We shouldn’t shame anyone for going to therapy.
There’s always been a stigma attached to mental health and going to therapy. It’s easy to shut down the idea and declare someone “crazy” for going to therapy. Some even say it’s a waste of money. But what if there is no safe environment to explore your emotions? Feeling safe to explore one’s emotions isn’t easy to do—which is what therapy does for people.
What does it mean to create an “emotionally safe” environment?
Going to therapy creates an emotionally safe environment that prevents people’s biases from getting in the way of comfort. When we’re vulnerable or scared, we don’t look for advice but a place to let us think and feel what’s going on. But in a culture where giving advice is a common form of comfort, many of us feel unsafe because it feels unsolicited and tone-deaf.
It’s like visiting a doctor.
Kids with autism are not the only ones who go to therapy. There’s also physical therapy for those who have bad life-altering injuries and even immunotherapy for cancer patients. And nobody shames them for that because it’s meant to help them boost the quality of their lives. The same concept applies to those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Life doesn’t seem worth living for those with depression and anxiety when all they feel is self-loathing, guilt, irrational fear, and a whole spectrum of emotions. Going to therapy helps them deal with these things. So they can improve their lives for the better and do things they love again.
Does therapy need medical clearance?
It may look like that a lot of times but in reality, anyone can go to therapy so long as they’re open to receiving help. Psychiatrists may offer therapy but sometimes, they recommend a psychologist if the patient isn’t comfortable with them as a therapist. The key component to fixing one’s mental health is recognizing that there is something wrong and doing something about it. Going to therapy is one of those ways to “do something about it.”
Stop shaming people for it!
Going to therapy isn’t a one-stop solution to life’s problems. Rather, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists are there to help sort out the problems so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. On International Mental Health Day, all the more we shouldn’t shame others for going to therapy. Just like how some of us would go on a shopping binge to relieve our stress, going to therapy is their way of fighting against their stressors, too.