Overcoming Stigma Attached to Psychotherapy

Posted by: Maritza Rodriguez on August 9, 2011 12:00 pm

There is still much stigma attached to getting help or treatment for a mental health problem/illness. While most people do not hesitate to seek out a doctor or go to an emergency room when they feel physically ill or have had an accident and have suffered a physical trauma, such as a broken bone, most suffer in silence when it comes to mental health issues.

The fact is, however, that most of us face challenges in our lifetime that cause anxiety, depression and/or self-doubt that negatively impact some aspect of our life such as work or our relationships. There still seems to be an underlying assumption that a person is “weak” if they admit these feelings or seek help when one feels overwhelmed or unsure of what direction to take in life or how to solve a problem. Many individuals seek answers from family and friends, but when the support network is unable to provide the assistance or guidance necessary, the person feels alone, isolated and confused.

If we, as a culture, can accept that we all have life challenges that have the potential of negatively impacting our physical, mental and/or social health and seek out the appropriate interventions before the situation becomes dire, we can be empower to receive the guidance or treatment to give us the tools to cope with the situation at hand. Thus, instead of being “weak”, we can actually grow and become stronger in the face of the problem. It takes courage to admit when we need help and it is empowering to overcome a problem with the appropriate mind set, attitude and beliefs. Admittedly, we have improved as a society in seeking mental health treatment, but much more education and tolerance continues to be necessary in this arena.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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