#BreakTheStigma I Have a Therapist

I have issues.

My issues go beyond being fixed over a couple of lattes, a few memes, a funny Snapchat response and a command to be more grateful.
This is why I have a therapist.
On this, the last day of suicide prevention month, I just wanted to say, out loud, that it’s ok to seek professional help. 
A friend posted a clip from The View the other day where the panel was discussing therapy. The two African American women made references to us not really “doing therapy,” like we’ve been taught to not share our problems with strangers and we just learn to work things out.

This is why I have issues.
This is why lots of us have issues; African American women, yes, but people in general. 

We’ve been taught to keep our business to ourselves, fix it ourselves, pray our way out, just let it go, stop thinking about it, choose to not be depressed.

I have a therapist because I have wanted to jump out of a window after talking to people who love me but weren’t objective. They don’t hear me. They hear the culture that says, “if you just do this, you’ll feel better.” Friends and family often times don’t listen. They just want you to stop and “get over it.” They are not trained to help you break patterns. They are not trained to help you hear yourself without judgement. They are trained by the culture that says, “you should be able to get over this on your own and if you’re stuck, it’s your fault.”

I don’t need that. 

People who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, people who are bipolar, schizophrenic, grieving, dealing with addiction or suicidal; they just don’t need that.

I have a therapist.

I’ve had several therapists. 

I believe my life is better because of it.

I am o.k. with you judging me because of it.

Perhaps I am alive because of it.

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6 Responses to #BreakTheStigma I Have a Therapist

  1. I agree that as Black people we need to break the stigma. I was raised with the admonition, “Don’t put your business out in the street.” Also in order to afford therapy America must have Universal Health care. Yes I have health insurance but I know it will cover a limited amount of doctor visits then once you use up that number you are forced to stop. In addition there is a great need for more African American therapists who understand their patients. Have similar experiences, culture and traditions. Plus doctors need to be more flexible in terms of appointments. Two of the reasons I had to stop therapy other than exceeding my allotted number of visits was the therapist did not understand my problems and I felt she offered me No coping strategies or solutions and she got angry when I had to work. I work a job with strange hours therefore I cannot have a set appointment every week. My work schedule makes that impossible. If my job says come in that’s what you do, come in. The job comes first otherwise I could not afford any type of therapy sessions. Believe it or not I actually had an argument with her about my job and medication. I ditched both her and the medications. Since we could not see eye to eye or come to some compromise my therapy ended in 2014 and I made the decision not to seek another therapist. No doctor is willing to understand that I work evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

    • HipHealthyChick says:

      Totally understood, Sister. ❤️ I hope that if you choose to seek therapy again, it will all work in your favor.

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing!

  2. Roxie says:

    This is so true !!! OMG..I have a story to tell you about this !!