Talking therapy

Student shares how she found herself by getting help

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Life is like riding a roller-coaster. It’s fast, there are ups and downs and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Often, people get so caught up in the chaos, they forget to take time for themselves. 

There are an infinite amount of ways people can care for themselves. I believe that attending therapy is a self-care method that is beneficial to your mental health. 

As I’ve transitioned into my teenage years, mental health has been quite a struggle. Trauma has followed me throughout my childhood and still remains with me. 

At first, I tried to distract myself from my traumatic past by constantly hanging out with friends, being on my phone and acting like everything was fine. This pattern was extremely toxic for me, and I learned that I was scared of simply being alone with my thoughts. 

The outcome of these habits led me to mental destruction. I no longer felt like I was my own person. Anxiety and depression ate me alive and took over all aspects of my life. 

It was hard to be a functioning member of society. My body was weak due to my unhealthy diet, I could barely keep up with my basic hygiene, I didn’t know what my hobbies were and I didn’t have any motivation to change any of these factors. 

Every morning, a fake smile would be put on my face. I desperately wanted to make it through the day. Eventually, I came to a breaking point. I couldn’t truly live my life if I didn’t care for myself. 

From there on, I took a leap of faith. I began going to therapy. Many people may think that therapy can cure your problems in a single session. That’s far from correct. Several years of my life consisted of occasional therapy sessions. Every time I left my therapist’s office, I noticed a glimmer of hope growing inside of me. 

My brain had finally gained some peace of mind. It allowed me to focus on myself, my needs, my aspirations and my hobbies. A barrier had been knocked down in my brain, and I felt deeply connected to myself. 

With this new sense of self-love, I actually began taking an interest in exploring what I enjoyed doing. I took my dogs on a walk almost every morning, developed a skincare routine, took bubble baths and practiced meditating. 

According to Sbtreatment, a mental health treatment program, it is beneficial to recognize what activities relieve you from negative thoughts and stress. This will help to keep your mind and body functioning instead of being stuck in a state of constant distress. 

Today, I occasionally struggle with my mental health, but I’ve grown to establish a healthy relationship with my mind and body. 

Therapy has taught me to heal from the past and begin to spread my wings. Being able to take care of yourself mentally is a challenging practice, and unfortunately, many of us aren’t taught it.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 6 children in the United States, aged two to eight years old, have a diagnosed behavioral, mental or developmental disorder.

When embarking on your own self-care and self-discovery journey, there are times when you feel like it’s useless, you don’t have the energy for it and you feel alone. Embrace the struggle. 

Be there for yourself when you’re celebrating an accomplishment, crying because you had a rough day and every emotion you’re feeling at any moment. 

I learned the act of being kind to yourself from my therapist. Creating an environment where you don’t judge yourself for feeling a certain way, is the most beautiful act of self-love, which will better your mental health in the long run.