In Massachusetts there are currently many myths about mental health and many erroneous beliefs about it circulating on the internet.
Mental health problems are not rare or isolated occurrences, but rather a widespread and significant concern.
These myths surrounding mental health perpetuate stigma and prevent people from seeking the help they need.
Counselor Dulce Orozco mentions three common myths surrounding mental health and the truth behind them.
Orozco is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) MA, she is experienced in the modalities of:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),
- Mindfulness-Based Therapy,
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT),
- Culturally Sensitive Therapy and
- Strength-Based Therapy.
Myth 1: We Have To Be In Crisis To Attend Mental Health Therapy
One of the most common myths surrounding mental health is the belief that we have to be in crisis to attend therapy.
Many believe that therapy is only for people with serious mental illness or in crisis, and that seeking therapy for minor problems is unnecessary.
Therapy can be helpful for anyone, regardless of the severity of their mental health issues.
It’s not just for people who are in crisis, it’s also for those who struggle with everyday issues such as stress, anxiety, relationship problems and self-esteem issues.
Attending therapy can help people better understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
It also helps develop skills and strategies for coping with life’s challenges, being a source of support and guidance and helping people feel less alone and more connected to others.
In fact, attending therapy before a crisis can be helpful in preventing one.
By addressing problems early on, people can learn to manage their symptoms and prevent them from developing into more serious problems.
Myth 2: Taking Time For Yourself In Therapy Makes You Selfish
Many people feel guilty about taking time away from their responsibilities to attend therapy, or feel that they should be able to handle their problems on their own.
Actually, taking time for yourself in therapy is not selfish, it is necessary to maintain good mental health.
Just as we take time to take care of our physical health, we must also take time to take care of our mental health.
Attending therapy can help people recharge their batteries and gain a new perspective on their lives and help us develop better self-care habits.
This includes setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care and making time for oneself.
By taking care of oneself in therapy, people can also be better prepared to care for others.
They can be more present, patient and compassionate with others, as well as better able to handle life’s challenges.
Myth 3: No One Will Understand Us, Not Even a Therapist
We generally feel that our problems are unique and that no one else could understand what we are going through.
Therapists are trained to listen to and understand their clients, no matter what their problems are, to be empathetic and non-judgmental, and to create a safe and supportive environment for their clients.
Therapists also have a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping people manage a wide range of mental health issues.
In this way, they can provide guidance and support, as well as teach people skills and strategies for managing their symptoms.
While it can take time to build a trusting relationship with a therapist, it is important to remember that they are there to help.
For additional resources, visit NIMH’s mental health care website.
The information contained on the My Health Fair website should not be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations.
Readers should direct any questions regarding their personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate health professionals.