Blog,  Health

Mental Health Awareness: What You Need To Know About Therapy

The idea of seeking therapy is still a fairly taboo topic for most. They don’t want to think of themselves as a person who’s “so messed up” they need professional help. Though, the Wall Street Journal recently wrote a story about how millennials are much more into therapy than generations before. Go, millennials!

I’ve been through several boughts of talk therapy throughout the years with varying results. Some people I outright didn’t like. Others just didn’t seem to get me. Now I have a therapist whom I feel gets me and is also ready to hand out the harsh truth in a way that doesn’t make me feel like an utter failure in the game of life.

Since it seems a stigma still remains around seeing a therapist, I thought I would share what I’ve learned about therapy and how to find the best therapist.

5 Things To Know About Therapy

  1. Do Your Research. You likely won’t find a perfect therapist on the first try. Someone your friend loves may not be the right fit for you. That’s okay. Keep searching. Your therapist is out there.
  2. Be prepared to pay. Unfortunately, my insurance doesn’t cover mental health. Many don’t. However, if you are self-pay, the office may offer you a discount. My office offers an additional 20% off incentive when you pay at your appointment instead of waiting for them to bill you. It’s still not cheap (for me $80 per appointment; the first one was more), but the discounts make it more affordable. And if you needed to see a doctor for your diabetes, would you balk at the price? #breakthestigma
  3. Be ready to do the hard work. You’re going to have to talk. You’re going to have to talk about things you don’t want to talk about. You’re likely going to have homework. I have a note on my phone of all the goals I’m hoping to achieve in therapy. My therapist keeps adding to it. What a jerk! LOL But it’s work and it’s not easy and I also feel better for it.
  4. Your medicine may be expensive. Some meds are dirt cheap. Others are more expensive. It depends how long they’ve been around and if there is a generic option. Ask your doctor for samples. A lot of offices have plenty. I lived off samples my the drug I’m on for months! Sadly, I’ve run the gamut for most meds and I’m currently on a very expensive one. I cried a little when I finally had to pay the out of pocket cost. But, again, reminded myself if I needed this medication to regulate my kidneys or my insulin, I wouldn’t feel bad about it for one second.
  5. Change your outlook. If you stop thinking of therapy as some horribly indulgent activity or something only the criminally insane would partake and realize it’s like a check-up for your brain, you may just start to feel yourself break the stigma and you might actually enjoy it. Even better? You might become more mentally stable.

Do You Need To Talk to Someone?

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 911, go to the nearest emergency room, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or text MHA to 741741 at the Crisis Text Line.

More resources here on how you can help a suicidal friend.