Debunking the stigma of mental health

As a psychotherapist it is clear to me how much shame there is around mental health.  I often feel like my clients dirty secret when I hear comments like “My husband does not know I am seeing you” or “My mother does not know I am seeing someone”.   Is personal development really so wrong?

The fact is if you are human you have or will have a mental health issue at sometime in your life. This could come from an external event such as loss of a loved one or loss of a job.  It could also be that you are stuck in a rut and feel comfortably numb or you lost your “why” in order for you to live your greatness.

We all have challenging emotions that are going to present at times and seeking therapy is not about fixing what is wrong with you.  It is about uncovering what is right with you but it is covered in doubt and fear.  So why so much shame?

If you have a physical issue, you would have no shame going to the doctor and you would not be inclined to lie about going to the dentist.  Please understand that physical and mental health is as important as each other. 

If I walked into a gym, I would not know what equipment to use or what works for which muscle groups.  I would need a personal trainer to show me and then I would be able to practice that by myself until I become fit, healthy and see the aesthetic results. 

It is the same with mental health.  A mental health clinician would be able to give you tools and techniques to use on a daily basis so that you could practice that mind muscle every single day until you become it.

It would be wise to start working on your personal development when you are in a fairly good head space.  Most people come and see me when crises has hit.  At that stage we are working with crises control, however, if you work on your personal development when there is no crises, the time that crises does hit (and it will, no one gets out here unscathed), you will have the tools and techniques to draw on, in order for you to handle the situation with a lot more calm and resilience.

If everyone started owning their mental issues without shame, you will give other people permission to do the same and collectively we can break down this awful stigma around mental health issues. 

Start investing in your personal development in any way you know how, journaling, pod casts, self help books or a therapist.

Remember it is not mental health issues it is HUMAN issues.  Take control of it, own it, investigate it and learn to live your greatness.  


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