Getting Therapy does NOT mean you are “crazy”

There is a very unfortunate stigma around mental health therapy, people often think that getting therapy means you are at best “unstable” or “weak”, or at worst “crazy” or even “dangerous”.  This stigma is misguided, out of date, and of course untrue.

Mental health ought to be considered on the same plane as physical health.  Imagine having a consistent sharp, aching pain in your elbow and saying “well the bone is still in the skin, so I’ll just let it get better on its own”…would you endorse this line of thought?  Probably not!  More likely you’d set up an appointment with a professional to have the problem looked and set a course of action to heal the pain.   And yet when it comes to emotional or mental symptoms folks do often follow the first type of logic: “I’ve been feeling stressed out (or angry, sad, unmotivated, etc) for weeks but I need to just get over it” and they will continue to suffer which will begin to effect other parts of their life  such as relationships, physical health, career, and overall self care.

There is no need to suffer from emotional or mental pain.  When you notice you are being consistently effected by a negative mindset or uncomfortable emotion, seek professional help to investigate the roots and determine the best course of action to eliminate the cause of the negativity  and discomfort if possible, or to cope with pain so that it is manageable and you can continue to lead a satisfying life.  Many, many people have benefited from mental health therapy and you can too.

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5 Responses to Getting Therapy does NOT mean you are “crazy”

  1. Eric says:

    I think this paints an overzealous portrayal of the effectiveness of therapy. “There’s no need to suffer from emotional or mental pain.” makes it sound like therapy is going to resolve this and you’ll be free of emotional pain. It isn’t, and you won’t be.

    I’ve been in therapy for several years and seen a total of 11 mental health professionals, and approx 300 sessions of therapy, and yet I still can’t say it’s not just a placebo. There hasn’t been any real “treatment” for any of my issues. Therapy is more like observation or evaluation than a type of treatment.

    Medical doctors can actually DO something to heal your pain. Therapists are trained specifically to avoid ever actually DOING anything to help the client directly. They basically wait for the client’s problems to go away, or for the client to solve them themselves.

    So in effect, the result is the same whether you go to therapy or not. You just have to “deal with” your problems as best you can.

    • Ellen McGuinness says:

      Thanks for your comments, sorry to hear therapy has not been helpful to you. I agree that the perspective that therapy can eliminate problems is not realistic, what it can do is change how you cope with problems. To use the medical model metaphor, a medical doctor cannot get rid of certain diseases but can provide treatment for the symptoms; similarly sometimes all that can be done in mental health therapy is a discovery of ways to cope with the symptoms of a problem rather than making the problem go away. And in other cases a therapist can assist a client in discovering the source of a problem and actually making changes that can eliminate it. Every case is different. I hope that you are able to find relief from your suffering.

  2. regina says:

    it means alot knowing that therapy can sometimes be for the little htings in life that you wan tor need to get fixed or helped

    • Ellen says:

      Yes, it can be very helpful to talk through something with a neutral person who can help bring clarity to the various levels of complexity, some of which may not have even been recognized yet.

  3. regina says:

    thanks for that

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