I was totally moved by what our editor-in-chief, Hayden O’Shea, had to say about mental health in last week’s edition of the Globe.
It is truly important for all of us to recognize that mental health shouldn’t be a thing we are afraid to talk about. I wanted to share a bit about my experience with counseling and how it has helped me over the years.
I went to see my first counselor when I was in tenth grade. I was struggling heavily with panic attacks in my schooling. Crippling bouts of hyperventilation and intense pain in my chest, paired with dizziness and a general sense of doom, were all too regular my sophomore year of high school.
At my parents’ urging, I went to see a therapist.
I was against it at first. I put a terrible label on myself that somehow, by admitting I needed help, I was “crazy.”
Looking back now, that was the worst possible way to go into it.
I now see a therapist every other week or so through the Center for Health and Counseling at Salt Lake Community College. It’s great, I love it. It gives me a chance to vent about everything going on in my very busy life and a chance to process it.
At its core, that’s what therapy is: talking about a set of issues with a therapist, and then logically looking through to see if those thoughts are being processed rationally by you. It’s about getting in touch with your emotions and figuring out why you feel that way.
Does it solve all your problems over night? No. Sometimes I leave a counseling session and I haven’t come to resolve anything, but I feel better because I’ve said it out loud and can look at the situation with more clarity.
Therapy through counseling is not a magic pill, it doesn’t solve everything overnight. It’s hard work.
You must be able to open yourself up and trust in your therapist. It takes time. If you give it the time it deserves, it can do a world of good.
Without talking to a therapist, I may never have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and given the help I needed through the Disability Resource Center at SLCC.
Therapy through counseling has changed my life. It has helped me understand my problems and how to attack them. It has helped me become more self-aware, it has improved my relationships with almost everyone in my life, and it only takes about an hour every other week.
Having someone to talk to really just makes life so much easier.
If you feel you want to speak with a therapist and try counseling, reach out to the Center for Health and Counseling.