Mental Health Treatment

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, May 16, 2018
By Todd D. Giardina, PH. D

You don’t have to be “crazy” to seek mental health treatment. 

This is a truth for two big reasons:

  1. We should all be focused on getting better, not just avoiding getting worse. Even the “healthiest” among us could use some fine tuning. Symptoms of “crazy” don’t need to add up to a serious diagnosis. Many of us have elements of x, y or z ailments…at any given time. Which leads to point Number
  2. It’s a mistake made by many consumers to seek medical treatment of all kinds only after the symptoms are so severe such that little can be done. Go see your providers sooner! Catch the symptoms before they become illness and disease. Feel better sooner! Be proactive and not reactive. You don’t need to “hit rock bottom” before seeking help. 

To be clear, this post is not meant to malign those with mental illness. I use the crazy in quotes simply to show that most people fear such a label. In reality, clinically significant depression and anxiety are present in more people than you realize. We try to cover and hide for fear of judgment or repercussions at work and so on. But consider this – better to see a shrink or life coach and use your sick time wisely, instead of missing work or fouling up your productivity because your head isn’t in the game. 

We as a society could stand to do better to care for those in need, rather than stigmatizing and distancing ourselves. It’s not contagious! And one day, you or a loved one may make a cry for help, no matter how small. How would you like people to respond?

Asking for help is cool šŸ˜Ž! Do you laugh at the woman on crutches or the guy eating healthier? Shouldn’t people be allowed time to heal? Or applauded for making smart choices?!

So please admit to symptoms – seek help – take mental health days off – go outside more – appreciate the impact of substance use and hormone fluctuations on your mood – be kinder to yourself. 

A brief note in closing, since this is about awareness: I have seen a therapist of some kind, on and off, for 25 years. I’ve struggled with anxious and depressive symptoms (and other nameless internal mental judgments). I’ve used psychiatric medications (and sometimes alcohol) to manage the worst of those moments. And I continue to grow in my own therapy – which is less frequent now, but still necessary. Yes, even your therapist has a therapist! šŸ˜‰