In today’s wild world
There are so many people that think about going to therapy, but why don’t they? According to Mental Health of America (MHA) nationally, almost one in five people (47.1 million) in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That number increased by about 1.5 million over last year’s report. So what are these people doing? What stops them from getting evidence-based help? What stops you?
Despite all the work that has been done to destigmatize the importance of mental health by groups like National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and World Health Organization (WHO), people continue to struggle with the stigma associated with getting help.
We know that depression and anxiety are the leading causes of suicide, and one is too many. People in serious need should seek the most effective treatment to help. Perhaps misinformation, judgment or fear of looking weak stop them. These are all things that hinder people from getting the help that could make the difference between feeling unmotivated and tired all the time versus enjoying life and meeting their goals.
When I ask my clients “Why now?”
They usually answer that they are tired of being tired and never feeling fulfilled. Why do we wait until it gets so bad? For many, it is the stigma of looking “weak.” Imagine if you have a broken leg, but shrug it off and don’t go to the doctor. For others, they think that they “don’t have it so bad.” Another real-world example is diabetes, a life-threatening illness. But diabetes isn’t bad if it is properly managed. The point is, we have a problem when mental health is not prioritized. We finally got insurance to cover mental health, but they certainly aren’t doing it the same way they cover medical needs. We only just began our insurance parity journey.
Do you know that people who experience a debilitating trauma and are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can have lasting effects for years? It affects work, social and physical well-being. This is something that can be resolved through therapy and oftentimes gets people back to work and enjoying life while learning how to cope with the distress of a trauma. Depression and anxiety can also be remedied through therapy. For some the skill building used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) works wonders and for others Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has proven to be effective in a very short time compared to talk therapy.
The fact is that if you are hurting, whether in your leg or your mind, there is a way to feel better. You do not need to wait to be “really bad.” Sometimes help is the sounding board of having an unbiased point of view and other times it is targeted specifically to an event. No matter the reason, the outcome after seeking mental health therapy can be positive and lead to people getting their lives back and feeling good again. Why wait?
~ Robin Raycraft, Clinical Mental Health Counselor