Today I’m going to talk about therapy.
As I’ve said before, I have been in and out of treatment since I was 14. This year I am turning 31. So, a long-ass time. I use the term ‘treatment’ quite loosely here: at age 14, for example, I was seeing a counsellor at my church, rather than a licenced therapist. I’ve also seen social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians, general practitioners [GPs], and other types of counsellors.
I am a barrel of fun, let me tell you.
I often receive messages from people saying that they want help or they can recognise that they need help, but they are scared to involve a professional. There are a number of reasons why people might feel this way, and honestly, it can be scary scary scary to feel like you might be Crazy Enough™ to seek professional help. I can completely understand the reluctance that so many people have expressed to me, as despite being in and out of treatment for the majority of my life*, I still feel so much fear, anxiety, and yes, embarrassment and shame, when I know that it’s getting to the point where I need to seek professional help.
The reasons for this can be very individual, so I can only talk about my own experiences. In my experience, I’ve been reluctant to seek professional help due to the following thoughts:
“I’m not really that bad. I’m just having a bad day. Week. Month. Year. Lifetime.”
“They will think I am making it all up OH GOSH WHAT IF I AM MAKING IT ALL UP I A TOTALLY MAKING IT UP WHO EVEN AM I WHAT IF MY WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A LIE.”
“Other people have it worse and so they need the treatment more.”
“I’ve been worse before so I can’t ask for help unless I get that bad again, or even worse than my worst.”