Mental health problems affect millions of people around the world, but they are still stigmatized and not given the attention they require.
It is very common for people to feel ashamed or weak for seeking help with their mental health, which only worsens the condition.
However, it is important to understand that seeing a therapist or professional for help with mental health is not a sign of weakness.
In fact, it takes a lot of strength to recognize that you need help and take steps to improve your condition.
Capsules to Overcome Mental Health Myths
During Mental Health Month we will be sharing with Dulce Orozco, Bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) MA.
Dulce will talk about the main myths surrounding mental health, this thanks to her experience in the modalities of:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),
- Mindfulness-Based Therapy,
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT),
- Culturally Sensitive Therapy and
- Strength-Based Therapy.
These myths continue to perpetuate stigmatization and prevent people from seeking the help they need.
In each capsule we will share the most common myths surrounding mental health, such as the belief that mental health conditions are a sign of weakness.
Another common myth is that only certain people are prone to mental illness and that medication is the only treatment option.
It will also provide tips on how to overcome these myths and promote a better understanding of mental health conditions, as well as the importance of seeking professional help.
The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health
The stigma surrounding mental health is one of the biggest barriers to someone taking a step and seeking help.
Many people believe that mental health problems are a sign of weakness or lack of willpower, and that people should be able to overcome them on their own.
Mental health problems are just as real and valid as physical health problems, and seeking help should be taken in the same direction as dealing with any other illness.
The Truth About Mental Health
According to the World Health Organization, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
Mental health problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, life events and brain chemistry.
They can also affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status.
Not only do they have a profound impact on a person’s life, but they can affect the ability to work, socialize and enjoy life.
And they can even lead to more drastic events such as suicide if left untreated.
Seeking help for mental health problems is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and resilience.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
Seek professional help if you have severe symptoms or pain that lasts two weeks or more, such as:
- Difficulty falling asleep;
- Unwanted fluctuations in weight due to changes in appetite;
- Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning due to moodiness;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Loss of interest in things that are usually fun;
- Inability to do homework and carry out day-to-day responsibilities.
Don’t wait until your symptoms overwhelm you.
Discuss your concerns with your primary care physician or other primary care provider who can refer you to a mental health specialist if necessary.
It helps to find a provider on the NIMH mental health website.
Why It Is Important to Seek Help
Seeking help for mental health problems is important for several reasons:
It can help you manage your condition and improve your overall quality of life.
A professional or therapist can provide you with tools and strategies to help you cope with your symptoms and build resilience.
They can also help you identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors, which can be incredibly empowering.
Seeking help can help prevent your condition from worsening.
Mental health problems can be progressive and, if left untreated, can lead to more severe symptoms and a greater impact on your life.
Seeking help early on can help prevent this from happening and give you the best chance of recovery.
Break the cycle of stigma and shame surrounding mental health.
By being open and honest about your struggles and seeking help, you are helping to break down barriers that prevent others from doing the same.
You are also showing others that it is okay to ask for help and that seeking help is a sign of strength.
Overcoming The Fear of Seeking Help
If you have identified that you may be experiencing mental health problems, it is important to overcome your fear and seek help. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Recognize that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
It takes courage to admit you need help and take steps to improve your mental health.
Educate yourself about mental health problems.
Understanding your condition and the treatment options available can help reduce your fear and anxiety.
Talk to someone you trust.
Sharing your struggles with a friend or family member can be a good first step in seeking professional help.
Find a therapist who specializes in your specific condition.
Finding the right therapist can make all the difference in your recovery.
Don’t be afraid to try different types of therapy.
There are many different types of therapy available, and what works for one person may not work for another.
It’s okay to try different approaches until you find the one that fits your needs.
- Your Feelings: NIH’s Emotional Wellness Tools: These NIH tools offer six strategies for improving your emotional health.
- Your Relationships: NIH Social Wellness Tools: These NIH tools offer six strategies for improving your social health.
- MedlinePlus: Improving Mental Health: MedlinePlus offers information on general health, including tips for improving your mental health.
For additional resources, visit the NIMH website on taking care of your mental health.
Information on the My Health Fair website should not be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations.
Readers should direct any questions regarding personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate health professionals.