As kids we were always encouraged to reach out to career counsellors and as we grew older we were familiarized with a more recently accepted concept of marriage counsellors. Perhaps between growing up and growing old, what we missed out on was the importance of mental health counsellors!
Counselling focuses on specific issues and is designed to help a person address a particular problem, such as addiction or stress management. When people think of therapy, they often associate it with extreme mental illness, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or severe depression. While psychotherapy does exist, it is just a subset of counselling. Reaching out to a specialist for more frequent issues, such as relationship traumas, interpersonal conflicts, job stress, depression, financial crisis wreaked upon by daily struggles etc. is highly underrated. Counseling is for everyone, not just people with an extreme mental illness.
OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY
Mental health in general shouldn't be stigmatized and should be freely talked about. In today’s fast paced world, as we are all getting closer with the massive emergence of social media, almost every person finds himself / herself unhappy at some level. I have barely met a person who isn’t dealing with personal issues at multiple levels, whether it's a bad childhood, dysfunctional family, lack of self-esteem, heartbreaks or professional barriers, anxiety or OCD.
Yet, it seems as if therapy and counseling are almost sneered at and looked down upon by stereotypical responses to someone’s admission of seeking counselling in our society - “Oh! you want therapy, there must be something seriously wrong with you!” or “You must be out of your mind to go to such an extent” or “Just chill, it’s not that big a deal, you’re overreacting” and the most common one “You think you’re the only one with problems?”
We need to normalize the concept of counselling and start understanding the fact that IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.
Usually, the main reason people don't ask for help is that they think it makes them weak. It makes you feel vulnerable because you fear losing control over the situation. You're putting your trust into someone else's hands. Then there's also the worry about being dependent or a burden to someone. We may need the help, but that need gets shut down with all of these apprehensions. We keep procrastinating till one day it snowballs into something bigger.