Have you ever dealt with the struggle of knowing something is going to be good for you, but still not doing it, like skipping the break room donut or getting your butt to your workout class? I definitely have… sometimes I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to feeling better. This definitely stood true in regards to finding a therapist to help with my anxiety. I remember hearing from so many people about how seeking professional support helped them manage their mental illness, but I couldn't get myself to do it.
As my anxiety became more and more intense, I knew a therapist could be a beneficial partner, but I still put it off. It ultimately took me over a year to finally decide to seek out professional help. So why did it take me so long? Below, I am sharing five reasons why I put off seeing a therapist, to help with my anxiety.
I was worried I wouldn’t like the therapist.
The relationship between a therapist and their client is a special one, and this honestly intimidated me. I hated the thought of going into someone’s office and feeling uncomfortable or realizing that we had zero connection. I knew that I wasn’t going to love every therapist out there and I felt pressured to pick the right one off the bat. Rather than facing the awkwardness of having to tell them it wasn’t going to work, I figured it was just easier if I never picked one.
I didn’t want to deal with insurance.
I want to apologize if you work in health insurance, but I hate working with my insurance company. It’s such a hassle to try to find providers who were covered under my insurance and then try to determine if those covered would work for me. Every time I would log on to my account and attempt to understand what was included in my plan, I felt overwhelmed, lost and straight-up confused. I hate when I don't understand things but what I hate asking for help, even more. So, instead of trying to do the work and determine what was covered, I just gave up and poured a glass of wine.
I didn’t think my illness was legitimate enough.
When I was considering seeking professional help for my anxiety, I always played the same scenario over an over in my head: I would l walk into a therapist’s office, I would start telling them my issues, and they would laugh in my face. I was terrified a therapist would think I was overdramatic and tell me that I didn’t need therapy, and instead what I needed was to snap out of it. I was struggling to even acknowledge my own struggles, and it made me vulnerable. I wasn’t sure my anxiety was severe enough for therapy. I would ask myself, how bad do things need to be to qualify for professional support? Hint: there is no such scale.
I didn’t have time for therapy.
I felt like I barely had time to shower, let alone time to go talk to someone about my feelings. The thought of giving up an hour of my precious day seemed like way too much of a burden. Sure, I probably spent way more time just scrolling through my phone, but I was convinced that a whole hour a week just wouldn’t fit into my busy life. Why even try something that I couldn't make work? Instead, I could just spend so more time feeling anxious, because, yeah, that’s more fun…
I could fix things on my own
I had survived 20 plus years of my life without the support of any professional help, so why would I need one now? I really believed that I could do this whole anxiety thing on my own- I just needed to try a little harder. Others my age didn’t need a therapist and were coping just fine. And, as much as I told myself that I didn’t have a bias to those who sought out help, I honestly was concerned about looking weak. Seeking extra guidance seemed frivolous and excessive. I mean, I knew myself best so why wouldn’t I be the one to figure all my emotions out?
The reality is, I could have come up with another dozen excuses for why I didn’t need to seek out a therapist right away. At the time, I was feeling terrified, intimidated and vulnerable. I really can’t tell you what finally convinced me to seek outside help. Ultimately, it was a combination of things: I was fed up with not feeling like myself, I wanted some validation for what I was experiencing, I let go of the idea that I could handle everything on my own and I had loved ones who encouraged me to get help.
Seeking professional support for my anxiety has indeed been beneficial for my overall wellbeing. I’ve gained so much insight into how my own brain works and how to better cope in my everyday life. If you are also trying to decide if it’s time to seek outside support, I encourage you to stop asking yourself all the reasons you shouldn’t and instead start figuring out all the reason’s you should. I’ll be the first one to tell you that choosing to seek outside help takes vulnerability and courage, but it is worth it.
You’ve got this!