Have You Thought About Seeing a Therapist?

“There’s a melancholy in me that never goes away. I’m 50% happy and 50% sad at any given moment.” – Billy Bob Thorton

As a humanist, there’s a melancholy in me that never goes away as well. Some of the happiest moments in my life are interrupted by some of the saddest and most disturbing thoughts. I blame it on one of my worst flaws – I’m too empathetic. The simple fact that people in this world are literally suffering as I write makes it hard to even enjoy the sweet agony of the process. During those transitions from sheer jubilation to deep dejection and back, the age-old axiom always rings in my head, “ignorance is bliss.”

Bliss has been quite fleeting as of late and unfortunately, it is a side effect of being a humanist. Friends, family and even strangers have added news episodes to my melancholy over the years. See, I’ve always been a person that people confide their most personal feelings and experiences in. As much as it is an honor to be deemed worthy of helping people through their toughest of times, it is emotionally and mentally taxing. I innately absorb their pain in the process of leading them to (hopefully) safer and sounder grounds.

Of all the questions I’ve asked during countless conversations, there was always one that got the worst response – “Have you thought about seeing a therapist?”

Each and every initial response was filled with reticence, dismissal and vehement denouncement. In the back of my mind, I get furious just as much as I get disheartened with their responses, but honestly, who could blame them? We as a global society are at the point where a person who is on the brink of implosion fails to seek professional counseling due to perception.

They, like millions of others, have been conditioned to look at therapy as taboo.

This is one of the most dangerous and poisonous cultures festering behind the closed doors of millions of homes around the world. The taboo associated with seeing a therapist perpetuates the abuse a