Mental health is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult topics to broach in conversation. There is a major stigma around not just mental illness but taking care of mental health as well. Many people who go to therapy are ashamed of making the effort to be their best self.
Unfortunately, over the years we have learnt that keeping quiet about mental health can be harmful and even fatal. It is common for people to act as if they are perfectly fine in public, only to struggle in private. Speaking is not a cure-all for mental health issues, but it is a starting point. Only once you have acknowledged it can you start asking for help.
There are a number of important reasons to speak about your mental health. Speaking about your mental health helps in the following ways.
Don’t give into the loneliness
Combat Loneliness and Isolation
Loneliness and mental illness have a two-way relationship. Loneliness is a feeling that can lead to depression and anxiety. Loneliness can also be a symptom of mental illness.
Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety tell you that you’re not good enough, among other things. This belief can lead people to isolate themselves. You begin to think that no one really wants you around or that you will make a fool of yourself. You may even worry that you’ll bring down the mood.
All human beings need social contact. We crave intimacy, even if we often enjoy being alone. When we isolate, loneliness can start to feel unbearable. Speaking about your mental health is crucial, as it helps you connect with others by being vulnerable. You realize that people really do care about you. Often, you will learn that others are going through something similar.
Talking to a therapist is the best way to help your mental health
Talking about your issues can actually improve your mental health. Millions of people around the world go to therapy for this reason. When sharing, you begin to work through your issues in a way that you could not do alone. A therapist – or even a good listener – will notice things that you have not.
By talking, you give yourself the chance to challenge your thought process. You are no longer looking only to yourself for validation. You may have convinced yourself of the truth of a certain idea, only to find that your thinking was affected by your mood.
When struggling with mental health issues, we often convince ourselves that we couldn’t feel any other way. However, this is rarely, if ever, true.
Embrace your mental health struggles and don’t be afraid to share them with the world
Banish Your Shame
We don’t talk about mental health issues because of the shame we feel. However, that shame makes these issues far more difficult to carry. Instead of simply feeling anxious about a deadline, we feel shame for our anxiety, believing that anxiety is a weakness. If we were to accept the anxiety, it might not feel so overwhelming, but our shame makes it difficult to admit that we’re struggling even to ourselves.
Speaking about your mental health can help banish your shame. When you own what you are going through and share it with another person, you realize that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone goes through difficult periods when it comes to mental health.
At the very least, you let go of the burden of keeping your feelings secret all the time. The secret is out and you find that the consequences are not nearly as bad as you thought they would be. In fact, you might well find that you’re much better off now that someone else knows.
Talk to the people around you, you never know what they might be going through
Lessen The Stigma
In the past hundred years, the field of psychology has come a long way. A field that was once made up of a handful of people is now a massive sector of society. A ton of research has been done that has made it clear that mental illness is normal. Millions of people suffer from mental illnesses in the U.S. alone. Yet somehow there is still a tremendous stigma surrounding it.
The stigma will only go away when people feel more free to talk about mental health. Even if you are talking to a therapist about your own mental health, it helps to share your journey with the people in your life. In turn, they will feel more comfortable to speak about their own issues.
Because of the stigma associated with mental illness, people are scared to ask for help. They feel isolated and don’t know what they can do to get better. By speaking openly about your own journey, you help make the world a safer space for others to share.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel better and spend more time with them
Maintain Your Wellbeing
When we start working on our mental health, it is easy to get caught up in trying to “fix” ourselves. Because of this, we feel as if we have completed our journey when we have achieved our initial goals. However, mental wellness requires maintenance. You are trying to find balance rather than to fix problems.
By speaking about your mental health with friends and family, you keep mental wellness top-of-mind. It becomes a part of your life. You work on your mental health, just like you would work on your physical health.
In 2021, there should be no stigma around mental health and mental illness. The good news is that it is now far easier to get help.
Don’t be afraid to start your mental health journey
Does Online Therapy Work?
Online therapy has become a common way to get mental health treatment. Even before the pandemic, online therapy was helping people around the world speak about their mental health. With the pandemic keeping people at home, it became a primary way to speak to a therapist.
Does online therapy work? According to BestOnlineTherapy, comparing more than 30 mental health platforms, the customer acceptance of the product is overwhelmingly positive – as there are far more positive experiences collated online (than bad experiences). In other words, a wide range of online mental health websites are providing quality therapy.
Online counseling is so beneficial because it makes it easy to get to therapy. Instead of having to drive to a therapist’s office and sit in the waiting room, you do it from the comfort of your own home or office. With video chat, your therapist is able to see you, as they would in a traditional setting.
Research has shown that online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy. This will come as no surprise to the millions of people who had to switch to online therapy due to the pandemic.
For too long, therapy was seen as something to be ashamed of. People did not go in search of help for this reason. Now, it is easy for anyone to see a therapist. Speaking about your mental health is so important. Don’t take it for granted. Get help if you are in need, and continue having the conversation for the sake of yourself and those around you.