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  • Writer's pictureTejal Jakatdar, PhD

“Just get over it”: Stigma associated with mental health issues and with seeking therapy

Updated: May 16, 2018

Getting help = strength

I’m not crazy! I’m strong. I should be able to fix this myself. Therapy is for weak people. Therapy is for crazy people. I’m ashamed of my problems. I’m such a burden to the people I love.

These are some of the thoughts and feelings a lot of people experience when thinking about #mentalhealth concerns and seeking #therapy. As a society, we’re taught to think positive, not be overly expressive with our emotions, be strong. We’re taught that we’re winners, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. We’re taught that anxiety, depression, or any mental health problems are not to be spoken of. These problems are a sign that you’re weak. We’re told time and again, to just get over it, to just fix it. We’re ridiculed for our problems and our feelings are dismissed because “it’s all in your head”. As a society, we think of perfection as the gold standard, which means anything less than perfect, makes you a failure. There’s no room for error. We teach our kids, you’re all winners. So when they grow older and realize that they can’t actually win trophies just for participating, they start feeling like failures. Yes, this explanation may be too simplistic but kids internalize the messages they hear.

As a society, we’re not too tolerant of emotional suffering and we’re not too tolerant of people getting help for it. We’re not too tolerant of fallibility and vulnerability. Let’s do more and do better as a society to become empathic or at least more tolerant of people suffering from mental health conditions. Let’s teach our kids to fail and to learn from it and do better. Let’s raise our children to become more resilient by understanding them and getting them help if we see them suffering. Getting help is a sign of strength. There’s no strength in dismissing problems, your own or that of your loved ones. People who are suffering from mental health problems are not crazy or weak or attention seekers, they’re suffering. Let’s do more to start a dialogue and to be supportive so they feel safe and understood and more likely to get help. Let’s be better, let’s be more compassionate, and more tolerant. We have a responsibility as a society to bring about change to de-stigmatize mental health.

Getting help=Strength


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