Updated: Jul 24
Many people who have a mental illness go to therapy as part of their treatment programs.
However, not everyone who goes to therapy will have a mental illness.
So let’s end the stigma right here! Right now!
Going to therapy doesn’t mean you are sick nor does it mean you are crazy.
Therapy isn’t for the weak.
Most people use therapy to learn and gain insight as to how to deal with the curveballs of life.
Because shit happens and sometimes when that shit hits the fan we don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to clean up that shit.
That’s when therapy comes in.
Therapy can help you learn how to take a difficult and stressful situation and make it more manageable and less stressful.
It can help you discover your capabilities and help you remain functional even when life can drive you crazy.
It happens to everyone. So here goes:
Here are a few reasons why people seek therapy even when they don’t have a mental illness.
1. Dealing with Loss and Grief
Losing someone, or dealing with any kind of loss, in your life can be a devastating experience.
It is painful but normal, can leave someone in a vulnerable state, and challenge one’s mental health.
Sadness, anger, guilt, regret, shock are just a few emotions associated with loss.
Many people are able to recover quickly while others may take a little more time. For those who struggle with dealing with loss, they can truly benefit from therapy by talking to a licensed professional and learning how to cope.
2. Work-Related Stress
If you work full-time in the United States, the 40-hour workweek can be a drain.
In fact, did you know that most American’s spend about one-third of their adult lives at work? (1).
Therapy can help individuals who experience work-related stress by identifying stressors in the workplace and guidance on how to manage thoughts, workloads, and etc (3).
By the way, who doesn’t get stressed out at work? I feel like everyone does.
3. People Going Through Big Changes in Life
Like starting a new job or moving to another state, moving to another country, getting married, etc.
For me, the first time I sought therapy was when I was in college and I was going through a stressful stage in my life. I was applying to grad school and I wasn’t hearing back from any of the schools I was applying to while a majority of my peers were.
I remember sleepless nights where I was always checking my inbox hoping just hear back. At the time, I was going through a crisis and thought the world was going to end if I didn’t get into any school.
Luckily I received a few invitations, followed by rejections and followed by a few acceptances. Unfortunately, I was waitlisted at my top choice and eventually did not get accepted.
And everything turned out okay. I didn’t end up going to graduate school. However, looking back on it now it was actually a good decision to not go.
In this situation, therapy helped me accepted things that were outside my control. It helped me realize that the world was not going to end if I did not go to graduate school.
This was eight years ago and I’m still here.
There are all kinds of addictions out there.
Have you seen the show “My Strange Addiction”? If you haven’t I kind of recommend it. Some people have very interesting addictions and once saw an episode where a lady was addicted to eating soap.
Hoarding is a common addition.
There is also drug addiction.
I have learned from watching the show that there is an addiction to almost everything.
In many, therapy is known to be extremely essential when dealing with addiction.
Just very recently I have sought out therapy to learn about myself. This was more about how I can develop my self-confidence and self-esteem.
Throughout my life, I had undergone a few changes. I went from a shy quiet girl to an arrogant smart ass in college. I’m sure you can only imagine what that transition was like.
All of a sudden, when I graduated from college and got my first job my self-esteem and self-confidence fell through. It was then I realized that I wasn’t the “hot-shit” that I thought I was. I was good at school but I was not good at my job.
I was almost fired from that job because my performance was bad. Underperforming was not even a reason. I was just really bad at my job. Since then I have never forgotten it. In almost everything I do, I have convinced myself that I suck or wasn’t good enough. That I could only be mediocre at best.
I also have social anxiety. I’m sometimes afraid of bringing attention to myself for fear that people will make fun of me or call me names. Most often I am scared of getting attention whether it is good or bad. Showing my incompetence for anything I do. (See blog post, "Is It Shyness? Or Is It Social Anxiety?"
Now, when I go to therapy I am working on how I can look past my past, move on, and take it as a learning experience.
It’s not an easy task, I can tell you that.
Many people seek relationship therapy to improve their relationship or to resolve conflicts within them.
I’ve never had to go through this but I know a few of my friends who have.
Relationships are quite complicated, but they are an extremely important part of our lives. (See blog post: "The Cure For Loneliness Is Building Meaningful Relationships").
Just a few that I have noticed include:
Lack of communication
As you can see, therapy isn’t just for those who have a mental illness.
Therapy can be essential to a wide range of issues.
We are all human and throughout our lives, we will experience ups-and-downs. The state of our mental health helps us cope and manage how we deal with these ups and downs.
…and therapy can help address and introduce coping mechanisms to help us understand ourselves, our challenges, and how to live our lives productively despite the things that come our way.
Also check out my blog post, "The Pros & Cons of Talking To A Therapist vs A Friend", to understand why it may be better to go to a therapist for therapy. Sure! friends are great people to talk to about personal matters...to some extent. Check out that blog post and let me know what you think.