That post clearly made an impact, because it inspired a ton of responses from the BuzzFeed Community, with even more actionable advice. Here are just a few:
1. "My therapist told me to visualize my 5-year-old self and tell her the stuff I say to my present self every day. Only then would I realize how harsh I was being, and how I was stunting my own emotional growth."
2. "'So, basically, you weren't wanted as a child.' I'd never heard anyone cut to the core like that."
4. "'You can become so accustomed to feeling depressed that you subconsciously sabotage things when they start to feel better. You can unlearn that! The key is to not shame yourself.'"
"My depression colors everything in my life sometimes, and even if I hate it, it feels familiar, so when I’m starting to come out of a bad period it’s as though I get scared I’ll be let down, so I find myself leaning toward self-destructive habits. It’s normal and okay to feel afraid and feel inclined to go back to what feels familiar, but it’s important to allow yourself to feel that and still choose to move forward healthily anyway."
5. "My therapist reminds me every session that my feelings, perspectives, lived experiences, and emotions about my adoption are real and valid. Growing up in a society that places adoption on such a pedestal of toxic positivity, it’s hard as an adoptee to feel heard, acknowledged, and validated with all the many complex, layered, nuanced, and traumatic feelings we have and go through every day of our lives."
6. "'Death isn't the only thing you can grieve.' I was explaining that before my grandfather passed I'd never experienced grief, but she pointed out that just because I hadn't lost someone close to me before, it didn't mean I hadn't had to grieve for other things I'd lost. It's made me allow myself to grieve for those other things and heal from them."
7. "I've always struggled with setting boundaries and saying no. Recently, a friend asked me to be a bridesmaid in her out-of-state wedding. With everything going on, I felt like it would be way too much for me. It took a lot of mental pep talks, but I finally told her no. When discussing it with my therapist, I started saying that my friend has mental health issues, too, so that's probably why she was so understanding. My therapist said, 'Stop. Stop trying to give her reasons for how well she responded. Accept that you said no and everything was okay, simply because saying no is okay.'"
8. “'It’s just a thought. It’s not the truth.' It’s helped me a lot with anxiety and panic attacks."
9. "There’s not always a right or wrong decision. Morally, sure, killing is wrong, and honesty is usually right, etc. But when it comes to life’s decisions, all you can do is make the best decision for you with the given information you have in that moment. That changed the way I made decisions because I would be paralyzed by, 'Is this the right thing to do?' There’s no way to know, and if I look back and think, that was the wrong choice, I can’t beat myself up because I made the best choice for me with the info I had in that moment. Of course, looking back, I have more info so I can say I would've made a different decision, but ultimately everything I’ve done has made me who I am, and I’ve learned, so I can’t truly regret it."
10. "'You put a premium on logic. If you spend your whole life expecting others to do the same, you're in for a lifetime of hurt and misunderstanding.'"
11. “'It’s important to learn who they are, but also who they aren’t.' I had a very hard time working through my dad's infidelity and my lifelong struggle to have a positive relationship with him, but once I accepted that he is not just my dad but a person with faults and certain capabilities, it made it easier for me to move forward and stop blaming myself for our relationship."
12. "I was struggling with always conforming to the wants and desires of others, and trying to fit into this perfect box of who I thought I should be, rather than who I actually was. My therapist told me that if there is one thing I have an absolute right to in this world, it’s to live as my true and authentic self. After she said that, it clicked. Life is too short to not be living as exactly who I am at that moment, good or bad."
13. “'You’re not gonna solve anything at 3 a.m. If you can solve it, solve it right away, and if you can’t, it’s not gonna get fixed in the middle of the night anyway.' A small one, but it did have a huge impact on the quality of my sleep."
14. "In response to downplaying my hardships when compared to the hardships of others: 'It’s not the Suffering Olympics.'"
15. "She asked me, 'You keep waiting for the shoe to drop or for a ball in the sky to fall on you. What if there is no ball?'"
16. "I was really frustrated with myself for 'being too sensitive' and asked my therapist what was even the point of having feelings. She said, 'Emotions are like the body's response to heat, or cold, or pain. They tell you whether you're in a situation that is good for you, or that something needs to change.' It helped me be a lot less angry with myself, and I learned to respect and listen to my emotional responses."
17. 'You’re missing a father you never had.' After my dad died, I had a lot of guilt about our strained relationship, but she reminded me that what I was mourning wasn’t actually real…just an idealized version I created after his death. Kind of like how people get 'sainted' after they die but were really kind of terrible in life."
18. "As a teenager, I felt like I wouldn’t amount to anything and die alone because of my social awkwardness, anxiety, etc. I’m so much like my dad in that way; he’s honestly worse than I am. My psychiatrist pointed this out to me and said, 'He’s a successful, well-respected doctor who is married and has a family — he’s able to do it despite his social issues, so why can’t you?' It didn’t hit me right away, but when what she said sunk in, my perspective on life did a 180."
19. And finally, "After a collective 20 years in therapy and healing work, my therapist told me (paraphrasing): 'The hard work is done. You’ve done it all. Now live your life. Enjoy yourself. You’re THERE.' That made me stop to reflect and appreciate my life, and the hard work that I did to become the person I am today."
Did a therapist ever say something that changed your perspective? Tell us in the comments.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.nami.orgHome | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental IllnessNAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.