By: Janet Angueira

What do most people do when they catch the flu, have a migraine, experience shortness of breath, feel dizzy, or in general don’t “feel like themselves”? Eventually they visit a medical doctor to cures what ails them. Is there an expectation that your diabetes will just go away? Will a broken arm fix itself? Most people seek medical advice in order to eventually feel better.

What do most people do when they experience anxiety that stops them from enjoying their life? What do they do when their sadness prevents them from getting out of bed in the morning? How do they cope with fears that interrupt their inner peace? For most people experiencing these feelings, they simply hope they go away as quickly as possible or worse, they pretend they do not have these feelings, stuffing them down so no one else knows about them. Why? What is the difference between physical discomfort and emotional discomfort?

For most people, the difference is feeling shame that they have something “mental” wrong with them. It’s ok to have diabetes but not to be depressed. It’s ok to admit you have a fever but not anxiety. Many people are afraid that seeking therapy is tantamount to admitting you are crazy.

In the same way a medical doctor can help you to feel better, a psychotherapist can help you to gain insight into your source of depression, anxiety, trauma, fears. Hiding them only gives these feelings power over you. Talking about them, getting perspective on them, reduces their effects on your life, makes you feel better about yourself and about life in general.

Ever hear about the mind/body connection? Both work together to create who we are and how we function in our lives. It does take strength to reach out for help. The first step is to admit that you are struggling, and then make the call to get the help you need.