Q: My wife, as well as other family and friends have suggested that I seek out therapy to work on how I deal with stress, as well as some other things. But I'm not crazy, and I don't want to feel crazy by going to therapy. Isn't therapy for people with serious mental health issues?
A: Actually, the vast majority of those attending therapy are not "crazy" at all. The majority of the clients seeking out therapy are doing so because they have encountered a life situation that they need an outside perspective on, and need the perspective and guidance that only a professional can provide. Although friends and family can offer a tremendous amount of support to loved ones, they may be unable to provide that actual guidance that one needs to overcome life's obstacles and hardships. Oftentimes in life, we experience things such as parenting difficulties, marital problems, job-related stress, death/loss, depression, anxiety, etc. and we manage to work through it on our own. But other times, we may struggle to adjust to these situations to the point that our mood and functioning is impaired in some way. And when that happens, one might benefit from the support and guidance of a therapist. Therapy is a way to take a look at life from different angles and get in touch with one's innermost drives and motivators, both conscious and subconscious. But it is also an opportunity to work on basic problem solving and coping skill development. The majority of those entering therapy are diagnosed with one of the Adjustment Disorders, which is the diagnosis that describes a person struggling to adjust to a life circumstance. Every person on the planet experiences adjustment difficulties, which makes it a normal abnormality encountered over the course of a person's life. So, while some choose to ride out their struggles to deal with life's hardships, others choose to expedite the process by getting the support and guidance of a professional, so that they might get through it and get on with their lives. And that, is not "crazy" at all. That's a smarter, more efficient appropach to tackling problems and issues.
Thank you for your question, and good luck with therapy. You just might enjoy it, as most people tend to.
"Feel like I'm heading for a breakdown. And I don't know why. But I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell. I know, right now you can't tell, but just stay awhile and maybe then you'll see, a different side of me." Rob Thomas/Matchbox Twenty