Asking For A Friend
Building a healthy lifestyle: your go-to column for uncomfortable questions

Have a health-related question that you’re not too sure who to talk about? Not sure where to go for advice? 

Hi, I’m Samira—you might remember me as the Photos Editor from last year’s masthead at The Medium. I’m still rocking that role, but now I am eager to also be your friendly neighborhood health fairy! Did a gigantic pimple decide to grace your face with its presence right before a huge presentation? Well, you’ll find a solution right here in this column. Your ex left you with a broken heart and herpes?! Although we at The Medium are not medical professionals, I can certainly give you tips for managing the herpes—though you should check out The Knotty Corner for the broken heart. 

Today, let’s talk about therapists. Whether you’ve had one or considered seeing one, you’ve probably heard a few eyebrow-raising remarks about them.

You know the drill: people say things like “Therapists just listen and nod,” or “Therapy is for weak people.” There was even a 2022 TikTok trend where individuals humorously claimed, “I overshared with my therapist,” followed by an image of a mental asylum. These trends and stereotypes signal a huge, widespread mistrust of therapists. 

Let’s set the record straight: therapy isn’t merely about someone silently nodding at your life story and watching you cry. It’s a professional journey towards understanding yourself and improving your emotional well-being. Therapists are trained experts who’ve put in the hours to earn their position and to help you achieve a more fulfilling life. They excel at guiding us through complex thoughts, emotions, and life’s tricky twists and turns, providing us with sympathy, understanding, and a better comprehension of our feelings

You might have found yourself contemplating therapy but been held back by fears of potential negative outcomes given the stigma surrounding it. Perhaps you’ve heard rumours that seeking help from a professional could jeopardize your chances of getting into your dream school, or you’ve been warned that your health history might be used against you in the future. I understand where these concerns may stem from and want to remind you that you most definitely are not alone. 

However, it is necessary to remember that your well-being should always come first. Prioritizing your mental and emotional health is not a weakness, but a courageous first step towards self-improvement. If your concerns are holding you back, you may first consider getting a consultation or even make an anonymous call to the Health & Counseling Center here at UTM. The center will provide you with valuable information, guidance, and resources on how to proceed with whatever situation you find yourself in. This gives you an opportunity to discuss your worries, clarify any doubts, and understand the available resources without going on any record. 

Therapists are like coaches for your mind, and seeking their help isn’t just okay; it’s a smart move toward a happier and healthier you. Certain mental health problems can lead to decreased concentration and productivity, mood swings, and emotional dysregulation, affecting your academic performance, relationships, and your overall quality of life. You deserve to be healthy in every way, and therapists can show you how to take care of your mind the way it deserves to be taken care of.

Photos Editor (Volume 49; August-December, Volume 50) — Samira is pursuing a Neuroscience Specialist while simultaneously learning and building skills in Photography. She is inspired by seeing the impacts of visual communication on people’s perspectives, understanding, and behaviour. She seeks to cultivate a safe environment where students express their creativity freely and convert their passions into purposes. In her free time, she is probably at the beach or fighting over the last piece of nachos.


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