It’s Ok To Ask For Help (And Free Therapy Won’t Be Around Forever)

Plenty of colleges provide resources for mental health problems, stress, or other issues a student may have while enrolled. And yet, there can still be a stigma around going to therapy and asking for the tools necessary to help oneself get better.

I struggled with depression immensely in high school, specifically in sophomore and junior year. My parents were a great support system, as well as my friends, but I needed something more. And yet, I never had the courage to ask for it. I spent years trying to hide how difficult it was for me to push through my feelings and my pain, until it got so serious that I finally told someone. That person was my dad.

After I explained, in the sparsest details that I could, how I was feeling and why I wanted to go to therapy, he opened up to me about his own battle with depression and was totally understanding when I spoke about mine. 

I didn’t stick with the therapy for very long though. I just didn’t feel right telling a perfect stranger about my life, but more so than that, I was nervous that someone would find out and that I would be mocked or made to feel even more ashamed of it than I already was. I wish I had stuck with it because I think it could have really helped in the long run. 

Now that I’m in college, now that I’m older and more responsible for my own health and wellbeing, I began to think about what would be best for me, as I still struggled with my mental health, although much less so than in high school. I also began to think about it because outside of college, therapy and aid can be extremely expensive, and here was an opportunity to find help that wouldn’t cost any extra. 

My college thankfully provides a wealth of resources for stress management and mental health, so I decided to look into some of them, not really planning to do anything more than that. Then a friend actually mentioned going to a one-on-one therapy session and how helpful it was, and I decided, before I could change my mind, that I would woman up and make an appointment for myself.

And I did. Scheduling the appointment was as easy as making a quick call, although there was an option to make appointments over text as well, for those who get anxiety speaking on the phone. The first appointment I had determined what kind of care and treatment that both the therapist and I thought would be best for me. I decided to stick with the one-on-one form, but there were plenty of other options available. Making that first appointment, as well as making consecutive appointments afterwards was a fantastic decision. It was also a fantastic decision specifically for me.

Help comes in all shapes and forms, and one method doesn’t work for everybody. There can be the traditional one-on-one therapy, but also group therapy, animal therapy, music therapy, and so much more. If your school offers multiple different kinds, that’s great! Find what works for you, and stick with it. Don’t let your fear of opening up, or your fear of others finding out about it, stop you from seeking the help you need and deserve.