Therapy – No stigmas attached

 

There’s so much stigma attached to the concept of therapy that I shy away from talking about it, even though it’s done me the world of good.

Let’s say I’ve just come from therapy and I bump into someone I know, in my head I feel I should have no fear in telling them where I have been just like I wouldn’t think twice if I had come from the GP. However, the reality is very different. Worrying about the judgement from others would lead me to hide my therapy because people associated with it are often seen as weak or crazy.

I know I am not alone when I feel this way and unfortunately the result is that many people prefer not to pursue therapy or counseling despite feeling a significant amount of mental, physical or emotional distress.

I undertook Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which taught me coping mechanisms for some of the worst effects of PTSD such as:

  • Derealisation – no doubt the problem that caused me the most grief, it was at the core of my anxiety, depression, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. For anyone unfamiliar with Derealisation it can come in many forms but affected me by seeing objects change in shape, size and color and I was also seeing the world as two-dimensional and feeling disconnected from it. It still affects me and I don’t think there will be a time when I’ll live without it but knowing how to control what I see without becoming overwhelmed is the best outcome therapy could’ve given me.
  • Anxiety and Depression – I am very proud to say that I’ve overcome depression and have not been on medication for almost two years (YAY!). Medication was very helpful in the short-term but shouldn’t be relied on but therapy teaches you how to manage your condition long-term. Anxiety is still a pain and has a number of triggers but I now know what to avoid and how it should be managed so it lasts a couple of hours rather than a few days (which would usually result in a breakdown).
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I learnt that mental illness is not just in my imagination

But one of the best things therapy did was to educate me! It allowed me to understand PTSD by putting the changes I was going through into a way that I could understand and in turn, I was able to recognize when they were taking a hold on me.

I hope by talking about my own experiences that anyone who may have been holding back from getting the help they deserve will see there is no shame in going to therapy.

It is tough mentally, emotionally and physically and should be respected as a form of treatment no different from going to your GP or having physiotherapy for an injury. We should be able to talk about it openly without feeling judgement!

No doubt I will be going to therapy again in the future but without it there is no way even six month ago that I would’ve had the confidence to book my travels alone and I’m so proud of myself to see how far I’ve come.

If you found this helpful please give me a follow and share to spread the awareness!

8 Comments »

  1. I go to a recovery group at my church. I have been sober for 7 years, but I want to stay in recovery for the rest of my life. I know it may seems strange, and people certainly think it is strange since I don’t “need” it anymore, but I have so much stuff that I need to work through from my past and that is what my recovery group does for me. It helps through anxiety, anger, resentment, co-dependency, abandonment issues, and more. I feel that I am being proactive in saving my life as well as continuously growing myself by going, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true Kristen, I don’t think any kind of mental illness just goes away. It’s a life time of learning to deal with it and learning more about yourself! Such a lovely comment thank you. Keep being strong

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think so either. We are who we are and our chemical makeup and human tendencies will never go away. We have to learn that they exist for one, in order to combat them, and then be proactive in staying in control of them and keeping them out of our lives (if we are able to do so). It is a daily choice that has to be made, whether we realize that or not. Thanks girl, I am really trying.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent blog Anna. I used to rely on alcohol, cannabis and occasionally therapy. Then I stopped relying on alcohol and next the puff and now as soon as i start to feel like crap I make an appointment with a therapist. I’ve been going through cycles for years and definitely find it helps to nip it in the bud wherever possible.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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