Being able and willing to form meaningful connections and relationships with others is often considered as an important aspect of being human. Such connections are, among other things, known to facilitate one’s growth and provide support when one needs it. And yet, the action of actually seeking support, especially if it is related to one’s mental health and wellbeing, can be related to high levels of stigma and discrimination. The impact of this stigma comes out on many different levels; for the individual, the experience of mental health concerns is likely to put them in a more vulnerable position in the community, making it less likely that they would ask for help, or that they would receive appropriate help even if they did.
Another line of impact related to this stigma is that mental health remains associated with many different myths, creating a need to enhancing mental health literacy and awareness in the community. Coming into contact (virtually or directly) with people with lived experiences of mental illness or concerns is one way known help reduce this stigma, by helping provide knowledge about mental health coming straight from credible and authentic sources.
This article is part of a series that aims to provide you with such knowledge, directly from our clients, friends and colleagues – some of who chose to anonymous, while others were more comfortable in sharing their personal details alongside their experiences of therapy – all with the intent to create further awareness about mental health and encourage individuals to seek professional help if they need it*.
“Therapy has helped me to figure out my own boundaries, to not react and to learn to be more open to possibilities and to not be too harsh on myself. Working with a mental health professional is much like being in close consultation with a voice that is unbiased and not looking to only validate whatever I feel is true/good/okay.
It helps to have an objective outlook on things, to have a support system that is however, professional, but also looking out for my best interests. It helps that there are no solutions given but the solutions if any, are encouraged to be sought out after engaging with oneself more, after being aware of oneself, one’s boundaries, expectations and self.”
“Therapy has helped me gain a better understanding of who I fundamentally am as a person. It has also enabled me to deal with daily anxiety related issues and helped identify triggers to certain oscillations in mood. It has given me the tools to deal with stressful situations/ flashbacks in a more constructive way.
Taking professional helped me process and work through personal issues helps you take a step back and then take stock of what is actually bothering you and how you would like to proceed.”
“So far, therapy has helped me understand myself better and become more aware of why I am the way I am. With more awareness. I find myself dealing with day-to-day anxiety in a much better manner. Because, it is eventually about navigating through life and living it. Right?”
“Therapy helped me open up to my emotions and my reality.. I started taking care of myself. I would feel lighter after my sessions; I got to know myself better through them. I would recommend anyone to take therapy because it’s easier sometimes to speak to a professional.”
“Therapy helped me to realise what is troubling me and what i needed to do to work on it; it also helped me prioritise what is important to me. Seeking help from a professional helps you to get familiar with the method of getting to know the problem and then finding the solution for them, if not the solution at least to be patient and not losing yourself with it.”
“Being an anxious person in general, therapy has taught me that it is okay to take a step back when you want to. This step not necessarily means giving up, but just a preparation to get back even more stronger than before. It has taught me to enjoy my off days, without feeling guilty. For me, Working on my issues meant realisation of the fact that taking breaks does not mean I am lazy or running away from my responsibilities. Honestly, it indeed was difficult initially.
However as time passed by, I realised that I am a more confident person now. I can plan my tasks more efficiently and take breaks without guilts. All these because I chose to seek help, professional help, to be precise.
The most common assumption which people have about mental health professionals is that they are the world’s most emotionally balanced beings who have their shit together ALWAYS irrespective of situations, without any help. And this story will probably break the myth. Therapy is for everyone irrespective of any profession.
*Please keep in mind that therapy is a recommended treatment option for individuals living with mental illness, since symptoms can often lack improvement, worsen or become chronic problems without adequate treatment. With or without a diagnosis, if you feel that the therapeutic space described above would help you in anyway, do not hesitate to reach out. It may also help you to know that we often provide an option of taking a pro-bono (free) consultation as your first session with us, and you can know more about how to book this consultation here.
This article includes verbatim perspectives of individuals who’ve taken and benefitted from therapy, that were collated and introduced by a mental health professional. If you found that any of the above is inaccurate, irrelevant or unhelpful, or would like to suggest ways to make this article more helpful in any way, please let us know in the comments below.
Read the article, and wondering what’s next ?
- I want to take action now: If reading the above information has led you to decide that what you need is professional help, here’s a little bit about how our professionals work in case you would like to schedule a free consultation with us: our professionals’ work is based on a ‘recovery-oriented’ model, which believes in providing a space where each individual feels in charge of their own meaning of recovery from mental health concerns/illness. The aim of support isn’t just to reduce symptoms or to go back to the level of functioning that was, but rather to learn to emphasize one’s resilience and to hold space for those in distress as one is attempting to achieve short- and long-term recovery/life goals
- If you wish to know more about Therapy, please go through these FAQs; you could also look up articles on our blog
- I want more help about how to broach the topic of my mental health with friend/loved one as/before I book a session