When I first approached the address of my therapist for my first session, I was filled with dread. I had previously seen therapy as something that other, less stable people needed. I went in thinking that I was broken and simply needed fixing.
50 minutes later and my first session had finished. I had liked my therapist and felt comfortable around him straightaway. Yet I felt emotionally drained and much more miserable than when I had entered. Talking about my problems for almost an hour had, unsurprisingly, left me pretty dazed. I questioned how putting myself through that every week could ever really help me. I was tempted to sack it off, backing my own independent efforts to help me more.
However, I carried on. I am relieved I did. After a few weeks I started to enjoy my sessions. I began to see them as a sort of outlet. The ability to speak freely to someone without having to worry about the implications of what you said or discussed felt extremely liberating. I became much less distracted during the day. Getting things off my chest helped take them off my mind during the week and if something did distress or unsettle me, I knew I had someone every week to talk to about it.
What I had suffered from most prior to therapy was a terrible feeling of regret. This feeling was demotivating and horribly cyclical. I felt trapped, endlessly thinking “what could have been” and couldn't help but see my current situation as incredibly inadequate. Therapy helped me to unpick my feelings and understand my reactions to certain things and people. By doing this I saw much more clearly the ways I could make myself feel better and improve myself as an individual. After this my productivity went up and reciprocally so did my happiness. I started to sleep much more soundly and had a much more regular diet. My relationships with both friends and family also started to feel relaxed and calm, as they had done previously.
After around five months of therapy my perspective on the mental health issue completely changed. I realised that the argument for mental health is not properly made. Mental health affects everyone. In the same sense that everyone’s physical health benefits from exercise, everyone’s mental health will benefit from therapy. You do not have to have a mental health problem to gain a lot from talking to a therapist.