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The Times

Why You Should Never Be Ashamed of Seeking a Psychologist's Help

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There have been many reports already about a growing mental health crisis and the equal crisis of failing to deal with it. Those in real trouble may well seek out a professional clinical psychologist in Perth or whichever city they are based in or near, but many more are not taking that option. The more disturbing thing is the collection of reasons that people have for not seeking mental health services.

One of the biggest reasons is stigma. People so often don’t reach out for help during a crisis of mental health because they are afraid of being labelled as a loony, or even worse they’re afraid the state will come and take their children away. There is an undeniable culture of shame that we have created around seeking help from psychologists and other professionals. We’re called weak, pansies, and worse for not having the mental wherewithal some others claim.

Well here are the reasons why you should never adhere to these stigmas and related thinking:

1. You Are Not “Crazy” and Counselling is Not for “Crazy” People

It’s a very sad state of affairs that even in 2022 people still consider going to see a psychologist as something that only the criminally or otherwise insane do. Mental health problems affect far more people than you think. Surveys from 2017-2018 showed that it was as many as 1 in 5 in Australia, and that was years before any global pandemic and endless lockdowns took hold.

You have to be strong and remember that therapy and counselling with a psychologist is not something you do when you’re crazy, but rather when you’re experiencing an issue of mental health, as countless people around the world do on a daily basis. Say a resounding “no” to the social stigmas surrounding mental health and the help offered for it.

2. Emotion is Not Weakness

A kind of “macho” culture that has developed around the world sees men in particular viewing emotion as a weakness. It’s not unique to Australia or other western countries, either. In many traditional cultures such as India, China, Japan and South Korea, the same view of “men remaining strong” and not outwardly showing emotion maintains a strong hold over the population.

Emotion is not weakness. Everyone feels, it’s just part of being a human being. Everyone should remember the immortal words of Shakespeare: “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?” We are all human, and emotion is a part of our design.

3. Some Problems Are Not Well Handled Alone

There are some problems that are just not meant to be handled on your own. Many problems benefit from the input of others, be they professionals or just your friends, family and even colleagues. Problems like anxiety, depression and other serious mental health situations can often only be treated with the support of others, while loneliness and isolation act as triggers that exacerbate the problem further.

4. Mental Health Issues Benefit from Third-Party Perspective

Mental health problems can sometimes feel like a prison; like a vicious cycle of self-abuse where the more you try to help yourself or do things your own way, the deeper you fall into crisis mode. Sometimes you are too close to these matters, you can’t see the wood for the trees. Therefore, bringing in an impartial third party is exactly what you need. It can help shed light on the real causes of what you’re going through and provide a more effective road away from it.

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