Mental Health Therapy: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental illness

Seeking Therapy for Mental Health

Mental health therapy has come up as the need of the hour as mental illness affects one in every five adults in the USA. According to 2022 statistics, a staggering 10.6% of youth in the United States struggle with severe major depression, with an overall increase of 1.24% from the previous year. 

In a world that emphasizes the importance of physical health, the significance of mental health often takes a back seat. Despite my efforts to understand and discuss mental health, seeking therapy remains stigmatized in many societies. Mental Illness is a condition in which your mood, thinking, and behavior are affected. These health concerns have become a part of most people’s lives; however, if the condition persists, it turns into mental Illness. Mental Illness can be of various types, such as: 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Behavioral and emotional disorders in children
  • Depression
  • Dissociation and dissociative disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

What are the Signs of Mental Illness?

Mental Illness has become very common, and thus, it is essential to know the symptoms of mental illness and get help as early as possible. Some of the common signs are: 

  1. Feeling stressed
  2. Emotional outbursts
  3. Sleep problems
  4. Weight or appetite changes
  5. Substance abuse
  6. Feeling guilty or worthless
  7. Suicidal thoughts

What is the Main Cause of Mental Illness

Experts have long researched the causes of mental illness but failed to understand the exact cause. However, they are of the view that various factors like biological, psychological, and environmental can lead to mental Illness. 

Some of the biological reasons can be: 

  • Genetics (heredity)
  • Infections
  • Brain defects or injury
  • Prenatal damage
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Exposure to toxins

Some of the psychological causes are: 

  • Trauma and Abuse
  • Neglect

Some of the common environmental causes are: 

  • Death or divorce
  • A dysfunctional family life
  • Low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, or loneliness
  • Social or cultural expectations 

Mental Illness and Pregnancy

Pregnant ladies are vulnerable to mental health therapy problems as they experience hormonal changes, a shift in roles, etc. Every 1 in 5 women falls victim to mental Illness during Pregnancy, mainly suffering from depression and anxiety. While the severity of Illness may vary, it can affect the child in many ways. Thus, it is advised to maintain a positive environment and a healthy, mindful lifestyle, and reach out for mental health therapy, especially during the pregnancy period. 

Mental Health Therapy and Seeking Help

One of the difficulties in seeking therapy is a reluctance to accept that they need help; they think mental Illness can be cured without effort. The other most significant challenge is embarrassment or the fear of being called as weak. It’s essential to recognize that mental illnesses can be treated through therapy and sometimes medication, leading to fulfilling lives.

Ways to Approach Mental Health

Challenging stigma requires proactive steps. Here are some ways to break the stigma and approach Mental Health with a positive attitude:

  • Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Learn about mental health, the advantages of therapy, and how the process unfolds. This understanding can dismantle misconceptions.
  • Speak Out: Share your experiences with mental health and counseling with trusted friends or family if you feel safe. Opening up fosters a culture of openness and support.
  • Encourage Others: Sharing information, resources, and your support inspires others to seek help.

How to Treat Mental Illness Without Medication

Mental Illness can be treated using various techniques. One of the best ways to treat it is with mental therapy. Mental health therapy can be of various types and forms depending upon the type of Illness detected. It can be cured with the help of medication as well as natural ways. 

Some of the most effective types of therapy for mental health are: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy, popularly known as CBT, is an effective way to deal with various mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and trauma. The therapist will talk one-on-one with the patient and try to uncover behaviors, beliefs, patterns, and thoughts, and then they will start working on developing positive thinking. 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy: Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is somewhat similar to CBT, but it focuses more on emotional well-being and a mindful lifestyle by developing a balance between change and acceptance. DBT can help treat various conditions such as eating disorders, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide prevention, and mood disorders.  
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy: One of the best techniques to treat PTSD is Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). In this, the person is prompted to recall traumatic events with the help of a special eye movement technique. 

Some of the other mental therapies are:

  • Exposure therapy
  • Mentalization-based therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Mindfulness-based therapy
  • Creative arts therapy
  • Play therapy

Online Mental Health Therapy Platforms

One of the best ways to get mental health therapy is by using online platforms, where you can open up without having the fear of actually facing someone face to face. Some of the online mental health therapy platforms are Betterhelp, Brightside, Talkspace, onlinetherapy.com, Regain, Talkaitry, etc. 

Final Words 

To break this stigma, we must foster an environment where seeking help and therapy is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness. Seeking mental health therapy to treat your mental Illness is a sign of self-care. In a way, it helps strengthen your relationship with others and eventually creates a positive and healthy environment. 

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