Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist. While I do have a masters degree in counseling, the purpose of this blog is not to provide counseling. The purpose of this blog is to offer tips to deal with the frustrations of life. When it comes to your mental health, please seek professional counsel if you feel necessary.
Okay. Maybe that was a little corny. But admit it, you laughed way harder than you should. I hope that put you in good spirits cause it’s time to do some therapy.
It’s officially May and May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I am so excited to have this dedicated time to really dig into mental health topics. This month I’ll be talking about a variety of topics from forgiveness and resilience to stress and anger management. I hope that you find something on this blog that encourages you to silence the shame surrounding mental health. And speaking of silencing the shame, that is my topic for this week.
I wanted to start the month off by dealing with some common myths about therapy. I believe that a bulk of the shame associated with therapy is due to the myths that surround it. But have no fear, this is nothing that the truth can’t fix.
With that being said, here are 3 myths about therapy and the truth that often gets ignored.
1. If you aren’t dealing with a mental illness such as borderline personality, schizophrenia, or the like, you don’t need therapy. FALSE! Therapy is not just for tough mental illnesses. It is also for engaging in self-care, dealing with conflict, managing anxiety, and building healthy relationships. There are a wide array of reasons for therapy.
2. You can pray yourself out of mental illness. FALSE. This is perhaps one of the most frustrating myths for me as a therapist and Pastor. It makes people feel like they don’t have faith because they need help. Well shake that myth off! One of the names of God mentioned in Isaiah 9:6 is counselor. Now if the Bible commands we should call God a counselor, how can we discredit the gift of counseling?
3. Depression is overcome by being grateful. Not totally. While there is minor truth in this statement, depression, at its lowest form, is a chemical imbalance in the brain. This chemical imbalance it what causes an individual to loose interest in activities, feel alone in a room full of loved ones, and engage in suicidal ideation. These are not ideas that can be overcome by being grateful alone.
I hope that sharing these myths and the truth behind them helps break the shame of mental health. Know of any other myths I didn’t mention? Leave a comment below and share it!
Shanithia “HyQuality” Kendrick