BY KATHERYNE PUENTES, LMHC
What is the true meaning of mental health, and why are so many individuals scared to visit a therapist?
With the stigma about mental health, you might hear:
- “Only crazy people see a therapist, and I am not crazy.”
- “You see a therapist? What’s wrong with you?”
- “You need to go see a therapist because you’re not right in the head.”
Many people stray away from going to therapy because of how society makes us feel about it. Don’t believe me? Watch movies where the therapist is either horrible, the client’s symptoms are exaggerated, or the client feels unheard where therapy becomes a waste of time.
Therapy is not what is portrayed in the movies or in a TV show. I can’t even tell you how many times I have seen a movie where the only statement becomes, “how does that make you feel.”
Therapy is not surrounded only by “How does that make you feel?” statements. There is more in-depth soul searching, thought processing, expression of feelings, and actions taken to form a new path.
What therapy focuses on, but not limited to, is:
- Understanding your patterns.
- Understanding your relationships.
- Gaining a deeper understanding of the individual you are as well as the individual you are becoming.
- Building connections.
- Making your self-care a priority because putting yourself first is not a selfish act.
Therapy is for EVERYONE, and it is not uniform. Therapy is molded to you and only you, and everyone’s experiences are different. Finding a therapist you are comfortable with and connecting with is essential no matter what type of therapy you are receiving.
Therapy provides a space for you to share what’s on your mind without being judged. It allows a safe place to process and focuses on what you need to continue to move forward.
Mental health is just like physical health and, they are both vital. Physical health: exercising, doctor visits, healthy eating, drinking water, and taking your vitamins is all part of making your body strong. So why would we not also want to take care of our minds? We go to school to build our knowledge, yet fear the idea of mental health? Our brains are just as important as our muscles. If we do not drink water or eat important foods, our muscles suffer. Our brain is a muscle and needs to be provided the same care we would provide our physical body.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Mental health problems don’t define who you are. They are something you experience. You walk in the rain and you feel the rain, but, importantly, YOU ARE NOT THE RAIN.” — Matt Haig