There are several reasons why people don’t get help when it comes to tackling issues of mental health. A number of internal and external factors play a part in whether or not someone decides to seek help for mental illness.
Before treatment can be addressed, people have to first come to the realization that they can benefit from professional help. Then they must overcome stumbling blocks like societal stigma, potential criticism from family and friends, and issues of time and money. But the benefits of psychotherapy can be life changing.
Many individuals concerned about their mental well being aren’t sure their issues merit professional help. When they do seek assistance, symptoms are intolerable and the underlying issues may be even more deep-seeded. According to a PsychCentral article, it’s imperative to reach out to someone once you begin losing a sense of self or when issues impair normal functioning like sleep and interpersonal relationships.
Seeking help can be difficult because even though great strides have been made regarding mental health issues, stigma does still exist. As clinical psychologist Dr. Ryan Howes puts it, unlike mental health problems, individuals don’t think twice about seeing a doctor for physical ailments when necessary. But mental illness is not something to be ashamed of, and it’s not a character flaw or weakness explains Deborah Serani, Psy.D., author of “Living with Depression”.
Oftentimes, even friends and family with good intentions can serve as road blocks to treatment. They may advise to stay strong or say it’s just a phase that will pass. Loved ones who don’t understand mental health issues may also suggest solutions that don’t completely address the problem – for example recommending physical activity to someone with depression.
Money and lack of time can also stand in the way of getting better. However, not all therapy is expensive and many programs offer flexible options to accommodate various schedules.
Family Guidance Center, like many community mental health centers, offers assessment and help from mental health professionals for a wide range of income levels, including insured and uninsured individuals. The Family Guidance team can help assess symptoms, determine severity, and recommend options for treatment. While reaching out might not be easy, the end result can open the door to a healthy, more meaningful life.