My Mental Health JourneyHere To Hear Therapy
My Journey in Psychology
A lot of people come and ask me what led me to psychology and why I choose to ‘listen to people’s problems for a living. While that’s not all I do, here’s a bit of a backstory of why I choose to become a psychologist.
Living with cerebral palsy limits my physical movement. I have always leveraged my listening skills to build strong social relationships. I have had to face attitudinal and infrastructural barriers throughout my journey. My experience of difference and ‘Othering’ led me to psychology. It was possibly my attempt to understand why I was either left unseen or treated differently.
My Experience With Depression
In the urge to understand these reasons, I forgot one very important thing, to take care of my mental health. I refused to acknowledge the impact of my disability on my mental health. Further, my urge to support fellow disabled adults pushed me to pursue disability studies and also carry out a qualitative study on lived experiences. What I forgot to prepare for was the impact my thesis will have on me. This was my first tryst with depression. In a few weeks, I knew I couldn’t do it alone and needed therapy. However, finding a therapist was harder than I thought, even as a psychology student.
The first therapist I went to simply told me to take a break, something I knew wasn’t a solution. Eventually, I fell into an avoidance trap and Netflixed my way into life. Another one told me to simply meditate through it. It was only my fifth and final therapist who helped; with multiple attempts to change my location. I do not want anyone to go through this. So, here’s a guide on how to find a therapist.
I also began to find my way out of psychology. How could I stay in a profession that couldn’t support me in the first place? (That of course was a thought coming from depression-generated negative thinking patterns). I went on to test the waters in the corporate world. Which I enjoyed. However, I soon realized that the corporate sector wasn’t for me. And I was lost again. This was also the time when we were living through a pandemic and the condition in India was terrible, to say the least. A combination of quitting my job and covid drove me to depression again. Don’t beat yourself up if depression keeps knocking at your door repeatedly, a relapse is a common feature of depression). Thoughts of self-harm were also a close friend.
This is also a time when I started looking for mental health support again and started my practice full-time. While doing my practice I was lucky to find a great supervisor in Srishti Narula who also connected me to my current therapist. Trust me when I say, therapy and therapists save lives.
Starting HeretoHear Therapy
Fast forward to today, almost two years into the future. I have a successful practice ‘HeretoHear Therapy’. Through my practice, I have facilitated workshops and training for over one thousand individuals working in the domain of disabilities, anxiety, depression, and acculturative stress3. Additionally, we have worked directly with 50+ individuals through one-on-one sessions and have taken them closer to understanding their professional why and how.
I am sharing my mental health journey to show you that therapy works and that therapists need mental health support as well. This blog is not intended to scare you or increase the stigma around mental health difficulties.