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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Iowa chapter.

Therapy and mental health are slowly overcoming the negative stigma they have. As more and more people realize it’s okay to not be okay and admit when it’s time to see someone, lives are gradually changed for the better.

While it takes time to feel better or understand why you feel the way you do, there are steps to being able to cope with your mental health.

I noticed most of my teenage years it was easy for me to become angry or irritated, and I was always paranoid with what my friends were doing behind my back, which was spreading rumors or just talking a bunch of mad s***. It was your basic middle school and high school drama, but it still takes a toll on you and how you deem yourself unworthy.

I started attending college, and these feelings weren’t getting any better. And my “friends” really weren’t helping the situation. I felt like everything was out of my control. As I got older, my anxiety got to the point I was having panic attacks, constantly crying or having the ideas of “the world would be better without me.”

My actual friends finally begged me to go see a therapist. My anxiety was getting worse and my panic attacks began to happen more frequently, I knew I needed to get help if I wanted to get better.

I went to University Counseling Services and had my first consultation. I remember just sitting in that waiting room and felt a panic attack coming. I had a feeling that something was terribly wrong and that if someone I knew saw me coming here that I would be judged. After my first session, I felt a small weight had been taken off my shoulders, but this was just the first step.

Therapy was one of the best things to happen because I felt so comfortable telling someone about things I couldn’t trust anyone with or thought no one would understand. So here’s my message to you. Whether it’s just to talk or to work through any mental health concerns, therapy is your first step and your number one friend.

It’s confidential

While you have your friends to rant to, you don’t know if they’re going to tell the other person or gossip about what you said. Your therapist is a licensed professional who is legally obligated to keep all your secrets unless you are a threat to yourself or anyone around you. So you don’t have to worry about your therapist telling your friends what you said about them during your session.

They’re unbiased

Therapists and psychiatrists are able to look at everything from an unbiased standpoint. The only person they care about in the time being is you and your journey to coping with your mental health.

Licensed Professional

While they do tell you things your friends tell you like, “You should leave that guy,” the way you talk to your therapist about the situation helps you understand why your friends are saying it, why you’re feeling it and why it’s the best thing for you to do and on your journey to becoming an even better you.


Taking medication is fine

Sometimes it takes more than just talk therapy. Taking medication to help with mental health SHOULD NOT be frowned upon. Some treatments fit whoever they fit. The only person who should be taking the idea into consideration is you, not what society thinks about you.

It’s OKAY to cry

I feel extremely weird if I don’t cry after a therapy session. It feels so much better getting my frustrations and issues I’m currently dealing with out of my system. It’s supposed to be emotional because it’s something that is affecting you personal. IT’S PERFECTLY OKAY TO CRY! Let it out, you’ll feel much better.

While it was hard at first, this is just the first step of many. While you won’t reach a breakthrough right away, it will come within time, but in the meantime it’s nice to have someone you can go to talk to and discuss how you’re feeling and if you are taking the right measures of self-care.

A lot of things are out of our control, but how you react to them is within your own hands. 


Photos: cover Photo, 1, 2, 3

Amy is currently a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication, minor in political science with certificates in Event Planning and Entrepreneurial Management and HC UIowa's Trouble Maker. Her dream job is to work in Public Relations or Event Planning and plans to also become a lawyer, like the 9 years old Amy planned. Whenever she's not writing articles, she's usually online shopping, binging on Netflix, or laughing at her own jokes. Midwestern Prep with the worst luck in the world, you can keep track of her worst case scenarios on Twitter.
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