cathy terranova blog

A friend asked me when I thought it would be appropriate to recommend that someone see a professional. It got me thinking about how we see “professionals” in the first place.

Often going to therapy requires admitting some kind of defeat. It’s almost as if we’re saying, “I’ve done everything I can do! Help me! I give up!”

But that’s the exact wrong way to look at seeing a therapist or even taking medication. We don’t do the same thing with physical ailments. If you broke your leg you wouldn’t go to the doctor after it didn’t heal right, you’d go to the emergency room as soon as you could after breaking it. Going to therapy shouldn’t happen because we feel like we’re out of options but more often than not, that’s why people go.

Stigma is a big pain in the ass. It makes you feel things that aren’t true. It’s not shameful to go to therapy. It’s not shameful to be sick. It’s also not shameful to be a person who needs to talk some things out. Therapy is for everyone, not just those of us with severe mental illness. I’ve known people to go after losing a loved one, having cancer, or because of relational issues. I’ve known people who have gone to therapy for a few sessions, a few months, or a few years.

My recommendation is that everyone go to therapy. Go talk to someone who is trained to listen, to see the unhealthy things you’re doing, and to help you stop. We all do unhealthy things. We have bad relationships with food, our families, people, significant others. We struggle to feel satisfied with our lives and accomplishments. We keep running into the same issues and don’t understand why. This is where it’s good to talk it out with someone who isn’t your friend, your family, or your spouse.

Another friend of mine told me once that if you are sad you should check three things
Are you hungry?
Are you sleepy?
Are you lonely?

If a good meal, seeing a friend, and a good night’s rest don’t make you feel better it may be normal or it could be something more serious.

The point is that if you’re taking care of yourself; exercising, eating well, maintaining healthy relationships, sleeping enough– you should feel alright. Check those boxes and see how you feel. If it’s hard to check those boxes don’t beat yourself up, it means you need to talk to someone. Not being well makes it hard to take care of yourself.

It’s not a shameful thing to see a therapist. It’s not just for people with “real problems”.

I always say: What’s heavier? A pound of bricks or a pound of feathers?

You may feel like you just have feathers but it weighs on you just the same. You’re worth taking care of, so take care of yourself.




photo credit: <a href=”″>Try</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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