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You Should Never Feel Ashamed to Seek Therapy

by Aug 2, 2023

You Should Never Feel Ashamed to Seek Therapy

Mental struggle in some form is more common than ever.

There could be many reasons for this, but in this article, we will focus on what prevents people from seeking help.

Going to therapy is the best option for many people out there, and it’s not something you should ever rule out. If you’re having reservations about making your mental health a priority, here is why you shouldn’t:

  1. “No Man Is An Island”

Human beings are extraordinary. 

An individual can make a tremendous difference in the world and the lives of those around them. People make profound changes in their lives, produce great works, and push the limits of what’s possible.

But even the most robust, independent, autonomous individual has, at some point in their life, needed help. Great people almost always have mentors to guide them, friends to turn to in their darkest moments, and people in their lives to remind them not to go astray.

Take Micheal Phelps, for example. He has been one of the most open public figures about seeking therapy. 

Phelps, one of the greatest athletes of all time in one of the most physically rigorous sports (swimming), had to admit at a certain point that even he had problems he could not overcome on his own.

Yes, you might want to handle all your problems without help, and maybe you’ve made significant progress already. But you have to consider that if you’re still struggling, discussing your problems with someone else might be the next big step.

You don’t need to suffer alone. You don’t need to handle it how you’ve always handled it. You aren’t invincible. You’re only human.

  1. Therapy Is Not What You Think It Is

Here’s a list of what good therapy is not:

  • Someone telling you things you want to hear.
  • Someone telling you to place blame on the people in your life and not take responsibility for anything.
  • Someone chit-chatted with you weekly for years with no attention paid to your progress.
  • Someone solving your problems for you.

Many people dismiss therapy as being too passive or something only “weak” people need to do.

What’s likely the case is that those people are the ones avoiding the things that bother them.

They don’t want to have to think about their childhoods, their shortcomings, their blindspots, their mistakes, their traumas, their relationships, and all the parts of themselves they would rather not look at.

Real therapy is solution focused. It involves a reciprocal commitment between therapist and client to get to the bottom of the client’s struggles and make their lives better.

Making progress in therapy requires that you talk about some of the most difficult experiences of your life. You need to be honest about what you’re dealing with and be willing to share those things to get beyond them. 

Therapy is never meant to cause suffering; it is meant to help you achieve wellness. That wellness is mostly driven by the client’s commitment to the process. 

The healing is in wading through the mess, in discovering what parts of your inner being remain stuck in the past, so you can start to work on freeing yourself from them.

Therapy can be lifesaving, but it requires you to be brave.

  1. Poor Mental Health Is All Too Common 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

“It is estimated that more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (57.8 million in 2021).”

One in five people is struggling with something. 

There may be physical, cultural, and sociological reasons why mental struggle has become so common. Still, the message here is this: If you’re feeling excessive anxiety, depression, or hopelessness on a regular basis, you aren’t alone.

How could anyone attach a stigma to seeking therapy when mental illness is now so widespread?

The best thing you can do for the world is to figure yourself out. Heal your pain so that you can work to better the world around you. If you can overcome what’s affecting you, then you can show others who are suffering in a similar way that it’s possible to get better.

This is “being the change you want to see in the world.” Being mentally healthy, having strong relationships, loving who you are, processing your traumas, and building true resilience, are what’s needed now.

Therapy might be your best avenue for changing yourself before you change the world.

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed his famous Hierarchy of Human Needs in 1943.

The bottom rung of Maslow’s hierarchy is “Physiological Needs.” These include the bare essentials of survival, like food, water, shelter, and clean air.

Above this rung come all other aspects of living, which ascend to safety, love, self-esteem, and finally, self-actualization — fulfilling your potential and becoming your best self.

A common criticism of therapy is that it is a “luxury” that can only be afforded to those who don’t have to worry about poverty or feeding their families.

It’s true having your basic needs met is essential, and it should be a source of gratitude in your life if they are. However, if food and shelter were all humans needed to feel happy and fulfilled, we would be pretty simple creatures, wouldn’t we?

We already know that mental illness, trauma, and the like can lead to awful outcomes in people’s lives. If left unaddressed, these issues can affect all aspects of life, including love and relationships, self-esteem, financial stability, and even our ability to meet our basic needs. A deeply ill person may not even feel they deserve to have their basic needs met.

It does not need to be explained that internal struggle is as real as external struggle and that addressing what’s bothering you could be the difference between living a meaningful life and not living at all.

Poor mental health is a very real problem, and therapy could be the solution.

It Might Be Time

If you’re struggling, please stop waiting to act. Therapy will benefit you as long as you make the commitment to getting better.

Don’t listen to the naysayers. Don’t be held back by fear. Therapy could be exactly what you need going forward.

Just remember this:

  • Internal struggles have significant consequences.
  • No one makes it entirely on their own.
  • You are not alone in struggling with your mental health.
  • Therapy is for those willing to be brave.