Let me preface this entry by saying that I love the show Skins.  For those who don’t know, it’s like a British Degrassi.  Except Degrassi sucks, and this show is awesome.  But I have one problem with it – the way it portrays members of the mental health profession.  I know it’s basically a teenage soap opera, and the drama is totally necessary, but psychologists and psychiatrists are not experimenting on people with weirdo new techniques or giving out drugs without any counseling.

I bring this up because I happen to be seeing a psychologist right now.  I saw her 2 years ago when I was dealing with a relatively major depressive episode (clinically speaking – clearly I have some personal experience with this stuff, plus it’s a lot of what I study at school).  And now I’m seeing her again because of how down I’ve been feeling lately and because, to be blunt, I was recently sexually assaulted.

Have you ever tried to talk about an issue like that with your best friend? Or your mom?  (If you’ve ever unfortunately experienced something similar).  It doesn’t really help.  My friends are young and either don’t have the experience to understand or are jaded by their own experience, and their comfort is… well, not that comforting.  I’ve even had people try to make jokes to ease the mood.  And my mom got really upset, understandably.  It was far too emotionally difficult for her to hear, which made me shift my focus onto her feelings, rather than making myself feel better about what happened.

Anyway, this psychologist has given me an outlet that no one else can.  She’s objective and trained to be a good listener and give good advice.  Since seeing her again, just once so far, my perspective has totally shifted and I am getting back into that happiness I was basking in at the beginning of the summer.  I can’t even explain how helpful it is to have someone who is not tangled in the experiences that are affecting me be there to talk to.  I don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or worry that their advice/opinion will be biased.

The point of my rambling is this: I believe in the mental health field.  There are definitely some quacks out there, because there are bad apples in all professions, but their behavior should not tarnish the reputation of people who can truly help you.  I’m posting this for a couple of reasons.  One, I just want to kind of shout to the (internet) world that I am back to my old happy self and I want to give credit where credit is due.  Two, and more importantly, I want to encourage anyone who has experienced what I went through to seek out all the help they can get.  Some people in your life do not understand the trauma of sexual assault or rape.  They just don’t.  If you’re struggling in anyway like I was,  find someone who does understand.

You deserve to believe that it wasn’t your fault and that you can move on.  I deserve it, and you deserve it.


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