visit to the doctor to treat a broken bone, why would you deny yourself the opportunity to treat other non-physical illnesses?” — Emily Waryck
7. “A therapist once said to me, ‘If you play the comparison game, you will lose every time. Someone out there will always have it worse, but someone will always have it better, too.’ Focus on what you need as an individual, not where you stand in comparison to another.” — Delaina Conour
8. “No matter how manageable you may think it is or how much you don’t want to ‘put someone out,’ if you feel like you need help, seek it.” — Patrick Dovah Bowden
9. “Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. You can’t pour from an empty cup — same theory.” — Jen Hall
10. “Who doesn’t deserve someone who you can talk to without having to worry about anything coming back to haunt you?” — Kim Compton-Carter
11. “You deserve to feel better, to feel your ‘normal’ again. Whatever that is for you. Therapy isn’t easy, and it will make you want to run sometimes. But you are brave and deserving just like everyone else. Never forget that.” — Donna Guzzo
12. “There are times we not only deserve, but need, outside support. Go treat yourself.” — Lucinda Walker
13. “The darkness can be consuming, but therapy can help you find your way to the light again. It’s time to meet yourself where you’re at and allow yourself to work from there.” — Miranda Tymoschuk
14. “Grant yourself some grace.” — Katy McKnight
15. “The internal voice telling you that you’re not deserving of therapy, or to feel better or [that you] have good things in your life, is literally a symptom of the illness and needs to be thought of and treated as such.” — Andrea Michael
16. “Everyone needs a little help sometimes. You don’t need to fight this battle alone. You deserve someone who will listen and help you get through this. Don’t sell yourself short.” — Ashley Dakota Strand
17. “Telling yourself you don’t deserve therapy is like telling a drowning person they don’t deserve a rope.” — Vickie Vance Meredith
18. “There will always be people who seem to be in more pain than you, but your pain is just as valid as your need to breathe air.” — Claire Nieuwoudt
19. “You don’t even have to have a mental illness to ‘deserve therapy.’ Therapy is a fantastic tool that can and should be utilized by anyone who may be struggling with their mental health or anyone who may just need to talk to someone.” — Allison DeLuca
20. “Do it. It sucks holding it all in.” — Angie Leanne Ryan
21. “Therapy isn’t about deserving. It’s about making a choice to work hard and stay well.” — Casey Coats
22. “You deserve the world. That includes therapy.” — Steph Tremblay
*Answers have been edited and shortened.