The Mighty Logo

Why You (Yes, Even You) Should Try Therapy

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Alright, y’all. Let’s get real. We all need some help from time to time. Think of the phrase “no man is an island.” So, who do you go to when things are rough? Sure it’s fine to seek the advice of trusted friends or relatives, but what if that’s not enough? Where should you go?

To therapy, my friend. To therapy.

Does going to therapy mean I’m “crazy?”

No. A therapist can act as a non-biased sounding board to listen to your “crap” and not pass judgment. Sometimes, all you need is someone to listen to you who won’t try to sway you one way or another and can give you more objective feedback than someone closer to the situation can.

Does going to therapy mean I have a mental illness?

Again, no. Mental illness has this terrible stigma around it. Like anyone would choose to be mentally ill. It’s hard, man. In a given year, about 20% of the population is dealing with a mental illness. And just because you might not be this year doesn’t mean you won’t in the future, or you didn’t in the past.

I can just “figure it out” or “toughen up.”  Oh, really? Would you say that if you got the flu?  How about if you were diagnosed with a physical illness? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says on its website that mental health is just as important as physical health for overall wellness. Also, they’ve found that mental illness has a serious impact on increasing the risk for physical illnesses.

I’ve seen a therapist before. I already know what to do.

Well, maybe you saw a therapist previously, and what you’ve got going on is different now. Also, if you see a new therapist, there’s a good chance they’ll have a different style or therapeutic approach. Additionally, oftentimes we have a hard time accessing those tools or skills we may have previously learned, which is why we might need some help again.

I just don’t have time.

Well, thanks to innovation, there are ways around that. If you do traditional talk therapy, that’s typically one hour a week. That is about 0.5% of your week. Let’s say you sleep on average eight hours (I’m probably being generous). Out of your waking hours, one hour of therapy a week is still only 0.8% of your week. You do have time. You need to make it a priority.

I don’t have the money.

This might be true. I don’t know your financial situation, so I won’t pretend to know. You may not have the money for it right now depending on how much you make; however, if you want to make your mental health a priority (which you deserve), you may need to find a way to allocate the funds to make it happen. A good therapist will not need you to be in therapy forever. They will make an exit strategy with you and goals so that you know what to work on and how to measure your progress. This is an investment in you. Will you need to get cheaper haircuts, or hold on to that older generation iPhone a bit longer, or put off the trip to Europe for another few months? Maybe. But this will give you information you can use for a lifetime.

So again, and this time louder for the people in the back:

Everyone can benefit from some therapy from time to time. It doesn’t mean you’re “crazy” or sick. It doesn’t have to be a drain on your finances or your time. You get one life to live. Don’t struggle through because you’ll eventually “figure it out.” Make your wellness — both your physical and your mental wellness — a priority. You deserve it.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Originally published: November 13, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home