Things Aren’t That Bad: 5 Reasons People Give to Avoid Getting Professional Help
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness, but not all of them seek out professional help. In fact, nearly 60% of adults with mental illness do not seek mental health help. With a seemingly endless list of consequences, not getting help for mental illness can result in increased dependency on substances, increased risk of suicide, disruptions in your everyday life, and much more. Even though it is dangerous to avoid getting professional help, many adults still do. Below are five common excuses for avoiding therapy… and reasons to push past them.
Common Excuses to Avoid Therapy
#1: “Things Aren’t as Bad as They Seem.”
Even if you’re dealing with a myriad of mental health-related issues, it’s very common for you to tell yourself and others that things are really not that bad. This excuse is often used when other individuals in your life point out differences in your behavior or notice you are going through a difficult time. Even though you are showing noticeable changes in your normal self, saying things are not as bad as they seem is an excuse that seeks to diminish those concerns. But this excuse suggests a “tough it out” attitude about mental health issues, which often doesn’t lead you out of those issues, but merely allows them to persist. You don’t have to suffer alone.
#2: “Therapy Is Too Expensive.”
A common concern and excuse for avoiding professional help is the cost of therapy. Yes, therapy can be expensive, but not always. Depending on several cost factors, insurance may make it more affordable than you realize. Some therapists offer sliding scale rates, meaning that they have room in their practice for clients who need discounted rates. There may also be affordable and accessible mental health services in your area, just waiting to be explored.
#3: “I Don’t Need Therapy.”
Sometimes we view professional help as a luxury or something that should only be used by people who suffer from seemingly “worse” mental health conditions than whatever we’re dealing with. The truth is, most mental health issues that adults experience are not considered severe at first, but they can become dangerous if left unattended. For example, mild depression or anxiety, left to fester, can grow into major depressive disorder. Seeking professional help can help you get your symptoms under control before they become overwhelming or dangerous.
It’s important to note as well that constantly living in state of stress, depression, or anxiety can actually do a lot of harm to your everyday life. You don’t have to “hit rock bottom” for your struggle to be worthy of attention and care. You matter, your quality of life matters, and pursuing your own mental health is worthy no matter how things are going.
Keep in mind the ripple effects of learning better coping mechanisms, healthier ways of interacting, a strong self-image, and direction in personal growth over time. Learning to fight better with your partner, replacing your negative self-image with a positive one, or recovering from childhood trauma are treasures that you will take into every day for the rest of your life.
#4: “I Don’t Know Where to Start.”
If you don’t know where to start in seeking professional help, there are two great places to go. If you have an insurance carrier, you should start by calling them. The number of your insurance provider can usually be found on the back of your insurance card. You can learn more about your coverage for services and receive recommendations about covered professional help in your area directly from them. The second option is to look at an online directory of therapists. Here, you can find a list of therapists in your area who are ready to help.
#5: “I’m Too Busy.”
We all know that life can get busy, and it can seem like we do not have time to spare. This can feel especially true when we’re considering something we do not really feel excited about. But making time to get professional help is worth it. With the support of a therapist, you can learn to manage your mental illness, pursue personal growth in a way that frees you to be your best self, and let go of things that just aren’t serving you. There is always time for that.
It Is Time to Get Professional Help
© Copyright 2021 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by , therapist in Seattle, Washington