Dealing with any form of mental health issue can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. The general reluctance most people feel about seeking professional health makes the issues even harder to deal with.

In order to help the ones we know are struggling, it’s important to understand the reasons why many people reject or postpone seeking help.

Here are some of the most common reasons why.

1. Stigma

Despite notable efforts in the past couple of years to lessen the stigma associated with mental health, we’ve still got a long way to go.

Would you hide your visits to the dentist or chiropractor from your friends? Most people wouldn’t. Therapy is a different story. Nobody wants to be labeled “crazy” or “mentally ill”. The belief that depression or anxiety is something you can just “snap out of” is still fairly mainstream.

According to a 2004 report by the World Health Organization, 56% of people struggling with depression do not seek treatment. The same is true for 78% of those battling alcohol dependency, and 57% with an anxiety disorder.

Many people are worried about any kind of diagnose negatively affecting their career, personal relationships, and education.

2. Loved Ones

Sometimes, well-meaning loved ones are a deterrent to those considering treatment.  Many may be skeptical about there being any real issue, attributing depression or anxiety to a “phase” or “temporary stress”.

3. Uncertainty

It’s normal to feel unsure about the severity of your symptoms and what they mean. There’s often confusion about the distinction between depression and sadness, and about when is the appropriate time to actively seek professional help.

Many people think they can “wait it out,” or feel uncertain about what would be the first steps to take.

4. Lack of trust

If you’re struggling with perpetual feelings of sadness or anxiety, it can be hard to believe that there’s really anyone that can understand and accept you. Mental illness is isolating and difficult to describe to those that haven’t gone through similar experiences.

You may not trust a therapist to understand or respect you. You may not feel comfortable speaking to a stranger about your emotional pain.

5. Lack of funds

Without coverage, therapy can be expensive. While there are many community centers, emergency clinics, and support groups that are free or that won’t charge a lot, funding can still be a legitimate obstacle in seeking treatment.

Encouraging others to get the help they need

What can we do communally to help solve some of the problems above?

Communication is one of the best ways to break barriers. By being open about our struggles, honest about our fears, and supportive of others’ needs, we can continue to make the process of seeking treatment that much easier.

Listening without bias, and speaking openly, can help others feel less overwhelmed and alone.

Reach out for help today

If you or someone you love is struggling, reach out for help today. For compassionate and effective therapy in one of our four locations in the Twin City metro area, give us a call or fill out the contact form and click send.

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