The stigma surrounding therapy can prevent individuals from seeking treatment. However, overcoming these barriers is essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life.
The most common stigmas that people face are the fears of embarrassment and judgment. This can lead to avoiding or neglecting mental health treatment, even when necessary.
It’s Not a Sign of Weakness
Many people avoid seeking help for mental health issues because they believe it’s a sign of weakness. They worry that others will think they’re incompetent, lazy or crazy. This is especially true for men, who are often conditioned to hide emotional distress or feelings of shame from others for fear of being labeled weak.
But the truth is, counseling is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign of strength. Taking the initiative to seek professional advice is a courageous act that shows you’re willing to work on your weaknesses and address your problems.
At the national level, routine data on stigmatizing practices are needed to inform programs and policies to reduce stigma. This data will also help researchers, evaluators and health facility administrators identify areas where targeted interventions or changes to organizational policies are needed.
It’s a Sign of Courage
Seeking help from a therapist takes courage because it means acknowledging that you have issues you can’t solve alone. It also means stepping out of your comfort zone and opening up to someone you may not know well.
This is especially true for men, who are conditioned to believe that it’s not okay to express emotions and view mental health issues as a sign of weakness. They are often afraid that they will be ostracized, ridiculed, or discriminated against because of this.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome mental health stigma. For example, employers can encourage open discussions about mental health, promote work-life balance, and implement policies supporting employees’ well-being. By doing so, they can create a more empathetic and supportive workplace environment.
It’s a Sign of Self-Discipline
Those who seek therapy Seattle for various reasons are demonstrating self-discipline. It takes a lot of strength to admit that you have issues that need to be addressed and need advice on handling them.
Being disciplined can also help you overcome barriers, such as finding a therapist that fits you and sticking with your treatment plan once you’ve found it. Self-discipline enables you to set up and stick to a schedule, resist temptations such as social media and junk food, and focus on the things that matter most.
A high level of self-discipline is an indicator that you’re willing to put in the work to improve yourself and your situation. It’s a sign that you know the value of the investment in yourself and that you’re committed to making the changes necessary for a healthier, happier future.
It’s a Sign of Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is the ability to be conscious of one’s emotions and thoughts and how they influence life experiences. This skill can be developed through self-reflection and meditation.
People with invisible stigmas must decide when to reveal their status to others and how to manage those disclosures. These decisions can have positive or negative outcomes.
When you are self-aware, you recognize your own needs and are willing to seek help when necessary. This can be in therapy for a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, or it could involve working with a therapist to overcome harmful behaviors, like binge eating or addictions to alcohol and tobacco. Regardless of the problem, it is important to be willing to put in the effort and take the risk.
It’s a Sign of Strength
Whether you need help managing your emotions or learning to communicate more effectively with your spouse or best friend, therapy can be a lifesaver. Seeking treatment is a sign that you are strong enough to know when you need help and to ask for it.
Health-related stigma is a well-documented barrier to health-seeking behavior, care engagement, and treatment adherence for various conditions globally. Stigma is a pernicious phenomenon that enables varieties of discrimination that deny individuals or groups full social acceptance, reduce their opportunities, and intensify their risk behaviors.
Employers can thwart stigma by encouraging open dialogue and supporting employees’ mental well-being through employee assistance programs, flexible work arrangements, and access to mental health resources. This will also show employees that the company cares about their needs and wants them to be physically and emotionally healthy.