Why don't more people go to therapy or counseling? Is it the stigma of being considered crazy or weak? Is it the vulnerability needed to share some of one's deepest thoughts and secrets to a complete stranger? Or perhaps it's the cost that usually isn't covered by insurance. Whatever the reason, this is why I believe we have such a mental health crisis in our world. People aren't getting the help they need.
I'm a huge advocate for seeing a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, or what have you. I have been multiple times over the last ten years, and it has helped immensely. However, there were many occasions that I wish I would have sought help and didn't:
1) Age 6: When my parents got divorced.
2) Age 7: When my mom remarried and we moved to a new town.
3) Ages 14-18: Through high school I struggled with what I now realize was depression/anxiety, but I blamed it on teenage hormones.
4) Age 18: When I moved away to college. Even though I was only an hour from home, I cried almost every day for the first couple months.
5) Age 18: After my car accident. I swerved to miss a dead coyote in the middle of the interstate and flipped my car multiple times in the median. I walked away unscathed.
It wasn't until shortly after I got married at age 21 that I went to my first counseling session. My husband made me realize I needed some outside support. I went a few times for a year, but my main reason for not being consistent was the cost. We were broke college students, so we couldn't afford $60 a month for very long.
The most momentous occurrence that I should have sought therapy for was the unexpected death of my dad five years ago. That messed me up in ways that I didn't even realize. And just a few months after he passed, my first daughter was born and I think I had a little bit of postpartum depression. I didn't go to a counselor again until my daughter was a year and a half. Everything had caught up with me, and I fell into the biggest pit of depression I've ever been in. Counseling helped me climb out.
I think a lot of people don't think or realize they need counseling. They may believe they can get through it on their own, but there are some things you just can't conquer with sheer will power or even just prayer alone. And therapy doesn't have to be for only traumatic events or major life changes. It's there even for the smallest of challenges.
There's no shame in getting help from an outside source. Doing so doesn't mean you're crazy or weak. It means you're human, and sometimes life can become a little too much to handle. Having an impartial person with training that will assist you in navigating through your pain, feelings, and emotions could be the best thing for you.