Debunking Therapy Stigmas
Mental health awareness seems to have become the new craze. Everywhere you turn, mental health has become a topic. Celebrities are sharing their experiences with mental health. Athletes like Simone Biles have prioritized their mental wellbeing over their sport. Television and movies have made them popular themes to discuss. Netflix alone has 13 Reasons Why, Bojack Horsemen, and Head Space Guide to Meditation. Social media has popularized trendy hashtags related to mental health issues. But even with its rising popularity, there are still a lot of stigmas about going to counseling. So let’s examine and debunk some of these assumptions.
Therapy is for Crazy People
Some of you still envision therapy as a place for people you’ve seen in asylum movies. The reality of it is, counseling is beneficial for everyone. I don’t know a soul on this earth who hasn’t struggled with an issue before. Sessions provide you with a safe and healing place to process/solve your problems. Even simple problems can have unexpected ripple effects. As we all know, this can become overwhelming. So maybe you don’t need therapy long-term. Perhaps you only need it for a hurdle that’s briefly challenging you mentally. Either way, one of the bravest things you can do for yourself is getting the help you need.
That’s Why I Have Friends
Yes, friends are a great source of support. You should be able to lean on your friends during difficult times. But chances are your friends haven’t been trained clinically to assist someone experiencing emotional distress. Let’s be honest. Your friends may need a break. Managing someone’s issues while balancing your own can be exhausting. Not to mention, tiresome, when if it’s a repeated issue. We’ve all had that toxic ex, we keep discussing, and our friends are sick of hearing about it. Therapy takes some of the pressure off your friends while still giving you the space to vent. Your therapist becomes another source of support.
My Family/Friends Will Judge Me
To this, I say, respectfully, so what. And I don’t say this lightly. I know receiving counseling, especially in the BIPOC community, still has many harsh stigmas. The good news is, it’s nobody’s business! Counseling is between you and your therapist- unless you’re a minor. Don’t let other people prevent you from healing. Our culture doesn’t have to recognize our mental health diagnosis for it to be valid. There is never any shame in needing help. No one can go through this world without having assistance one way or another. Use all your sources of support and start your therapy journey. You’d be surprised at what you discover.
I Can’t Afford It
The good news is, most health insurances are now paying for mental health services. You don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay out of pocket. No problem. A lot of universities have training clinics for their students that offer low-cost or free services. Therapy is becoming more accessible than it ever has before. Don’t let your fear of stigmas prevent you from receiving the healing you deserve.