Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wellness Wednesday- Seeking Help




For this weeks installment I wanted to climb on my soap box for just a second and talk about the stigma surrounding mental health. I will be the first to admit that MH treatment has come a long way but it is still not taken seriously enough.

In some cultures there is a belief that you can "pray it away." While I believe in God I know people who suffer with schizophrenia and they pray for their audio hallucinations to stop ALL THE TIME and still they continue. There are some people who believe that those with mental illness are "not strong enough." I disagree. Think about it, how hard is life in general. Bills, work, weight, life, love, children, cooking, cleaning..... there is a daily struggle to manage things and ensure that our own needs are met. Now consider having schizophrenia, suffering with depression, or even a panic disorder and still have to manage all those same things. Mental illness is not asked for. No one wakes up and says hmmm I want to be very sad and feel worthless, or today I think I want to have auditory hallucinations that tell me how terrible I am and tell me to harm myself.

I chose this topic because as I was doing an intake (the person's initial appointment) today the woman flat out said "I don't really think all this will help." When I asked her to elaborate she noted that she did not believe in MH treatment and that people needed to "suck it up." Needless to say I was becoming irritated and somehow intrigued. I asked her if she was aware that she was in a MH clinic and seeking services and she stated that she had tried everything else in the world and wanted to see what therapy was all about. The intake was pretty uneventful from there but I started wondering, What is so wrong with seeking help.

When your car makes a noise you take it to the shop, if you feel a pain in your leg you see the doctor, so why is there such a sense of weakness associated with seeking emotional help? There are people in the world suffering in silence. They do not understand that their extreme fear of crowds, increased heart rate, and sense of panic is not uncommon. They think that they are the only ones who have these experiences because they are too afraid to share. To afraid of what others will say about them. This could lead into a whole self esteem post but that is for another day....

What I want you to take from this post is it IS OK to seek help. If you are somebody who does not need help that is great be thankful for your strength and resiliency but DO NOT make others feel bad for having enough courage to see a professional.... That is why we went to school all this time...

Happy Wednesday give yourself a hug and be well!!!!


9 comments:

  1. Cheers to you for working in the MH field! A good friend of mine does as well and it takes an incredibly compassionate and empathetic person to do what you do. Great post on the topic!

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  2. There is huge stigma surrounding MH. I don't know if people just don't want to seem imperfect or what? I know that when I was struggling with bulimia I told a friend about it she directed me to a therapist who specializes in E.D. I called Ronda(therapist) asap! I've been going to her off and on for 8 years now. She greatly helped me under the disorder and the reasons behind it. I am a Christian. And my family and I DID pray for the Lord to deliver me from bulimia. But I think people expect praying to the Lord for release from MH too look like an instant POOF YOU ARE HEALED! God answering my prayers looked more like placing a friend in my path who knew a therapist who could helpe me, placing my husband in my life who was in recovery to help show me the way, giving me strength each day to strive to get better. I hope that people start giving counseling for MH a chance. They don't realize how relieving and freeing it can be.

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    1. I agree that God puts people in place to help there is no POOF and its done, and thats for any situation not just MH.

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  3. I do think there is an "age group" that really feels that it shouldn't be done. Unfortunately, they pass that stigma on to offspring!

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    1. I agree with the generation thing, and that gives me the idea for another post... I actually had a lady today say "Im from the era where you pulled yourself up by your boot straps, not go to therapy"... Interesting...

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  4. Hi! I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! http://www.ktjweighingin.com/2013/02/liebster-award.html

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  5. Love this! Mental illness is real. And it is such a stigma in the black community. Like you said, some people believe it should be treated with prayer and not therapy or drugs. Well one could say the same thing about diabetes but it would be foolish not to take your meds and eat right. Thanks for putting this topic out there!

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    1. Exactly people are not praying away asthma they are thanking God they have an inhaler!!! Thanks for reading sis!

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