The Unexpected Way Group Therapy Helped My Depression


When I started group therapy, I didn’t know what I was getting into.

When I hear people say, “I don’t know what I’m getting into,” I tend to imagine the stereotypical sitcom reminiscent glance — up and to the right as the harp strings play the “Going Back In Time” soundtrack. In response to myself, I stifle a chuckle and roll my eyes because people rarely go into new situations knowing exactly who, what, when, where, why or how it happens.

Keeping that in mind, I actually did not know what I was getting into when I decided to attend group therapy. I knew where to be at what time and that my therapist would be there. I knew I trusted my therapist because she wants what’s best for me. And I knew I was tired of my depression leaving me feeling incapacitated.

What I did not know:

1. I signed up for group therapy. (I’ll explain below.)

2. That there would be other people.

I acknowledge that I could have done more research on the program I joined rather than blindly following my therapist’s recommendation. I could have asked more questions before going. I could have done this, I could have done that. Regardless of what I could have done, the bottom line is that I did not know that the program I was attending was a group therapy program.

After a week or so into the program, an awareness and understanding caught me by surprise. The majority of the people in my group struggle with depression and other mental illnesses. Worthlessness is a common theme among people who struggle with depression. I personally struggle with feelings of worthlessness, failure and hopelessness. However, I believe every person in my group has immense worth. I believe that every person in my group is capable of succeeding. I believe that every person in my group can continue to get better.

I realized there are people in my program who do not see their worth. Just like they can’t see their worth, I can’t see mine. But, just as I see their worth, they see mine. We see in our group members what we search for in ourselves.

RESOURCES FROM TREATMENT RESOURCES

If I believe every member in the program has worth, then I must have worth too.

While correlation doesn’t mean causation, the common trend is enough to give me hope that I have a chance. Everyone in the room is facing a similar struggle to me, yet I believe each person is absolutely great — something I struggle to believe about myself. I see infinite potential among the people sitting by me. I have hope that each and every one of them can improve their quality of life through practice and determination. Every day, their strength and commitment give me hope that I can get better too.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via g-stockstudio


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Depression

black and white photo of hayley williams sitting on the ground next to picture of paramore's new album after laughter

Paramore's Hayley Williams Opens Up About the Hopelessness of Depression

Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has been a punk rock idol for over a decade. Off the release of her band’s latest album “After Laughter,” Williams opened up in an intimate interview with The FADER, where she discusses the intensity of her mental health issues and the painfulness of a symptom far too many have experienced: hopelessness. While Williams, [...]
young woman looking out of window with building and tree outside

What My Stay in a Mental Hospital Taught Me About Life

Editor’s note: If you struggle with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here. When people hear, “I’ve been admitted to the mental hospital,” their automatic response is [...]
woman brushing her hair

The One Small Victory I Celebrate Over Depression

Today, I brushed my hair. To some people, this may seem like no big deal. To some people, this may be an everyday practice. But to someone struggling with depression who might not be able to get out of bed in the morning to get something to eat — this is a huge accomplishment. I [...]

17 Things People With Depression Need From Their Significant Other

Depression can be incredibly isolating. It might tell you to shut the rest of the world out. It might tell you that you aren’t worthy or deserving. And it often tries to keep you to itself, leaving you confused about where to turn for relief from its debilitating grasp. That’s why it can be so [...]