By: Christine Chae, LCSW
It's no secret that mental health is still somewhat of a taboo topic. In spite of the fact that one in five Americans suffer from a mental illness, there is still a lot of shame and stigma surrounding these issues. One of the most difficult things about mental illness is that it can be very isolating. Sufferers often feel like they are the only ones going through whatever they are going through, and that nobody could possibly understand what they are dealing with.
One of the best ways to reduce the isolation that comes with mental illness is to get help from a therapist. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma around therapy, and many people are reluctant to seek out help because they don't want to be seen as weak or crazy. This is especially true for young adults, who may feel like they are supposed to have their lives together and shouldn't need help from a therapist.
Why Is There Still Stigma Around Therapy?
There are a few reasons why therapy still suffers from such negative connotations. For one thing, mental illness is still not fully understood by the general population. Many people still believe that mental illness is something that people can just "snap out of" if they try hard enough. This couldn't be further from the truth; mental illness is a real, medical condition that requires treatment just like any other illness.
Another reason why there is still stigma around therapy is because of the way it has been portrayed in popular culture. For example, movies and TV shows often depict therapists as being eccentric or ineffective. This isn't really an accurate representation of therapy, but it can make people reluctant to give it a try.
Finally, one of the biggest reasons why there is still stigma around therapy is because seeking help can be seen as admitting weakness. In our society, we value independence and self-sufficiency above almost all else. Asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness, and many people are reluctant to do it because they don't want to appear vulnerable.
The stigma around mental health and therapy is something that needs to change. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and seeking help from a therapist should be seen as a sign of strength, not weakness. If we can start to change the way we think about mental health and therapy, we can make it easier for people to get the help they need.
Have you or someone close to mind been struggling recently with their mental health? Help is available. Call Abundance Therapy Center at (213)-505-4307 or schedule a free confidential intake call and get support.