What is stigma?
Stigma involves prejudice against someone based on a trait or action. It is the process through which a person or a group of people are looked at negatively because of a specific characteristic, in this case, the action of going to therapy.
Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding therapy and mental illness is still quite common. Even with the increasing awareness around mental health issues - therapy is still a highly misunderstood and taboo healthcare service. Many people are hesitant and find it hard to seek help because of this stigma, ashamed of their issues.
Why do we feel the need to hide the fact that we go for therapy? Why should we feel judged or feel the fear of being shunned by society because we are working on ourselves?
Therapy is for individuals who are brave and willing to challenge stigma, to put the effort and work towards having a more meaningful existence. It’s for people who choose themselves and choose to work on and better themselves.
What can we do to help?
People should understand how therapy may assist with small as well as significant life events to help those with mental illnesses overcome the stigma associated with seeking treatment. It is common to seek assistance with little issues, large issues, and everything in between. It might be reassuring to have someone to talk to about stress, body image, relationship issues, and other concerns. You could also learn new coping techniques as well as how to look for yourself and your mental health in general.
It’s important to educate oneself and educate those around you, spreading awareness and simple talking about the subject of mental illness and seeking help. We must keep in mind the language we use when discussing these topics, to ensure we create a safe and positive environment. We need to work towards being open and honest about our treatment or why one would seek treatment, to end this stigma
Always keep in mind that you are not alone; seeking treatment is common. Mental illness and seeking therapy should be discussed in an open and honest manner. You might even help others by discussing your therapy and recovery journey. Reaching out is difficult, but not impossible. Begin your recovery journey by conquering the stigma associated with counseling. Therapy is cool. Therapy is for everyone.