There is a large stigma in our society around addiction and mental illness. Yet, if you find yourself with an addiction and/or a mental illness such as depression, then you might be faced with that stigma and the judgment of society. In fact, you might even judge yourself and want to stay away from the services that could provide healing and treatment of your illness.
In fact, few of the major obstacles that keep people from seeking treatment include:
They will worry what other people will think if they seek mental health care. Because of the widespread judgment towards mental illness and addiction, many people might worry what other people will think if they seek mental health care. They keep their symptoms silent and ensure that their outer appearance is casual and light. They don’t let off that there is anything wrong.
They believe their symptoms are just part of the typical stresses of work and life in general. Despite the global prevalence of depression, there are a large number of cases that go unreported, where depression has become the norm. If this is the case, many men and women won’t seek treatment because they believe their symptoms are just part of the typical stresses of their lives. They might believe that everyone else around them are facing the same emotional and psychological stresses.
They don’t know where to go for mental health treatment. Many of those who are not in the health field simply have no idea where to begin. If someone were to ready to seek help, them may not know who to contact. They may not know of agencies or mental health professionals to call.
They believe that treatment won’t help. If an addiction has been going on for many years, and if getting high or drunk has been a way to mask feeling depressed or anxious, then there might not be a reason to seek treatment. Someone in this case may not believe that treatment will help. If they have lived with their condition for many years, they may wonder about what could possibly work for them. Along with this, a person battling an addiction and mental illness may not want to entertain the idea of psychotropic medication.
For all these reasons there may be a fear of seeking addiction treatment and other mental health services. Most people are very resistant to the idea of seeking help, particularly when you must admit that there is a problem. One gentleman with schizophrenia recently began attending a group with other men and women with the same diagnosis, after 54 years. Yet, after awhile of attending groups, some of which are therapeutic in nature, his symptoms became more and more manageable. The group was a place in which he felt seen and understood, and that was a motivation to continue to return. After awhile, he also began attending personal psychotherapy, which was also making a difference in his life. He admitted to his therapist that he doesn’t like receiving mental health services. He feels that it is “all a bunch of crap”. And yet, he continues to attend therapy, and he continues to attend his groups. Although he resists it, he’s also finding that it’s working, and it’s changing his life.
In the end, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t really matter what other people think. If the services, such as addiction treatment and therapy, are working, then it’s worth continuing to participate in them. It’s worth continuing with whatever activities are bringing healing and positive change.
In fact, mental health services helps change the lives of millions of people around the world. If you’re on the fence about seeking treatment, try contacting a psychologist, therapist, or other mental health professional today.
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