Let’s talk about the stigma surrounding mental health and the shame and embarrassment that you may feel when first talking about your mental illness with a qualified therapist. Fear comes with telling someone the challenges you face and not knowing how they will react. Will they treat you differently? See you now as weak or broken? And the impact it may have on your relationships and professional career if those you work with may find out. All of these difficult, anxiety-filled thoughts swirling around in your head, making you more and more scared to share your struggle. But you shouldn’t have to live your life like this. Your mental illness is not what defines you. And the ones who love and support you know that as well. So why continue to shame yourself over something you did not choose?
At Mathews Counseling, our goal is to break this senseless stigma and bring light to the fact that mental health matters. So be an ally not only yourself but for others in your life who struggle with their mental health. By seeking the help you need, you’ll motivate others to do the same. The links below are great resources on how to start bringing awareness to mental health and stopping the stigma once and for all.
This Sunday marks the beginning of Mental Illness Awareness Week which is a week dedicated to raising awareness to the thousands of people who are affected every single day by mental illnesses. During this week, the National Alliance on Mental Illnesses (NAMI) highlights the voices of those who have personal experiences with mental illness. They give their testimonies on living with illnesses and talk about some of the conditions and symptoms that are most misunderstood.
NAMI also does a great job of explaining the stigma around mental illness and how it can be hurtful to those living with these conditions. Going through life with a mental condition can be tough as is, but add the negative reputation that comes with it just adds to the stress. Educating yourself on mental health can make a difference when it comes to helping yourself and others who are living with mental illnesses.
BringChange2Mind.org provides a guide on understanding different mental illnesses. Discussing the different behaviors for each condition as well as ways you can be proactive about them. It’s important to remember that not every mental condition displays the same in each person. It is a long road to learning and understanding your specific condition. So be patient with yourself or a loved one when trying to get help.
In addition to these resources we also strongly encourage therapy. Here at Mathews Counseling, we are here to help you whenever you need us.
At Mathews Counseling, all of our therapists are highly qualified with a minimum of a Master’s degree in a mental health field, licensed by a state board, and experienced in the areas listed on their bios. We are sure there are a number of other questions you may have with regards to starting therapy and we are happy to answer any of them.