There must have been dozens of times when you or anyone else amongst your family or friends must have had second thoughts about going to see a ‘brain doctor.’ Oftentimes, the cultural stigma surrounding mental health perceive therapy as a sign of weakness. This has often caused people to re-assess their decision of going to see a therapist. There are dozens of stereotypes around mental health and therapy that need to be talked about.
Common Stereotypes Surrounding Mental Health:
- People who seek help are ‘crazy’
As discussed earlier, there is a misconception that all mental health patients are crazy. Unfortunately, this assumption builds negative images of people calling out for help so much that they may often be termed as dangerous, incompetent or insane. The Association of Psychological Science says that “self-stigma can also lead to the development of the ‘why try’ effect, whereby people believe they are unable to recover and live normally.” Therefore, ‘crazy’ downplays the term and weighs down people that regularly attend therapy or are considering it themselves.
- A therapist is only your ‘Paid Friend’
People often forget that therapists are thorough, proper and certified professionals who dedicate their careers to studying human psychology and health. They are trained and have the best intentions in helping the patient. Unlike a friend, a therapist is bound by certain rules and regulations that need to be followed. Similarly, therapists are not a source of social support and are not entitled to give you advice outside of the therapy session. Most importantly, when someone talks to a therapist, they have the comfort of knowing that they are bound by confidentiality; the discussion between the therapist and patient cannot leave the session, only unless of insinuating circumstances.
- Therapy is unaffordable
Many people shy away from therapy simply due to the cost factor. What people must realize is that therapy is an important investment that has long term benefits for their holistic well-being. Just like people pay doctors for their consultation, when they experience any sort of physical pain, the same should be done when it comes to their mental health.
- The Process of Therapy Never Stops
The final misconception is the stigma followed by people regarding the therapy timeline. People feel that therapy is an exhaustive, ongoing process, something that the patient will need to continue until the end of their life. According to the Huffington Post, “Some therapeutic treatments may be shorter-term, whereas others may be longer-term. However, it is important to note that ultimately it is the patient, not the therapist who determines the length of the treatment. Additionally, the goal of most therapy is for it to eventually end so that the patient has enough tools to manage triggers shown in improving their day-to-day life.
What needs to be realized is that sacrificing your time and yes, or ego as well, and actually admitting that you have something bothering you from the inside is a lead that you need to talk to someone trained in the field of mental health. It takes lots of courage, strength and bravery to do so. There is no doubt that in the longer run, therapy is worth your time and effort. It is indeed better to speak up than to let the pressure build inside. If you are looking for quality and confidential therapy, My Restful Mind offers affordable, low-cost sessions using your insurance plan. Let our therapists help you overcome these common myths in steps to become the best version of yourself.