Just like many people who’ve been down, having prolonged sadness, and wanting professional help, I used to question, “gue ini harusnya ke psikolog atau ke psikiater ya?”

Now, it’s been almost 4 years since the first time I thought that, and for someone who’s been to both at this point, I differenciated my needs like this:

I go to a therapist (atau psikolog) when I feel lonely, when I have no one to talk to, and when I’m overwhelmed with my own thought. I have a high tendency to overthink everything so it’s quite an often occurrence for me to be overwhelmed.

Sementara, aku ke psikiater, setelah dari psikolog tapi aku merasa masih belum fixed atau tenang sama sekali. Jadi, levelnya ini sudah bukan ‘aku perlu teman ngobrol’ lagi.

Kalau pernah baca-baca akun media sosial tentang mental health (or news about celebrity suicides) kemungkinan besar ada bahasan tentang “si A” yang kelihatan hidupnya baik-baik aja, karir oke, pasangan ada (sometimes even they’re couple goals), uang banyak, tapi ternyata dia punya depresi, anxiety disorder, atau kondisi kejiwaan lain yang perlu diobati oleh dokter Sp.KJ.

So, the very-very oversimplification-nya adalah: kalau butuh cerita, ke psikolog. Kalau cerita atau curhat masih belum bikin lega sama sekali, mungkin emang sakit, jadi harus ke dokter. Dokternya ya di poli jiwa alias psikiatri. Psikiater bisa kasih obat, sementara psikolog ngga bisa.

Do not worry about the stigma of psychiatric medication, because it’s just another sickness, and we all go to doctors anyway when we’re sick. I have chemical imbalance in my brain and I need pills to regulate that. The pill fortunately works, it balances my mood, dan yaudah, ujung-ujungnya mirip kayak asam lambung naik aja, yang butuh antasida buat nurunin. That’s how normal going to a therapist or a psychiatrist should be.

Thanks for reading.

Youtube link if you want to hear me reading this plus some more: https://youtu.be/KR8R_mvPZBM.
Or if you want the full playlist of me reading the rest of the #MHJ series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtrlm279mx_cPz–DJa1YzO8y1CjuaHuz.

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