World Mental Health day – is Counselling worth it?

World Mental Health day
I’ve talked openly before about struggling with Anxiety in the hope that others can relate and feel comfortable with sharing
their stories. In honour of World Mental Health day, I think it’s so important to encourage awareness about
mental health as much as we do physical health. I really wish this kind of
narrative existed when I was younger and was struggling, maybe I would
have gotten help sooner if I felt like it was more ‘accepted.’ For those that
haven’t read my previous blog posts about mental health (then why not? Go and
check them out!) then I’ll do a brief history of my journey.

Teenage Anxiety

 I have suffered with some sort of
Anxiety since I was a teenager. I put on a confident front as most teenagers
do, but social situations often made me feel anxious and insecure. Which is
probably why I enjoyed drinking so much, to make me feel more confident. I felt fully secure and comfortable around my family, but the
truth is my siblings and I grew up in a bit of a bubble and always had each
other to lean on. Once you become a teenager and start becoming more
independent and learning more about yourself, that’s often when Anxiety rears its head
and you question who you are and whether you’re really good enough.

Being a teenager has SO much added pressure. You worry about everything and it’s so overwhelming trying to deal with emotions that you don’t understand. You have the pressure of doing well in school, the pressure of figuring out what type of career path you want to take, the pressure of dating. And the pressure of body image for teenage girls (and boys) is something that can damage our self-esteem going into adulthood. One of my biggest problems with Anxiety is that I have
always put too much pressure on myself. I hate failing, I hate not being good
at something. Which is where a lot of my issues with Anxiety stem from, always
striving to be the best version of myself. I was never happy just being me, whatever that may be.

Is Counselling worth it?
I want to talk about my experience with Counselling because
I honestly found it to be such an amazing tool that too many people are quick
to judge or don’t think it’s ‘for them’. I’ve always been an open person when it
came to how I felt but the thought of having to do this with a stranger still
terrified me. I was terrified of what they might tell me about
myself. I was lucky enough to receive free counselling sessions through work since I was really suffering in the build-up to my wedding. I had symptoms of stress, overwhelm, sleep deprivation, lack of appetite and generally feeling anxious on a
daily basis.

If you’re thinking, ‘Is Counselling for me?’ here is my experience. My Counsellor was lovely and made me feel totally at ease.
You worry about the questions that they’ll ask, or whether you’ll even have anything
to talk about. But they have a way of approaching things that once they’ve
asked a question, you just started opening up and one thing leads to another.
Counselling makes you feel like the way you feel is completely normal, and it’s
okay. It gives you an opportunity to offload all of your feelings without
someone judging you. This person has heard it all before and won’t think that
you’re weird. And you never have to see them again once your sessions are done.
They give you things to think about, things to work on and tools for how to cope
moving forward. One of the greatest and most useful tools that I learnt was how to meditate when I started to feel overwhelmed.

Talk to someone

If anyone is struggling and thinking about asking for help then
I can only speak positively about Counselling. Even if you can’t face speaking
to someone in person, there are people that you can call and chat to
anonymously without judgement. Or be brave and trust a friend, a colleague or a
family member. I promise you that they might not understand it, but if they
love you they’ll at least listen and you’ll feel much less alone.

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