According to CDC mental health statistics, doctors diagnose about 50% of Americans with a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. These mental illnesses account for about 1/3 of emergency room visits, making them a substantial health crisis.
Unfortunately, stigma still surrounds this issue, making people feel embarrassed and even afraid to reach out for help. Seeking treatment can reduce the number of emergency situations and improve the lives of the afflicted.
Keep reading to learn 7 reasons seeing a psychologist should not cause you shame.
1. You Suffer From an Actual Illness
Our body consists of an estimated 15 trillion cells that create intricate anatomic systems. They form moving parts and organs that produce and receive chemical transmitters that trigger complex functions.
Plus, it all interacts with the outside world as well. With all of this going on, things go wrong sometimes, leading to illness.
Both physical and chemical changes in the brain cause mental health disorders. They can come about from physical or psychological trauma.
In the same way that an impact to your thigh can break your femur, a hit on the head can potentially damage centers in the brain. Chemically, hormone disorders can cause like thyroid or diabetes, just as a chemical imbalance in the brain may lead to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc.
People do not typically feel shame about seeing an orthopedic surgeon for broken bones or disease specialists for other common illnesses. So, why feel ashamed over a psychologist appointment?
2. You Did Not Choose Mental Illness
Nobody wakes up and decides they want depression. Mental illness happens to people. When you take away the blame of suffering from it, you release the shame of seeking treatment for it.
3. Seeking Help Does Not Make You Weak
We live in a nation that strongly values independence, sometimes to the point of detriment. Some things people should not try to take on alone.
In a tangible comparison, you can move a small box on your own but physically cannot carry a piano without help. Nobody will ever shame you for not being capable of lifting a piano alone.
Mental health disorders weigh heavy on people, like that piano. When it feels too heavy to lift, asking for help is the wise decision, not the weak one.
Asking for help does not make you appear weak at all. In fact, it takes great strength to fight through your fears and let go of pride to admit you need assistance.
4. Admitting Illness Shows Mental Stability
Often people feel like seeking mental health services makes them crazy. Contrary to that belief, recognizing and admitting a mental health issue with yourself actually indicates mental stability.
For this reason, you can leave a mental health facility if you check yourself in. The fact you sought out help suggests that you can responsibly gauge what you need and will return if it becomes necessary.
While you may not need a hospital, you should start seeing a psychologist. Take pride in this stable behavior, rather than focusing on the less desirable symptoms of your illness.
5. It Allows for Total Treatment
You potentially could ask your doctor for pills that will treat your symptoms quietly, in the privacy of your own home. But, while medication eases symptoms of mental illness, it does not heal you from it.
You can still see a doctor for the medications that help you feel normal. But, a psychotherapist is better equipped to truly help.
These specialists study the brain and research new approaches to helping individuals cope and heal. They understand the ins and outs of phobias and other crippling disorders.
Their therapy typically takes on a more complete approach. They will thoroughly assess your mental health profile and perform all sorts of tests to see the intricacies of your brain’s anatomy and functions.
Psychologists also perform psychotherapy tailored to their findings. Once they find the root of the problem, they talk you through it or use other methods that can correct the issue.
Seeking psychotherapy allows you to thoroughly heal. You should never feel ashamed of going all-in for your own recovery.
6. Validation Brings Relief
The reason mental health disorders carry so much stigma is that you cannot physically see them. They hide in the mind and that can make them feel like a figment of the imagination.
At your psychologist’s appointment, they will perform assessments based on your symptoms and profile. This may lead to your label turning into a tangible diagnosis that you can physically see on an MRI or in test numbers.
This proof often helps people feel validated and relieved that they can lean on an explanation. This diminishes any feeling of shame you walked into the office with.
7. Your Life Depends on It
You should never feel embarrassed when acting in the best interest of your own survival. Seeing a psychologist can save your life in a number of ways.
First, testing may show that your mental health issues stem from a serious physical ailment like cancer or a brain bleed. Catching this stuff early can be the difference between living and dying.
Suicide takes over 800,000 lives around the world every year. Despite your diagnosis, depression often tags along due to a feeling of helplessness that comes with mental illness. Protect yourself from potential suicide unapologetically!
How To Prepare for My Appointment
Once you schedule your appointment, prepare for psychotherapy by bringing your insurance card. This will make the billing segment run smoothly.
Leading up to your appointment, make a detailed list of your family and personal health history, symptoms, expectations, concerns, and questions.
This will help avoid stage fright when you speak with your psychotherapist. Go in open to speak with your therapist and follow their treatment plan for the best results.
Seeing a Psychologist Helps
No matter what mental health issues you suffer from, seeing a psychologist will help you cope and heal. They will help you better understand yourself and work through the issues that hold you back in life.
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