3 Reasons Why Twenty-Somethings Should Start Going To Therapy

Stephanie DeAngelis

Therapy.

We don’t talk about it, but most of us need it.

As an observant twenty-something year old, I know most of us need it. We’re told our twenties are supposed to be the golden times of our lives, the era which we should feel and act the most alive. I know so many people my age who feel lost, abandoned, and confused instead. Much like our teenage years, milestones happen whether we like it or not, whether we’ve been prepared for them or not, and often we are underprepared. Alongside this, many of us haven’t yet processed our teenage years (so traumatizing, by the way), so while we are being pushed out of our nests and expected to know how to fly, we are also still carrying the weight of the past into the future.

I see it taking a toll on my peers. I see them scared to speak their inner dialogue out loud, hesitant to believe having a conversation with an emotionally intelligent stranger could help them patch up unseen wounds, and scared of the stigma that still surrounds the idea of going to therapy. I see them wanting to get better, not just for themselves but for their partners and possible children, but frozen in a state of hopelessness.

I started going to therapy while I was in high school and have had an on-again-off-again relationship with it ever since. I love it, and I wish more people my age would go.

You learn to be more aware of yourself when you go to therapy.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a girl friend ask, “Why do I keep going back to this toxic guy?” or a boy friend ask, “Why can’t I get a handle on my anger?”, I’d be going to a university instead of community college. There’s so many things we do unconsciously, but not totally unknown reasons.

I remember one of the biggest questions I asked myself before going to therapy was, “Why am I scared of relationships?”. I didn’t date at all in high school, and I didn’t have crushes on anyone either. The idea alone would send me into a fit of tears. When I started going to therapy, we started talking about my parents’ divorce right away, as it was a highlighted event in my life at the time. After some inner reflection, it became clear that their divorce set me up to feel hesitantly towards my own budding feelings and relationships. It’s not a groundbreaking discovery, but it was my first lesson on how to reflect on myself.

So many people my age do not know how to pause on their reactions and think about why they want to respond the way they do. But this is how change begins to happen. Going to therapy not only gives us someone who can do it for us, but it also gives us someone who can hold our hand (metaphorically) through teaching ourselves how to do this.

Then we get to walk away with a new life skill that is so awesome and so powerful. The sooner we learn it, the better.

It gives you a safe space for your emotions during a busy time of major change.

Twenty-somethings are juggling so much all the time. We are still navigating the journey of growing up while also being handed an armful of new responsibilities, such as our own families, college, and careers. There are not enough hours in the day, meaning that there is rarely enough time to pause, breathe, and check in on ourselves. There is little time to hold ourselves accountable to the progress we want to make mentally and emotionally.

Going to therapy would allow for a dedicated amount of time for our deepest selves. It also allows for a dedicated place, a room where we can embrace our messiness with no judgement and then walk away. Bring your baggage in, throw the dirty things around, and it’s okay to leave it exactly where it is because you’ll be back soon to start cleaning it up. Leave your bedroom for sleeping, your desk for working, and let yourself have a space to heal.

It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, so now is the time for therapy.

One quote that haunts me every day is from The Breakfast Club. “God, do you think we’re gonna be like our parents?”

I’ve asked this question to many people my age, and they echo the same anxieties. I see a lot of them say they’ve tried to help their parents open their minds to progressive, health change, but with defeat almost every time. I like to think that everyone has the ability to change for the better no matter what phase of their life they are in, but there’s no denying that the older most people get, the less they likely they are to change their bad behaviors.

If we don’t start now, we might never. That’s a really scary and really motivating thought. Best to do it while our brains are still growing, so that there’s less work to do in the future.

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It was only a matter of time before I’d start posting my ramblings online as if they mean anything significant. “Turning Twenty One” available at Barnes&Noble

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Aaliyah Hernandez

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It was only a matter of time before I’d start posting my ramblings online as if they mean anything significant. “Turning Twenty One” available at Barnes&Noble

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