Invalid Excuses for Not Going to Therapy
Therapy is a great decision for anyone. Even if you are a happy and healthy human, I still recommend therapy. It’s not just talking about your traumatic experiences with a stranger, and you don’t have to be depressed or crazy to want to go.
You can go to therapy to learn how to create good habits or quit bad ones.
You can go to therapy to learn how to be more productive.
You can go to therapy to learn how to manage your relationships better.
You can go to therapy to learn how to show up as the best possible version of yourself.
So, I assume if you clicked on this, you’re debating therapy. You’re probably wondering if your reasons are valid enough to go. I’m going to stop you right here and say this: If you have to debate or even question going to therapy, your reasons are valid enough to try it. You deserve to feel your best, and you won’t ever be able to do that if you keep cramming things back down.
I put therapy off for a really long time. I’ve always been an advocate for it and I’ve always told myself that I should go, just like I think everyone else should go, but I never made it a priority. But deep down, I knew that I needed to go. I just didn’t want to admit it to myself because I had so many other important things going on in my life. During those years, therapy was always in the back of my mind. But as I said, I was just so wrapped up in other things and I just pushed it to the side. I would push the feelings or thoughts away and I would get by for long periods of time. And when I say “get by”, that’s literally all I could do, never better. And every once in a while, I couldn’t even get by. I would go into extremely depressive stages where I wouldn’t leave my bed unless it was a necessity, didn’t want to talk to anyone, cried a lot, etc - and couldn’t stop for weeks at a time. In those occasional periods, I knew I needed therapy and I would start to seriously consider it, but the second I started feeling better, it was pushed back again.
So now that you have a little bit of backstory, here were my excuses and why I no longer believe in them:
I said that I never had the time. One thing that I’ve recently learned from personal experience, is that we make time for the things and people that we truly care about. A few months back, I was in school and working on my blog. I told myself that I never had free time, which was true, I really didn’t because I devoted every bit of energy I had into those two things. But fast forward a bit, I’m now in school, working 2 jobs, running the blog, and 2 other platforms. All of those things were important to me, so I made time for them.
Therapy is also important to me. Nothing should be more important than my wellbeing, so it’s time that I make the time for it. To make it easier on me, I’ve decided to do remote therapy to save time on getting ready and making a trip somewhere.. The little things do add up!
I didn’t really want to tell people. I never really admit when I’m not doing well. I usually wait to talk about it until after it’s passed and I’m doing better. It’s not that I’m embarrassed, scared, uncomfortable or whatever else - I just genuinely don’t want people to worry. Most people know about my disorders (for those of you who don’t know: depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD), and I think it just kinda adds on an extra scare when I tell people I’m in a tough place. So, I usually like to keep it to myself. Since then, I’ve realized that I can’t keep myself in an unstable place just to allow other people to not feel worried.
I only felt extremely low on occasions, so I thought I could handle it. I’ve always been pretty good at solving personal problems, and it’s only been rare occasions where it was beyond me. But like I said, those rare occasions are still terrible and can last weeks. I don’t want to just “get by” anymore, I want to actually be happy and fulfilled.
I was scared of what I’d discover in therapy. I was scared that I would come to some really hard realizations about myself or my life, and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I knew that I was on a slippery slope with my mental health in the first place, and I was scared of adding something else in the mix because I didn’t know if I could handle it. But if my experiences have taught me anything, it’s that I’m one of the (mentally) strongest frickin people that I know. I say that as humbly as I can, but it’s the truth. I know that therapy is going to be hard, but I’ve lived through all of my darkest days, and I know I will continue to do that until it gets better.
I was scared that I wasn’t going to like my therapist. I know it sounds dumb, but I actually have good reason for worrying about this. Quick story time: To get the wonderfully long list of all my disorders, I had to meet with a psychologist multiple times. Mind you, I had NO idea what was about to hit me. I was there because I thought I had ADD. Anyway, throughout our sessions, she was incredibly insensitive to the (highly sensitive) information I shared with her. She had no compassion or understanding, she was only there to check off the boxes and leave. She also made me feel extremely dumb during every session that we had together. So, with that being said, I do have a bad past with a mental health care professional. But, obviously a psychologist and a therapist are two completely different jobs and people - and I cannot base my opinion on the entire mental health care field off of one bad experience that I had.
I was scared about the financial commitment. Therapy is expensive, no lie. But, there are also ways to lessen the blow. Check with your insurance company, school or college, company, etc. Doing research can save you a significant amount, or may even help you find some free resources. Google is your BFF!
Lastly, I just want to talk about a fear that I’ve never had in regards to therapy, but I feel like a lot of others do.. Judgement. You’ve got to stop wondering what people will think of you. You are doing what’s best for you. You’re bettering you - for you. Other people don’t matter. Also, if someone is going to judge you for bettering yourself, what does that say about them? And even if they are judging, are you living your life to impress them? Is that worth it to you?
One last thing I want you to think about.. Most likely, therapy is going to be hard. You have to be willing to accept the past and learn how to change for the future, and sometimes it’s not a freaking easy process. But what’s harder - going to therapy and working through it, or spending your entire life trying to avoid it and just barely get by?