Therapy Changes Lives


Shayna Weachter

This last year has been hard on all since our “normal” has been disturbed. Many of us have been struggling to maintain a positive mindset and keep good mental health.

Even without such uncertainty, many people struggle mentally.  People all over the world turn to therapy for help.

“Everyone’s traumas look different, but all can have an effect on us,” 34-year-old Daniela says.

Daniela, who didn’t want her full name to be used, grew up with her three sisters and her parents who are immigrants from Italy.  When asked about her traumas, Daniela describes what had the biggest impact on her growing up. “One of them was that my parents always wanted us to do whatever we wanted to do like having opportunities,” she says. “Because of this, there were money struggles.” This had a big impact on Daniela at a young age.

“I had to witness my parents working a few jobs at a time while taking care of us,” she states.

Financial issues were not only the thing that caused Daniela trauma. “I had panic attacks about deaths,” she stated.

“I grew up watching my grandparents deteriorate as they got older. I was always on edge worrying if something would happen to them or my parents.”

At age 24, Daniela decided to take a therapeutic approach. “I was having panic attacks, and anything could set them off,” she recalls.

“After starting therapy, my therapist and I realized that 9/11 had a big effect on me and my panic attacks.” As Daniela goes more in-depth, she says that 9/11 affected her 10 years later. She would freak out when she would hear a plane fly over the house and when her parents got home late. This caused her panic attacks to spike, leading to loss of control over her body and mind.

“I found myself very depressed. It was an ongoing, inexplicable sadness that never left me,” Daniela states.

Daniela recalls that she did not want to live in this sadness for the rest of her life and the only way to get better was by going into talk therapy. Pre covid, Daniela would go to therapy at least once a month, more often 2-3 times a month.

“I was able to get by without once a week of talk therapy but not enough to go to once a month,” she says.

Daniela implies that the amount of therapy she had before covid was part of the reason she was able to handle herself when covid hit.

“My anxiety, panic and depression would have been heightened to an extreme,” she says.

Covid did not have a really bad effect on Daniela’s diagnosis. She was already at a low point when covid started so she felt better that everyone took a pause in their lives.

“I never felt like I was at the same point as everybody else, everyone had happy lives and I couldn’t function throughout the day. I had no motivation to do anything. When everyone had to stop, it gave me relief because everyone was where I was. There was no pressure to have motivation to go out.”

During covid Daniela decided to lean off her antidepressant and stop going to therapy because of finances. Looking back on this decision, Daniela regrets it all. She hit an even lower point before and even considered going to a mental institution.

“Therapy is an investment that everyone needs to make possible. Therapy can come in different ways,” she says.

Through Daniela’s eyes, therapy makes everyone better people and gives herself and others fulfillment. Therapy gives a support system and a no-judgment zone.

“If you are debating going to therapy shop around a bit, try a consultation with different therapist before deciding because I feel like there is a connection with that person right away. Also go to that second and third session, because there is always more to cover,” Daniela states.