When you feel depressed, anxious, insecure, angry, paranoid, or otherwise shitty, you've probably asked yourself, "Am I the only one who feels like this?" at least once.
AND GUESS WHAT. You're seriously, definitely not the only one dealing with some unsavory stuff you might need to work through.
To help you feel less alone, we asked therapists what feelings and worries come up again and again in therapy, no matter what specific unique issues a client is dealing with. Turns out, no matter what you're going through, more people than you might think can probably relate, and maybe there's some comfort in knowing that other people are going through it, too.
Special thanks to the mental health professionals who provided intel for this post: clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, PhD; clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, PhD; former clinical psychologist and author Alice Boyes, PhD; Beth Rue, MSS, LSW, primary therapist at Summit Behavioral Health; Vancouver, Canada-based clinical counselor Joanna Boyd, MCP; psychologist and director of medical services at Delphi Behavioral Health Marc Romano, PsyD; clinical psychologist Amanda Zayde, PsyD; Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine; clinical psychologist Jennifer L. Taitz, PsyD; clinical social worker Gabriela Parra, LCSW; Barbara Nosal, PhD, chief clinical officer at Newport Academy; and several therapists who wished to remain anonymous.
1. You ruminate on the tiniest shit, even though you know it's irrational.
2. You still don't feel like an actual grown-up.
3. You don't think anyone finds you attractive.
4. You feel like everyone is always watching you or judging your decisions.
5. You worry that you're crazy.
6. You think if people knew the real you, they wouldn't like you.
7. You have random violent, bizarre, or gross thoughts that freak you out.
8. You feel at a loss about how to form connections and meaningful relationships.
9. You think everyone is definitely happier than you.
10. You have total impostor syndrome.
11. You think it's your responsibility to get rid of negative feelings like anger, sadness, envy, etc.
12. You worry you're a horrible person because you don't care as much about a family member as you think you should.
13. You've had passing thoughts of suicide.
14. You think everyone is hanging out without you.
15. You don't think anyone can relate to what you're going through.
16. You keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself because you figure no one cares.
17. You just feel really freaking alone.
And remember, just because these issues are common doesn't mean you should have to live with them — plenty of people can and do get help and work through these feelings, and there's no shame in that.
By the way, if you’re feeling curious about therapy yourself, you can learn more about how to start here, since pretty much everyone can benefit from talking to a professional. For more information on free and affordable mental health care options, check out this guide.
And if you need to talk to someone immediately, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found here.