Most people make the mistake of waiting too long to seek the help they need, in part due to not having adequate knowledge or having misgivings about therapy and in part due to mental health still being considered a taboo in today’s world. Unfortunately, therapy is treated as the last resort when it really could be the primary solution when things don’t feel right in a person’s life. People wait for years, even decades, dealing with an issue until they get to a breaking point. Couples wait till they are on the brink of divorce. Families go through generations of conflict and misunderstandings without ever considering therapy. Let me assure you, you don’t have to be “crazy”, on the brink of insanity, or in some state of psychosis to go see a therapist. Nor do you have to wait till your relationship(s) are falling apart. Nor do you have to be in a major crisis to see a therapist. Therapy does not have to be, and should not be, the last resort.
While going to therapy late is better than never going at all, waiting long can make therapy a long and difficult process. Depending on the severity of the issue, the therapist has to work with you through several layers of emotions, hurts, anxiety, defenses, and traumas in order to help you achieve change and/or resolution. On the other hand, the therapist also has to manage your expectations of wanting immediate results. The longer you wait to go to therapy, the more difficult (but not impossible!) change can be to accomplish.
Think of therapy as prevention of a problem from becoming worse. Consider this: When we start feeling sick, we go to a doctor to prevent a serious illness from developing. When the brakes in our car don’t function optimally, we take it to the mechanic to prevent an accident. When the faucet in our sink begins to leak, we call the plumber to prevent a flood. Why don’t we treat our mental health with the same urgency and care? Why don’t we place the same value and importance on our relationships? Next time you experience tension or conflict in any of your relationships, or when you find yourself struggling with something in your personal life, consider therapy as the first line of defense against things becoming worse or spiraling out of control.