Why Every 20-Something Should See a Therapist


No one escapes childhood unscathed. I don’t care how incredible your family was or your home situation. You could have experienced good friends, good family, a healthy income and vacations to Maui every freaking summer. You will still have the stains of life on you when you enter into adulthood. Why? Because what makes us human, what makes us strong, is also what causes the brokenness in every life. We are entirely fallible, which is not bad at all.

However, it can leave its marks. Those who are in their 20s and early 30s had parents from a generation that wanted so desperately to create a world where you had the freedom of choice, education, career, spouse and the list goes on. We were told we could be anything we wanted if we worked hard enough.

Yet, we inherited a different kind of world, one that has created more struggles than we expected, student loan debt, a shrinking middle class, the uprise of certain social issues and conflicts, economic decline, a less diverse job market and rising housing costs. These things make it so much harder to be what we wanted to be. I know many, many qualified hard-working, educated adults that had to move back in with their parents in their late 20s and early 30s because they couldn’t find a living situation or a job that allowed them to have their own lives. I myself have a full-time, reasonably, well-paid job and all I can afford is to rent a room.

So, how do we reconcile this? How is that we can accept the mounting obstacles before us and still chase after the things we dream of most? Well, we learn to be stronger and work harder. We get to know ourselves inside and out so we might heal the things in us that have become deterrents from healthy, robust lives. That is where therapy comes in, folks.

I started seeing a therapist a little more than a year ago. I was (and had been) struggling with debilitating anxiety and periodic bouts of depression and wanted to get a hold on it. I later found out my problems were more medical and chemical in nature and sought the help of doctors and psychiatrists. However, during the time I was seeing her, I learned so much about myself and how I process things, about my triggers and fears and about how to be a healthier person. I recommend therapy to every adult.

The tools I learned there helped equip me to handle my past, my present and my future. I took it as an investment into the new relationships I was forming, the current relationships I had and especially the relationship I had with myself. Part of the reason, I believe, that more people don’t seek therapy is both that it’s not always financially feasibly, and it’s become culturally stigmatized. We marginalize those “in therapy” as somehow less strong than those who have never sought it. It’s an important process, and it should be readily available to all of us.

However, private therapists can be pricey. Most of us can’t afford that. I had to stop seeing my therapist (as wonderful as she was) because I was not financially able to work with the extra strain in funds each month. I do, through my insurance, have access to a caseworker at my local mental health clinic, but it isn’t the same bond, I will admit. You form a relationship built on time and trust with a therapist.

My advice is to ask your insurance provider if this service is covered. If it isn’t, save money. Cut a little down on your going-out funds or buy one less pair of shoes. See a therapist once a month if you can. Find someone you trust and invest in yourself.

Image via Thinkstock.

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