Thankfully, these days there is much less stigma around mental health issues than there used to be.
People are open to discussing what they're going through, and what help they're getting - whether that's therapy, anti-depressants or something else altogether.
One girl, however, got the shock of her life when she visited her therapist, Paul, for cognitive behavioural therapy to treat her depression and negative self image.
Tumblr user anarchetypal was visiting her therapist as normal when she began making negative comments about herself.
Below, she explains her therapist's incredible methods:
Anyway I go in to see Paul one week in the summer of 2016, and I’m doing my usual b------ which consists of me talking s--- about myself, and Paul is staring at me, and then he cuts me off and says that he’s got a new tool for helping people recognize when they’re using negative language, and gets up and goes over to his desk.
And I’m like alright hit me with that sweet sweet self-help article my man, because I’m a linguistic learner and whenever Paul’s like here i have a tool for you to use it’s pretty much always an article or a book or something.
Paul opens a drawer, takes something out, and turns back around. I stare.
I say, Paul.
Is that a nerf gun?
Yeah, says Paul.
I say, are you gonna shoot me with a nerf gun in this professional setting?
He happily informs me that that’s really up to me, isn’t it. And sits back down. And gestures, like, go ahead, what were you saying?
And I squint suspiciously and start back up about how i’m having too much anxiety to leave the house to run errands, like it was a miracle to even get here, like i’ve forgone getting groceries for the past week and that’s so stupid, what a stupid issue, i’m an idiot, how could i–
A foam dart hits me in the leg.
I go, hey! Because my therapist just shot me in the leg. Paul blinks at me placidly and raises an eyebrow. I squint again.
I say, slowly, it’s– not a stupid issue, I’m not stupid, but it’s frustrating me and I don’t want it to be a problem I’m having.
No dart this time. Okay. Sweet.
So the rest of the hour passes with me intermittently getting nailed with tiny foam darts and then swearing and then fixing my language and, wouldn’t you know it, I start liking myself a little more by the end of the session, which is mildly infuriating because Paul can tell and he’s very smug about it
Anyway I leave his office and the lady having the next appointment walks in and I hear what’s all over the floor? And Paul very seriously says cognitive behavioural therapy tools.
The post has gone viral, and has garnered a range of comments from people who are impressed by Paul's creative, playful methods of treating mental health issues.
Many have also commented that it's great he seems to have adopted a treatment method that doesn't automatically default to using drugs and pills.