Why Northern Colorado Needs to Remove the Stigma From Therapy
I hesitated a lot before writing this blog. First of all, going to therapy is an intensely personal experience, usually brought on by a continuous issue or an isolated event. A lot of people don't discuss it because it should involve them and them only....
...but also because therapy has a huge stigma behind it.
Talking about going to therapy, in my experience, makes people pretty uncomfortable. I mean, hey— it's hard to write this blog, which sort of proves my point. I had a boyfriend once tell me he 'loved how open I was about it' just because I told him I'd gone that morning...and I remember thinking to myself, 'Why is admitting that I went such a victory?'
In Larimer County, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, 'the number of suicides since 2004 has nearly doubled — but the population hasn't.' Don't get me wrong— therapy is not for everyone and might not be a life-saver, however, if more people are open to talking about how they're feeling, maybe members of the community who are looking for ways to get better will find a solution.
I decided to go to therapy when I got my first real job, and I was nervous about how overwhelmed I would feel when I started something new. It was an extremely awkward start, but now I crave the time I have with my counselor. We don't do much— for an hour, she asks me about certain things I've talked about in the past and I talk (and talk, and talk), and when I need help with an issue, I pause and she fills in the blanks.
Going to therapy does not mean that you're weak. I think of it as another tool I can use to manage my stress, relationship issues, and more. Sometimes it feels weird to think about how this person— someone I don't hang out with after work, someone who doesn't spend more than an hour every two weeks with me— can help me so much. But that's what therapists and mental health professionals are trained to do.
I guess the biggest takeaway is don't knock anything until you try it. If you think something might help you, no matter how 'crazy' it might make you feel, maybe it's worth a shot no matter what.
Plus, we're all a little crazy. Why should we try to hide it?