Home Health Why Is There Still A Stigma Behind Mental Health Therapy?

Why Is There Still A Stigma Behind Mental Health Therapy?

mental health

For years, I was against therapy. I didn’t think that I needed to go. I thought that my mental health was “fine,” and I worried that a therapist might give me medications that I didn’t want. Also, as someone who lives with family, I didn’t want my family to know details of my personal conversations with my therapist.

Eventually, though, I decided to try therapy.

I started seeing a therapist in 2021, went for a year, took a break from therapy, and then started again last year. I went back into therapy because I thought that I needed it — and I was right. Since re-starting therapy, I’ve seen my therapist regularly, and I now know that going back to therapy was a good decision.

Therapy still has a huge stigma around it — and people have plenty of misconceptions about it, too.

One of the biggest misconceptions about therapy is that it’s mainly for people who are going through mental health crises. While that’s a valid reason to go to therapy, and many people start therapy after traumatic life events, therapy can help anyone. The point of therapy is to help people cope with everyday life experiences, like work, family life, stress, burnout, and the weight of current world events.

I didn’t go back to therapy because I was in crisis.

I returned because I felt like I had more work to do on myself, and therapy could help me reach my goals. So if you’re curious about therapy but aren’t in crisis right now, don’t be afraid to look for a therapist. Don’t wait until you’re in serious need of mental health help before seeking out therapy; therapy can actually help you decrease the severity of how difficult events impact you.

Many people may also think that after you spend a few sessions spilling your guts to your therapist, they’ll put you on medication when you don’t really need it. It’s OK to be against medication. However, the reality is that your therapist is mainly there to suggest ways to cope that don’t involve medication. In most areas, therapists can’t even legally prescribe medication — that’s a psychiatrist’s or primary care doctor’s job. Your therapist may suggest that you also see a psychiatrist, but that’s not a decision they can make for you.

Your therapist’s job is to listen to you, validate your feelings, help you break unhelpful thought patterns or behavior urges, and keep everything you say confidential. They’re not going to medicate you. And if your therapist’s approach doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of others who could fit your needs better, and you can even ask your therapist for referrals.

We need to stop acting like going to therapy is a bad thing and start talking about how therapy can help us.

Seeing a therapist doesn’t mean that anything’s “wrong” with you; it doesn’t mean that you’ll end up on medication, and it also doesn’t mean that you’ll be in therapy forever. A therapist can help you get to know yourself better and also help you cope with the hard parts of your life — all without telling anyone what you said in their office. All of us want to reach our full potential, and therapy can help us do that. Therapy can help us find better mental health and the tools to live a happy life — and there’s nothing better than that!

Featured Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.

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