Seeing a psych

One red robot helps another.

After months of struggling to secure a mental health plan—and much, much longer struggling with my mental health—I have finally been seeing a psychologist.

Dealing with depression and anxiety (and more recently, OCD) throughout my uni experience has been challenging. There were mornings where the sheer act of getting out of bed for class was difficult, days where my brain would refuse to relax so that I could study, and nights where I could not sleep because I was so overcome with anxious thoughts. But now, with a psychologist that I regularly see, I am finally starting to learn how to better manage my mental health.

The process has been a journey, as the daunting task of navigating the phone calls and appointments to secure a mental health plan was exhausting. And even when I first set foot into my psychologist’s room, I felt nervous. My own stigma surrounding a mental health professional (feeling that it was indulgent to talk about my feelings, to spend time complaining or whining about my issues) was holding me back. It took me some time to get used to speaking to someone—and I am still learning how to do so.

But I got to the point where instead of feeling nervous, I was looking forward to meeting with them every few weeks. If I am struggling mentally, and know that I have an appointment coming up, it comforts me. Of course, talking to someone is not an instant fix; there is no magic wand that magically solves all my problems. Yet being able to be validated and reassured about your mental state from a professional has been a truly affirming experience.

With their help, I am beginning to learn how to cope with my struggles. I learned to recognise the patterns behind my anxiety, the triggers of my depression, and the compulsions feeding my OCD. My psychologist has strategies that have helped me build a toolbox of coping mechanisms.

And now, as I am getting better at talking to them, I am starting to see improvements. I am learning to look out for myself more, to embrace what makes me happy and avoid that which makes me sad, and how to calm myself down in challenging moments.

For seeing a psychologist is absolutely not a magical cure, but it is still a lifeline. Having a professional to talk to is always valuable, and I am so glad to finally be on this journey. Though it is ongoing, I am on the path to reclaiming my mental wellbeing through therapy.

Tagged in What messes with your head