Writer Samantha Irby is known for her hilarious, candid work about life and mental illness. Here, the bestselling author of the new collection of raw essays titled Wow, No Thank You opens up about her complicated relationship with therapy.

“My dad died during my freshman year of college. It was unexpected and heartbreaking. I had a breakdown, and when I went to the hospital, they told me to see a therapist. I had zero resistance to the idea – I was 18 years old and perfectly happy to talk to anyone about myself.

I couldn’t tell you the therapist’s name anymore, but at the time all I cared about was that it wouldn’t cost me any money since she was a therapist at the university. She put me on Prozac, and, just as importantly, it felt like the first time someone seemed to understand what I was talking about.

We didn’t have any breakthroughs, but I did feel relieved. It was nice to be able to process my life with someone who wasn’t also a teen and stupid, you know? I stopped seeing her when the school year ended, but our talks helped me develop the tools I needed to get through a period of intense grief.

I’m not currently in talk therapy, but it’s probably time for me to go back. I didn’t have insurance for a long time, and then I was too busy working full-time, but those are handy excuses. The truth is that I write funny things about being anxious and depressed and I worry that I won’t be able to do that if I actively start working on my mental health, which is not a healthy thought and is probably a myth – but it’s also a real fear.

I’m a fucked-up person: I’m depressed, I have anxiety and there are things I need to work on. I know what I need to do, and I will…one day.”

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

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