This is the seventh post in a series of entries I will be writing on Post-College Depression.
In the first post of this series I talked about what post-college depression is and typical symptoms and causes. In the second post we discussed how a lack of a sense of control over one's life can result in millennials and emerging adults from Generation Y developing post-college depression. In the third we talked about how the tyranny of choice and high expectations can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression after college. In the fourth we talked about how you can use positive psychology techniques to combat postcollege depression, anxiety, and stress. In the fifth we talked about how you can use journal writing to conquer the postcollege blues. In the sixth we took a look at how you can use exercise to improve your mood and mental health. Today we will talk about seeking professional help when dealing with the postcollege blues.
Why Should You See A Therapist
“I decided to start seeing a therapist about a year after I graduated,” says Michael, a twenty-four-year-old from Baltimore. “I was pretty darn lonely and didn’t really feel like I had a group of friends whom I trusted. I really missed my family as well as my close friends who were back east. I started seeing a psychiatrist for about six months, but I didn’t feel like I was making much progress so I really shopped around and saw about five psychotherapists before settling down with a new one whom I have been seeing since. I’m glad I went because I think it helps a lot. I have found that it’s really useful just to take an hour a week to think about yourself. I still have a lot of issues to work out and I think therapy is a great way to figure out those things.”
As Michael points out, therapy can provide an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate important issues that need to be addressed in your life. Not only will you be able to have an objective person listen to everything you are going through, but a good therapist will also help you develop the psychological skills needed to cope with many of the issues you will confront during the the years after college and beyond.
Some young people I spoke to said that one of the paths they took to deal with the struggles they were having with the post college blues was seeking out professional help. They told me that seeing a psychologist gave them an opportunity to fully express to an outside observer what they were truly feeling and it really helped them get through many of the issues they were dealing with at the time.
Letting Go of the Fear of Appearing Weak
One of the obstacles that young people can face in seeing a psychologist is that they can feel weak for having to see a professional to deal with their post college blues. The idea that it’s not normal for someone in their early twenties to seek out therapy can prevent many graduates from getting much-needed help. Many young professionals don’t have friends or know people their own age seeing a psychologist.