Why Everyone Should See a Therapist

Walking outside on a November afternoon after a long day of class or work, and realizing that, it is indeed, only 5 pm, and it's completely dark outside can be pretty depressing. As the winter approaches, some people are excited about the different aspects of it such as the snow, the skiing, and the search for their holiday "cuff". However, for many people, the changing of the seasons into winter is a very trying time. Seasonal depression is a real thing, and for people who suffer from anxiety or depression year-round, winter does nothing to help their mental health. While many may never be officially diagnosed with depression or other mental health disorder, I firmly believe that every person would benefit from therapy. Before you get all up in arms about not needing a shrink, let me explain.

Through high school, I bought into the negative stigma surrounding mental and emotional health, and the therapy/medications that surrounded it. I didn’t want to appear weak, or feel like I couldn’t tough it out through my emotions just like everyone else seemed to be. However, all of my views shifted once I transitioned into college. Freshmen year was very difficult for me, and I quickly found myself being enveloped in anxiety throughout my day-to-day life. I felt very alone in my experience, and felt that I was missing out on “the best years of my life”. However, through talking to my peers, I found that my experience wasn’t as uncommon as I once thought.

I didn’t realize that many people weren’t toughing it out by themselves. Many more people were seeking help through psychiatry and medication than I realized; it just wasn't a topic of conversation people felt comfortable having. With women being twice as likely as men to have an anxiety disorder, 40 million adults in the US with an anxiety disorder already, and college being, in general, a very stressful and trying time for many, this is not an issue that we should be ignoring. The fear of stigmas of mental health being reflected onto us is a small price to pay for the relief of medical and therapeutic aid.     

       

Seeing a therapist does not have to be the cliché scene of you lying on a sofa, while a man with a pen and paper asks you about your relationship with your mother. It is not all based on weird Freudian theory, and other mumbo-jumbo you couldn't give a rat's ass about. For the most part, therapy is simply talking to a trained professional about your experiences, feelings, and reactions to different aspects or events in your life, or problems you do not know how to face. It is about talking to someone that can give you quality and profound advice, rather than advice from your friend that is subpar at best. So tell me, how many of you that think you don't need therapy have ever found yourself in a situation that you didn't know how to handle, or wonder why your relationship with a certain person seems so unhealthy because of your reactions to their actions? I am not saying everyone needs a therapist, but certainly everyone could benefit from it.

Speaking as a former skeptic, therapy is a brave and powerful experience. I have experienced immense relief and betterment of my life through therapy, and I highly suggest everyone that is unsure of taking the step to go for it. While seeing a therapist or psychiatrist can be admittedly expensive, there are great resources right here on campus that you can utilize that are free. Nothing bad can come from reaching out to a trained professional; don’t sacrifice your peace of mind and quality of life for fear of being criticized for getting help.  

U of U Mental Health Resources: 

Women's Resource Center: (801) 581-8030

Student Counseling Center: (801) 581-6826