For as long as I can remember, there has always been shame and guilt associated with the action of attending therapy. This mentality in society has pushed back the progress that many have tried to make in the attempt to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health.
People should not feel shame for seeking therapy whether it be to address mental illness or to deal with their feelings as they go through a hard time. Being able to acknowledge that you need help is an amazing first step to healing and progress that should not be hindered by backwards thinking.
When people go to the doctor’s for a broken leg, no one questions them since it's a physical injury that they can see. The same feeling should go towards the injuries and illnesses that we can’t see. They still hurt and affect us in the same way.
The stigma that remains today surrounding the belief of mental illness and receiving professional help has hurt so many people as it makes those who would be interested in seeking help less likely to reach out or to follow through with treatment, a general lack of sympathy and understanding, harassment, bullying, and the outdated belief that if you have mental illness, you won’t ever be capable of reaching great things.
People should be able to feel free to get the help they need without feeling embarrassed or feeling like they’ll be ridiculed for reaching out to mental health professionals. There is nothing embarrassing about seeing a therapist and admitting you need help. If anything, it shows courage and strength.
With this in mind, statistically, men have a harder time reaching out for help and going to therapy as they see it as a sign of weakness and not being able to handle their emotions and problems. This leads to men having higher suicide rates, more trouble in relationships, and an increased chance of developing severe illnesses.
Overall, the stigma surrounding seeking help needs to end. There is no shame or embarrassment in seeking professional help to get help with mental illness or work through overwhelming emotions. It shows enormous courage and strength to be able to open yourself up to the healing process that is therapy, and it should be encouraged, not looked down upon.