They tried to make me go to therapy, and I said no, no, no.

Thanks to Amy for that inspiration.

All of us experience negative emotions from time to time. Past events and experiences which cannot be changed, shape us as individuals. They can also sow the seeds of disturbance which, after a real or imaginary trigger (past or present) germinate now. Much as we might like to, trying to predict or control the future for ourselves is just not realistic or achievable; we are always going to be buffeted by events.

So, where is this stating the blooming obvious leading to? Well, it’s reasonable to say that psychological disturbance is part of the human condition. Our highly developed brains inevitably hold past thoughts and memories, as well as trying to create certainty about the future. We can’t get away from this.

Right, so we are gonna get disturbed – then what? Well, there are several approaches one can take. We may be unaware of the problems that makes us feel the way we feel. So, we soldier on in blissful ignorance. We may be aware of these problems, though financial/societal circumstances or our inflated egos lead to us putting on a front or perhaps adopting a “stiff upper lip.” We may also deny there is a problem – the “it’s not relevant to me, I’m immune to it and it’s something that happens to other people” way of thinking.

Possibly the most alarming response is to “keep uncalm and carry on.” We know we are psychologically disturbed and that it is affecting us (and others around us) in a negative way, but we carry on regardless. This can be revealed as brain fog, lack of focus, irritability, negative thinking or just feeling out of kilter. Our body also keeps score and reminds us through constant tiredness, illnesses, aches and pains and a lack of that most invaluable thing – sleep. This malaise is similar to when weeds are not removed from a garden – they can spread very quickly and inevitably take over.

In all these situations, seeking support, guidance and advice can be helpful. That word therapy, can have a strong effect on people – is it a “badge” of self-awareness, pro-activity, courage and determination? Or is it a sign of being defeatist, an admission of failure or a catalyst for feelings of embarrassment and shame?

Well, it can be all those things, and more – it depends on who we are, where we are in life and our character. One thing is for sure, it’s not a sign of weakness – indeed acknowledging vulnerability is a sign of strength and courage as a person. When making a decision about therapy, it’s also worth thinking about the costs and benefits of it and whether it is likely to help us achieve our goals in life. Nothing like good rational business analysis to focus the mind.

So, after eventually assessing where we are, rationally or emotionally, perhaps the outcome becomes “they tried to make me go to therapy and I said yes, yes, yes.”