By Mei Yee
Mental health awareness has come a long way, however in many countries it is still a taboo topic. From my experience, even in countries where it's not taboo there are still those who think poorly about anything mental health related.
It is not their fault per say. It was how they were raised; having mental health issues means you're crazy and should be locked up. I have had people say something like this to me before.
Some of you know I used to work for my county's mental health and addiction recovery. My team was the Homeless Navigation, and our main focus was to get those who are homeless off of the streets and into a shelter or housing. We would ask everyone about any mental health issues (because if they had some and had no counseling or therapist, we would help them find one).
"I am not crazy!" was the response we got from a lot of our clients. Having mental health issues does not make you crazy. Your brain, like any other organ, can get sick.
Although, there was a time when I was embarrassed to talk about my mental health issues, so I do understand where they are coming from. People would look at me funny when they heard I had a mental illness. Or they would say "it's all in your head," meaning I am crazy or making it up.
Personally, I think there shouldn't be a stigma against going to therapy or counseling. I have heard, "Oh wow you need someone else's help to feel better?" ... And if you have heard that too then like the comic above turn it around on them. "Oh wow you go see your doctor to feel better?"
I am not saying this as someone who is in therapy, I am saying this as someone who has finally found the right therapist for me and have been seeing progress. I have had other therapists but didn't make any progress with them. So, yes it can happen. I kept looking though, and found one who actually helps.
"You're paying to just talk to someone." No, I am paying someone to help me sort out my mind when things are too overwhelming for me to do it on my own. I can talk to my friends for free, but they can only help with so much. Just like how they can talk to me anytime, but I can only help with so much.
Getting help for your mental health is not weakness. It's your first step towards healing.
If you need help finding resources, you can look here at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Home | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.