Our mental health is paramount. However, this message can get lost in the storm of noise that surrounds our daily routines. Before we know it, we’ve put the things that should matter to us most on the backburner and we might feel like we’re overwhelmed by work, school, life. Everything.

Even though we’re living in 2021, there’s still a certain stigma surrounding going to see a therapist. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s far smaller than it was decades ago (and a lot depends on where you live and the cultural context), but there are still far too many people who think that seeing a psychotherapist is something ‘shameful’ or amounts to ‘giving up.’

Fortunately, the friendly folks over on Twitter are here to help. Twitter user Drivingmemadi, aka Madimoiselle, created a viral thread, asking everyone to share at least one thing that they learned in therapy. Her mission—to help everyone get a little bit more insight into mental health, relationships, and the reasons why we do what we do. The bit about perfectionism and insecurity being linked was particularly enlightening for me.

Have a read through the therapy tips below, let us know which ones you found the most helpful, and if you’ve got any of your own to share, you’ll find the comment section particularly welcoming, dear Pandas.

Psychotherapist Silva Neves was kind enough to go into detail with Bored Panda about the stigma of seeking professional help. "I think it is getting better and there is less stigma seeing a therapist now. It depends on your location though, there are still some parts of the world where therapy is still a taboo. Some people think that seeing a therapist means that you're 'crazy,' but this is not actually what therapy is about," he said. You'll find the full interview below, dear Readers.

#1

Things-Learned-In-Therapy

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Ola Polowczyk
Community Member
1 month ago

I always say "Someone else's broken arm doesn't make my finger less broken"

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#2

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

This. A hundred times.

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#3

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BensMom
Community Member
1 month ago

This can be extraordinarily difficult.

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"Therapy is a confidential and private space where you can get help from a professional with anything that bothers you, from your work problems, relationship issues, or other psychological problems such as post-trauma stress, depression, and anxiety," therapist Silva outlined to Bored Panda what the essence of therapy is.

"Those things are actually very common and many people struggle with these things, it doesn't mean they're crazy. Seeing a therapist when you have emotional struggles should be as normal as seeing your doctor when you have a physical problem. But at the moment, our society hasn't normalized therapy yet. It is changing with famous people talking about the benefits of therapy such as Lady Gaga and Prince Harry."

#4

Things-Learned-In-Therapy

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Uncommon Boston
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Too true. My first husband was physically abusive. Took me years to figure out why I choose him -- he was what felt normal. Hearing about the physical abuse my father witnessed; his grandmother hitting his mother, which was considered normal helped me understand why he did the same. I decided the buck stopped here. I would not raise a child in that environment. We never called him stupid or saw him as failure, instead we showed him what he did right and discussed what to do better next time. No shame or guilt. He decided what to focus on, we were advisors. He was able to share his victories and problems. As an adult he would face the same type of challenges, do we teach him how to face these difficulties or drown in them? Malicious behavior had consequences. He drew on the kitchen floor with a permanent marker, he was in preschool and knew better. Calmly without judgement or anger, he was given a toothbrush and mild cleanser. Someone had to clean it up. He gave us an evil smile, then got to work. We actively choose not to act in anger. Not to punish mistakes, only intentional acts he knew were wrong. Live was easier for all of us.

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#5

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Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
1 month ago

It's true. My therapist told me "You're extremely depressed", which took me by surprise because I didn't *think* I was sad. Instead, I just felt angry all the time. Which I now know was a defence mechanism.

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#6

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Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
1 month ago

My therapist found it very telling that I was afraid to spend time with myself - even when alone, I always made sure I had some sort of distraction because otherwise I would start to think about things I was trying to avoid thinking about. Ugly, miserable things.

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Psychotherapist Silva, from the UK, told me earlier all about the insecurities we face and how they can make some people behave in wildly different ways, some of which are harmful to others. In an earlier interview, he said that self-compassion can help someone who is insecure and who has an ‘I’m not enough’ mentality become someone who’s secure and knows in their heart: ‘I’m enough.’

How insecurity manifests itself depends on the person in question. Two insecure people can behave and express this lack of confidence in themselves very differently.

#7

Things-Learned-In-Therapy

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AutisticPat
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Not necessarily. I work on my art until I’M pleased with it. I create for my own pleasure.

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#8

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Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
1 month ago

This is a major theme in BoJack Horseman. In fact in one episode BoJack apologises to a guy he once screwed over, and is completely taken aback when the guy says "Okay, but I don't forgive you. You have to live with the shitty thing you did, and you need to know that it's never EVER going to be okay. Now get the f**k out of my house." And indeed they never do reconcile, because some things just aren't forgivable even if you do apologise.

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#9

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Agnes Jekyll
Community Member
1 month ago

OMG--so true. We're not children anymore. We did what we had to as children to survive. We don't have to repeat the same stories and behaviours.

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“Insecurity can manifest either by making themselves invisible (If I'm not seen, nobody will notice my flaws), or the opposite, by what we call 'bragging': shouting at everybody about how wonderful they are. This is usually to try to persuade to themselves that they are good enough,” therapist Silva explained to Bored Panda earlier.

Unfortunately, some people choose to express their insecurity by putting others down to make themselves appear better.

"Another way to counter the 'I'm not enough' is by pushing others down, sabotaging other people's success, or attacking people as a way to feel powerful so that they can control their inner pain of 'I'm not enough'. All of these strategies don't work because what they do is either internalizing or externalizing the belief 'I'm not enough' rather than changing it," the expert told Bored Panda that we must change this behavior instead of finding ways to cope that can lead to some lashing out at the people around us.

#10

Things-Learned-In-Therapy

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M Calad
Community Member
1 month ago

I always say this to people. There are no bad decisions, just different risks and consequences. You took a decision based on what was less risky considering that current situation you were at. However, sometimes some risks and consequences are totally impossible to foresee.

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#11

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The Frenchiest Fry
Community Member
1 month ago

I have to say, not all parents tried their best. At least not at parenting. My mother tried her best to make us seem like a happy, functional family from the outside but didn't do much to make it that way on the inside.

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#12

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

But what if you believe your first thought, wouldn't the second thought be a lie.

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"The key to becoming more secure is to change the underlying belief 'I'm not enough' to 'I'm enough,'" he said that self-compassion is the way to do this.

"Perhaps parents didn't praise children enough, or they paid more attention to the mistakes rather than the successes. As an adult now, people can give themselves a hug once in a while and tell themselves, gently: 'you're doing good,' 'well done,' 'congratulations.' Eventually, the brain will listen and slowly change the message 'I'm not enough' to 'I'm enough,'" the expert said.

#13

Things-Learned-In-Therapy

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AutisticPat
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I don’t want to be a jerk, but this often doesn’t apply to people with things like clinical depression and PTSD. It seems (to me) as if this is saying, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and think positive.” Still, I’m sincerely glad that this way of thinking helped you. I wish the very best for you.

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#14

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Jill Ferguson
Community Member
1 month ago

Manipulation in all its glory.

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#15

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Falcon
Community Member
1 month ago

That's a good point. I've also heard the saying "Everybody is the hero in their own minds."

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"Rather than shouting your praise at other people, it is about speaking to yourself in a loving way. When people are genuinely aware of their successes, they can become genuinely more confident without the need to impose their power onto others."

#16

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Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
1 month ago

Relentlessly dwelling on the bad is not good for you. Give yourself a break.

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#17

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Sky Render
Community Member
1 month ago

Luckily I twigged onto that a long time ago! My SO reminds me greatly of my mother, easily the kindest and most supportive person in my entire life. Except my SO's even kinder and more supportive!

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#18

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Norma
Community Member
1 month ago

As you heal, you will inevitably have to leave some people behind...

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#19

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Falcon
Community Member
1 month ago

This really depends on the friend and the issue you have in my opinion. I had a friend who could act like they were really invested in your issues, yet behind your back complain to others.

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#20

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kasa alex
Community Member
1 month ago

The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb

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#21

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Luna W.
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes. This.

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#22

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BetweenTheCracks
Community Member
1 month ago

You're only carrying it because they ladled it onto your shoulders, due to their being too chickenshit to own it themselves.

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#23

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M Calad
Community Member
1 month ago

And with practice, you will learn to set boundaries in a more assertive and diplomatic way.

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#24

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Uncommon Boston
Community Member
1 month ago

My father told me what you think becomes what you say when you are old. He sees me as he how he did when I was a teenager. And reminds me of this often. Understanding helps, increasing the distance between us is better. How do I make sure I won't be a mean old lady..

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See Also on Bored Panda
#25

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LeilaOdinis
Community Member
1 month ago

When I get these thoughts. I acknowledge them being horrible. They are a great indicator if I need to either sleep or have a snack.

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#26

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Zophra
Community Member
1 month ago

I feel like tired could be an emotion, almost...

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#27

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Mező Ádám
Community Member
1 month ago

Uhm,what ? I'd need some context for this.

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#28

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Mazer
Community Member
1 month ago

Constantly choosing the known hell over the unknown heaven

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#29

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Elin Noller
Community Member
1 month ago

This. We tend to focus on the things we "fail" at, and ignore the successes. We beat ourselves up over the kitchen being a mess and not having the strenght to deal with it and ignore the things we DID manage to do. We look at that blanket we knitted that look like s**t/ job interview we crashed and burned/ the new recipe we tried out that turned out bad and we feel like a failure, instead of looking at it as learning. We should in general have the same attitude as when we are gaming. If you die/fail in-game you learn from in and try again. It is all practice. Keep knitting and your blankets will turn out better and better.

#30

Things-Learned-In-Therapy

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Zedrapazia
Community Member
1 month ago

That's an awful thing to say if you had very bad parents

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