You should see a therapist. Yes, you. Actually, not just you, but also everyone you know (and everyone you don’t know, too).
I’m convinced we all need to be in therapy. The news states all the time that our current way of living is hard on our mental health. Some of this stems from the fact that we’re always connected to work even after hours through our phones and email. We’re also constantly bombarded with advertisements and marketing whose mission is basically co convince you that you’re a mess, but don’t worry because their product can help you. Finally, there’s also the fact that we see our friends and acquaintances posting about their impossibly beautiful/happy/perfect lives on social media at all hours while we sit on our couch in our pajamas wondering why we weren’t invited. Our hyper-connected world is telling us we always have to be ‘on,’ and if you’re not at this very moment a supermodel on a yacht in some tropical paradise then you must be doing something wrong.
The stress we face daily is different from and more pervasive than the stress our parents and grandparents faced. We are also more disconnected than ever. If you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, chances are you’ve had more than a handful of careers in your lifetime already. You are more likely than not to have moved across the family for your job or your spouses’s. You surely have had your friends scattered to the wind with promises to keep in touch… but occasional texts just don’t cut it when what you really need is a real connection and someone you can share your innermost thoughts and feelings with. If you lived a hundred years ago, you probably lived and died within 50 miles of where you were born. You probably had family living nearby or with you, and you probably knew all your friends and neighbors from the time you were a small child. You were connected. You knew where you were in the world, and you probably had someone you could talk to.
A huge problem today is isolation. I’m reaching out to you all right now due in part to some feelings of loneliness and the search for my ‘tribe.’ Is any of this ringing true for you? This is really where therapy and counseling come in. Most of us aren’t living the life we wish we were living, whether we are pretty close but there’s that one aspect that you just can’t get right or whether you are so far from your goals you have nearly lost sight of them. If you feel lost or isolated or hopeless, you need to talk to someone. If you are lucky enough to have a good friend in your life who you can vent your feelings to instead of letting them fester, that’s great. However, if you have someone trained to help you, that’s even better.
Give yourself a moment. Take an honest inventory of your feelings, and ask yourself if you have someone you can turn to if you start to feel anxious or depressed. If you’re not sure or if you come to the conclusion that you are all alone, please find a counselor or therapist near you. I have made amazing progress in the past 6 months, and I wonder why it took me so long to seek out help. There shouldn’t be any stigma around seeing help or preventative care of any sort, whether it be physical or mental.
Please just take care of yourselves. It often seems like we are living in dark times, especially when you turn on the news. Having someone to talk to candidly could make a real difference in your life, and only when you take care of yourself can you have any hope of taking care of others. Take care of yourselves, friends.