It’s been about a year since I went into therapy for depression and anxiety. It’s not a subject I approach delicately – I’d rather be honest about it, and through open discourse encourage others in my position to seek help where necessary!

I’d never sought help before last winter. In all honesty, I had been too afraid to do so; not a fear of being rejected, or being outcast from society, but afraid that I would be ‘wasting’ medical time. It was only through two very good friends of mine that I finally went to my GP to discuss my options, who assured me that I had done the right thing by going. I’m really grateful to all these people; Bob and Laura for not only supporting me, but for also having the fortitude to not treat me with kid gloves and encourage me to actually get up and go, and the doctor for not using drugs as her first resort.

Throughout the course of my therapy, I learned several very important lessons. I learned where the root of my insecurities lay. I learned to appreciate all the good that I’ve done for myself, and to finally assign value to my own merits. I learned how to deal with my negativity, and how to not let it drag me down. In short, therapy taught me how to reshape my way of thinking, for the better, and without fundamentally changing who I was!

The approach that the therapist took was, I found, very refreshing. In the general public’s view of therapists (post 80s anyway) is of someone who is very touchy-feely, someone whose job consists of treading on eggshells and coddling their patients. I received no such soft treatment. Not to say, of course, that the therapist was unkind or harsh! No, she was firm, authoritative, and assertively supportive. Her ability to steer me away from descending back into my self-pitying/loathing negative spirals really helped reshape my fragile mind.

Since then, of course I still go through the occasional low period; who doesn’t? But I certainly don’t go to the same depths as I used to, and sometimes those were very low places indeed. And anytime now that I do feel helpless, or alone, or frightened, I have the means to fight back. I can feel good about myself, and about life, and about everything that I’ve done.

Therapy helped me, and I hope that anyone reading this who has the same issues as I do will do the right thing as well. Help yourself. See your doctor. Don’t be afraid. You can retake control of your life.