OPINION: Therapy saved my life

Chloe Wilson-Henline, Opinion Writer

The fear of being judged, the fear of the unknown, the fear of opening up to a stranger: these are all things someone might experience while debating whether or not psychotherapy would be a good fit for them.

There are common misconceptions surrounding therapy that make seeking help so hard for so many people.

Common phrases associated with these misconceptions include, “All therapy is the same,” “Therapy is only for really serious problems” and “Therapy is just an expensive way to be able to vent.”

It’s the lack of understanding regarding mental health issues that leads to the stigma around therapy.

You can often improve your problem-solving skills through psychotherapy. It provides helpful and easy strategies for handling stress and other challenging aspects of daily living. Even when you stop seeing a therapist, you can still benefit from these coping mechanisms that were learned through therapy.

Therapy provides you with tools that you can take with you throughout the rest of your life.

Whether you are struggling with something like depression or anxiety, experiencing a lack of motivation, confidence or self-esteem issues, grief and loss, or phobias, there is someone out there that can help you navigate through these challenges.

I started seeing a therapist in high school. I had lost important people in my life and was struggling with body image issues and the fear of food. I got to a point where I couldn’t help myself anymore.

I felt like there was no hope left for me and life was too unbearable to continue.

That is when I decided that I needed help.

The first step was finding someone who specialized in what I was experiencing. Luckily, I connected with the first therapist I saw.

She provided me with coping mechanisms when it came to the grief I was experiencing. She taught me how journaling my feelings and talking to those close to me can provide me with security and understanding. I started a gratitude journal so I could see exactly what I was grateful for and why I deserved and should still be on this earth.

I now love who I am and love the life I live. I can sit down and make myself a meal and not feel bad about what I am eating. I can process my grief and remember those who I lost in a positive, healthy way.

I found the love I was missing inside of myself.

Life is hard and needing help is not something you should be ashamed of. Without therapy, I don’t know if I would still be here today.

Therapy saved my life and countless others.

We need to break the stigma around therapy and not see it as a weakness but as a strength. It takes strength to admit there might be a problem, and it takes strength to go find that help we deserve.

Everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy fulfilling life. Therapy made me realize I could have that.

Chloe Wilson-Henline is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].