When I was in a dark place in my life I was fortunate enough to have love and support of my family and friends. I could talk to anyone. Meet up for coffee. Hang out at the museum. Whatever I wanted to do, they were up for it.
But it did not make me feel better. I still went to sleep and woke up with the pain of depression.
So why did I not go to a therapist to help me manage and get through life?
Well. Many reasons. I didn’t know how to get started. I didn’t know anyone that had gone to a therapist. I didn’t think my issue was bad enough to speak to a professional. Despite having suicidal tendencies!
I didn’t think my issue was bad enough to speak to a professional. Despite having suicidal tendencies!
There are many more reasons why we don’t seek counseling. But here’s a list of at least 10 reasons why Desis don’t go to a therapist.
What will people think?
The Brown Stigma! Yikes. Do you know an Auntie or Uncle who has spoken to you about how great they feel everytime they talk to their therapist? Hell no! Aunties and Uncles seem like the first people to judge you for it. At least that’s what we think. Because we are being judged and compared in all other regards.
But think about it for one second. If that is ever the case. Then that is an unhealthy relationship. And it is none of their business that you are looking out for yourself.
I won’t talk to a stranger
Understandably your problem is very personal. If you’ve never spoken to a therapist before, how do you tell someone you haven’t met before intimate parts of your life?
If you give it a shot, you’ll find that most therapist work very hard to put you at ease the first time you meet them. They’re trained to. And if you still don’t feel that connection, you always have the option to move on. It’s common to seek out a therapist that best fits what you are looking for.
My problem is not that bad
Everyone has issues with school, money or relationships at one point or another. So why is your struggle special?
Because you are special. We each have unique circumstances and cope with pressures of life in our own way. Comparison won’t help you in the long run.
God will help me through this
I’m not religious. But I see how much solace religion provides to those that follow that path. If the good book gives you guidance in your life, then that is a wonderful thing. But if you’re still battling pain. Then please consider talking to a mental health professional.
I am not spending money on therapy
This is a valid enough reason for those that cannot afford therapy. They range from $60 to $200. Some insurance don’t cover counseling. Or your chosen counselor does not accept your insurance.
However you’ll still find that many therapist are willing to go on a sliding scale. And you can consider group therapy. Which in and of itself provides additional support that could be beneficial depending on your situation.
Desis just don’t go to therapy
It’s true. I haven’t spoken to any South Asian that has gone to therapy. And if I talk about my experience, they are taken aback by how openly I am talking about it.
I remember that when I was exploring seeing a therapist, it was brushed of as a white people thing to do. Mental health is not just for white people! They do seem to go more often and speak more openly than us. But we deserve the freedom from our demons too!
All I need is a distraction to take my mind of things
Distraction can be a good thing or bad. Drug, sex, work, a night out, or anything that helps you artificially take the pain away can become addicting. While watching mindless movie so your brain isn’t racing with thoughts is a good coping mechanism. And examples of healthy distractions are exercise, meditation or a hobby. If it carries you through the day, you should continue with your routine.
But don’t forget, that sooner or later you have to face head on the problem that is driving you to distraction in the first place.
I don’t think it will work
It may not. But I promise you that the healing power of active listening from a professional is a gift you have to give yourself. Experience what it is to speak from the heart without being judged. Do you really trust a non-trained professional to react adequately when you speak about a trauma you may have experienced? These reasons alone are enough to give you the incentive to seek the right counselor for you.
It’ll get better if I don’t think about it
This is generally something you’ll hear from other people. You could be asking for professional help or asking for help directly from a family member, and they will dismiss your pain by saying just this. “Don’t think about it.”
Aargh! It is the worst thing to say someone who is going through a hard time. They find the strength to ask for help and we brush them off without regard? You cannot be meaner to your worst enemy.
I don’t know where to start
This is a legitimate block to getting to a therapist’s room. Do you ask for a referral like a lawyer or plumber? Or do you just google “therapist near me”?
Both are legitimate ways. I did the latter and it worked out for me. I had no one to tell me who is a good therapist because I did not know a single human being that had gone to one. And if I did ask, I think they were more uncomfortable than me on the topic.
If you’ve used any of these excuses in the past, this is a sign for you to take action. You deserve a happy and fulfilling life.