Therapy Helped Me: Learn to Share My Feelings

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


Teenage years can be some of the most difficult and stressful times of our lives. With exam deadlines and social pressures, it can leave many of us struggling to focus and see a life outside of the school halls. There are many who are made for education, flying through their school years with ease, but for some of us, our mental health can be compromised.

I found myself often confused and unable to make decisions. I was always worrying about rejection and causing problems. Stress was consuming me. Although I had friends, a boyfriend, and a family, I still could not tell them the truth, or at least not the full truth. Choosing to begin therapy was the first time I had put myself first in a long time. The term “it feels like a weight has been lifted” really resonates with me.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Learn to Share My Feelings

Therapy Helped Me: Stop My Panic Attacks

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


The panic attacks escalated during my senior year of college.

Once, I was sitting on the side of the freeway. I abandoned my car a mile back and called 911, convinced I was having a heart attack. Confused, I gave the 911 operator the wrong location of where I was. The longer I waited for help the more I struggled to breathe.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Stop My Panic Attacks

Therapy Helped Me: Identify My Anxiety

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


In my early twenties, I was lost. I could tell something was wrong with me. My friends were all away attending universities, learning and excited, actively participating in being alive. I was living with my parents, playing hours of World of Warcraft and having panic attacks in my car before attending local community college classes.

I had always been a bit of an odd duck. It took me longer to reach the same milestones as my peers: I learned to drive later, I got my first boyfriend later, I attended college later, and I got my first job later as well. And worse, I was not interested in a whole lot. I did not find my existence to be meaningful or my life to be particularly enjoyable.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Identify My Anxiety

Therapy Helped Me: Be Myself

Talkspace Therapy Helped Me

This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.


When I stop to think about the role of therapy in my life, it is not difficult to realize how essential it was for me to become the person I am today. I met my current therapist five years ago when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. I had panic attacks and could barely get out of the house, so my therapy sessions were the only time I socialized with anyone — and it was like that for a few months.

Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Be Myself

Why We Took a Break From Drinking: A Talkspace Co-Worker Chat

Bartender pouring a drink at a dive bar

At the end of last summer, I had an existential crisis. I was about to turn 35, at a career crossroads, and on the verge of leaving the U.S. for good. I reflected back on how my adult years had been spent. They were self-serving, blurry and distant, and lacking deep personal connections with others. And myself.

I’d been living unhappily as a “man-child” — a lifestyle fueled by excessive partying and minimal commitment — for most of my adult life. Ashamed and disappointed I hadn’t accomplished more, I dwelled on squandered time and people I’d hurt along the way. I wanted to run from it all.

Rather than bouncing to Bangkok, however, I decided to clear my head. I was going to try an long-overdue experiment: a break from drinking. Half a year later, I’m still enjoying the positive benefits of that decision.

Continue reading Why We Took a Break From Drinking: A Talkspace Co-Worker Chat

How I Overcame Loneliness

man alone in bed dark room blinds shut

One of the darker times in my life came after the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. It was the end of Albuquerque’s Pride weekend, a celebration of togetherness and community, but I quickly found myself feeling more isolated than ever. In times of tragedy, healthy people lean on others for support. I didn’t do that.

After a year of shutting out everybody who tried to care about me, I had nobody left to talk to. My best friend was in another city and my parents were in another state. All my friends were seeking solace with their families, their close friends, and their lovers, while I was attempting to drown out the collective sobs of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters with my one true love — work.

But misery doesn’t just love company, it needs it to heal. After a couple days of denial, I fell apart. All I wanted was a hug. I chose to seek comfort in people I thought were sure to know exactly how I felt: other gay men. Not quite finished with my poor life choices, I chose to connect with them on Grindr. I can say with great confidence that one-night flings with strangers will do nothing to fix loneliness. Continue reading How I Overcame Loneliness

Mental Health Diary: PTSD

woman journaling on table with coffee

Talkspace’s Mental Health Diary series provides an intimate, anonymous week-long look inside the lives of those struggling with mental illness. Our first diary entry is from a Digital Content Producer and Journalist coping with the lingering effects of sexual abuse. Female // 30s // Los Angeles.

Diagnosis: PTSD; Secondary: borderline personality disorder, OCD, depression
Occupation: Digital Content Producer; Journalist
Location: Los Angeles
Medication: Luvox, Abilify, (Prozac); Xanax as needed
Therapy: Two 90-minute in-person therapy sessions a week; Talkspace therapist; Bi-weekly trauma group therapy; Weekly DBT skills group
Health Insurance: Cigna; (Blue Shield)

DAY 1

7:45 a.m.
I get out of bed on the fifth alarm and throw on clothing to get out the door in 10 minutes or less to make it to work on time. Basic self-care stuff baffles me, so I do the best I can in jeans and some rumpled shirt that really should be washed. Continue reading Mental Health Diary: PTSD

Confession: Sometimes I Use Mental Illness as an Excuse for Flakiness

woman in bed holding head phone on desk

This story is a part of our Mental Health Confessions series, a collection of stories from people who open up about times they felt guilty or conflicted about their mental health issue.

I’m pretty tolerant of most types of people, but I absolutely hate flakes. I have cut off friendships because I can’t deal with others’ flakiness, especially when it comes down to repeated incidents of bailing on plans at the last minute.

However, some might say I’m a hypocrite. Why? My mental illness, at times, causes me to become the very type of person I hate.

Friendship is a two-way street. We expect our friends to put in the same amount of time and emotional labor into maintaining a relationship as we do ourselves. Of course, we know this isn’t always the case, and I’ll be the first to admit it: with some of my friends, I feel like I am giving less than I’m getting. I’ve flaked on even the best of my best friends, and I fear one day they’ll decide to cut me loose because of it. Continue reading Confession: Sometimes I Use Mental Illness as an Excuse for Flakiness

Hunger: My Battle With Anorexia

empty plate with note I'M NOT HUNGRY

This piece is part of our Darkest Day series, a collection of stories from people who’ve made it through the worst of their illness and now light the way for others.

It’s 7am and I’ve already burned 1,000 calories on the elliptical. I’m packing up my food for the day. Breakfast is 113 calories for 3 egg whites and 1 cup of grapes. Lunch will be 131 calories for turkey, mustard, lettuce, and baby carrots. I’ve also packed 1 pack of Parliament Lights, 4 Diet Cokes, 1 gallon of water, and 1 brand new pack of bubblemint gum. I’ll have dance class in the afternoon, which takes care of another 300 or so calories. Dinner is always a wild card –– it depends on who’s around and how carefully I’m being watched. I have food saved in my room for later just in case. I am 16 years old and 70 pounds; I am a human calorie counter and numbers genius who, ironically, is also struggling in Pre-Calculus.

Looking back, it’s hard to pinpoint a clear start for all of this. Unlike an alcoholic who can often describe their first drink, there was no concrete “first.” My eating disorder was a physical manifestation of a longtime underlying condition. It was some combination of perfectionism, extreme sensitivity, fear, and ironically enough a hunger –– a hunger for love, acceptance, validation. A hunger for everything. That hunger felt unmanageable so instead of learning how to experience it, I taught myself how to stop it, to cut it off, to starve it out. If you don’t want anything, you can never get hurt, right? Continue reading Hunger: My Battle With Anorexia

The Stories PTSD Tells Me

woman on floor next to shower white towel

This piece is part of our Darkest Day series, a collection of stories from people who’ve made it through the worst of their illness and now light the way for others.

Images flash back through my mind.

I am locked in a dark office in the corner of another locked room during a free class period of the high school day. I’m balanced precariously on the edge of a desk with my legs wrapped around his body, the bulge in his pants gyrating in the crook between my legs. My mind wanders and eventually lands on my aching muscles, my trembling arms and legs. They’re not going to hold much longer.

He is standing fully clothed, his usual beat-up brown loafers planted on the floor. I smell his Cheer-washed dress shirt and Dial soap-scrubbed skin. His Docker’s are hemmed a couple inches too short. He is 43. I am 17. Those loafers rise and fall off the floor with every thrust of his crotch into me, the friction of fabric on fabric a barely noticeable sensation. All my attention focuses on my awkward position on this desk — my muscles ache and burn in protest.

He grinds away, oblivious in ecstasy, his face turned upwards, making those moaning sounds. Finally, my body overrides my mental willpower to stay upright and my muscles collapse. I start to fall off the desk, headed toward the floor, before he catches me and props me back on the desk.

Other memories follow. Continue reading The Stories PTSD Tells Me