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Real Life: Mental Health

By Anna Johnson

If there is one thing that I always try to remember when speaking out about mental health is that I know that I did not go to school to become a mental health professional. I don’t have all the real known facts. All I have is the raw real-life truth. I have learned so much through a Dialectical Behavior Therapy program at Nystrom and Associates in Woodbury, MN. After multiple therapists, one other DBT program that I dropped out of because I wasn’t in the mindset that I actually needed it to be healthy and make a life worth living. This was a year long program, but it did indeed take longer than that to complete because again, I was not in the mindset I needed it. I figured, well, I have had three months with no anxiety, I have been able to get out of bed, and I really do not want to drive allll the 20 minutes to Woodbury. Little did I know, my therapist knew I had it in me to make a life worth living, she helped me get through the mistakes, the rough times, the good times, the fights, the setbacks. She held nothing back when it came to tell me how it is, and I needed that. Sometimes you need someone to kick you off your high horse, appreciate what you have, put life into perspective, and let you know that you need this program more than it needs you. I was put on “vacation” for a couple months because I missed too many times.  This program was more than skills to help my anxiety and panic attacks, it has helped me cope ahead during stressful times, get me out of bed, and help me with everyday tasks. I encourage everyone whatever you are going through to look up “Dialectical Behavior Therapy”. I still go to Nystrom’s to see a psychiatrist every three months, and I have been impressed every visit with the knowledge and care. Now, like I have said before I did not go to college to get a degree in this, but I know first hand the feeling of helplessness, finding hope, and getting better. Another place I have gone is Collaborative Counseling in Hudson, WI. What I liked about this experience is my Dad actually went to some sessions with me and so my therapist got to know my family. Since my Dad passed, I went back for grief therapy sessions to talk through everything and for her to have met my Dad in the past, we were able to connect and get through so much it was a lifesaver. Collaborative is a great resource. My goal is to discover more resources locally so people amid a crisis can get the help that I was fortunate enough of receiving to create a life worth living. Life throws us a lot of curveballs, but there is so much to appreciate, accomplish, and inquire it is unreal. For whatever reason you are reading this, check out these resources and let’s help each other make a life worth living.  xoxo, Anna

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