Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Responsival. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
I don’t want to brag… OK maybe I do just a bit but I am in the best mental health state that I have ever been in. I’m thriving at work, my creativity is exactly where I want it to be, I have the motivation to do the things that I really have a passion for, and my relationships with others are better than ever.
It wasn’t always that way though. Over these last 3 years, there have been a couple of things that have really weighed on my mental health: my depression and the death of my father.
I recognized I needed help when I was battling my depression. For a couple of weeks, I had been trying to break through it all on my own. I was taking the time to do the things that really mattered to me, blogging, photography, and spending time with my family. But even those weren’t helping me push through. I started taking almost daily walks at work over my lunch hour to just get a moment to myself. Putting in my earbuds and listening to music trying not to think about what was going on in my head provided some help through it.
But it wasn’t enough. I was lucky in that I was able to recognize that I needed help. I visited my personal physician and he was able to prescribe medication to help me get through it all. But there was one piece of advice that I brushed off at the time, and now looking back at it, I wish that I had at least given it a shot.
The Importance of Seeking Out A Mental Health Therapist
Backing up to the fall semester of my junior year of college, I was battling a MUCH deeper depression. One that my roommates found me in the kitchen with a knife ready to end it all. The combination of a bad breakup and the stress of being a manager of the university TV station was too much for me at the time. To be honest, at the time I was naive about mental health issues. Like many college students, I thought I was pretty much unbreakable. When my roommate pulled the knife away, they encouraged me to seek help. The next morning one of my college professors pulled me into his office and encouraged me to seek help as well. After visiting the student health center I made an appointment with one of the student therapists that were offered to help students with mental health issues or if they just needed someone to talk to.
(If you or a loved one is considering suicide please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help)
Help from a mental therapist is exactly what I needed. We were able to discuss some of the underlying issues as to why I was feeling depressed and some exercises to help me when I would start to feel that way again. It was also nice to have someone to talk to that wouldn’t judge me on how I was feeling. I still remember her telling me, “I feel you are doing so much better and I think we can end our sessions!” about 3-4 months after visiting her once a week. It was one of the best feelings in the world.
Fast forward to these last three years. I wish that I had taken the advice of my doctor about visiting a therapist. It would have made attempting to fight my depression more manageable plus just having someone to talk to without judgment like in college was exactly what I needed at that time. It also would have been helpful over the last year and a half as I constantly fight the emotions of losing my father and my family would have appreciated me being able to manage my emotions in a healthy way rather than lashing out at them most of the time.
I understand that finding a therapist isn’t easy. It can be difficult to find one that matches both you AND your health insurance. That is where Headway comes in. Headway is a national network of in-network therapists that will help you with whatever mental health treatment you are looking for.
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