I remember when the first time I saw a therapist. My husband had to ask his work to leave early so I could go to my appointments every week. I remember being so worried that other people would find out and judge me. Over my life time I had heard so many people make cruel comments about people who were in therapy. That stigma is part of the reason I didn’t want to go in the first place.
Fast forward five years and I will tell anyone who will listen that I see a therapist. Why? It changed my life! So much so that I am pursuing a degree in psychology so I can help others as well. I openly share my story to help dismantle the stigma around mental health. Each time I share I hope that it will encourage others to go seek out therapy as well.
How we can help end the stigma around mental health
1) Seek out therapy ourselves. Others won’t learn just by hearing but by seeing.
2) Share our mental health struggles openly. This doesn’t have to be with strangers but with those closest to us.
3) Support others who are struggling by being empathetic not judgmental.
4) Speak out when we hear someone making ignorant comments about mental health.
5) Surround ourselves with mental health advocates who are willing to talk about mental health.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Society doesn’t see a problem with seeking out a doctor when we have problems with physical health. It is ludicrous to think that it’s not also just as acceptable to seek out a therapist when we have problems with our emotional health. If we want to make total body health acceptable we must start here.
I am going to keep sharing my story and I hope you will as well. Let’s work towards ending the stigma around mental health together. Then perhaps more people will seek the help they need before it’s too late. If you want to hear more about my mental health journey you can tune into The Inspired Women Podcast or read Dealing With Depression and What I Learned From Being Clinically Depressed.
Remember you are beautiful, you are brave, you are amazing, and YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!