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Why People Avoid Mental Health Treatment

You may know that you need treatment for your mental illness, but perhaps you are too scared to do anything about it. You do not know what to expect and are worried that it will not work. However, seeking treatment for your mental health can help you be in more control and feeling better.

Facing Scary Feelings

Therapy is very hard because it involves exposing your deep, dark feelings that you have not revealed to anyone. You are trusting a stranger with your intense feelings, in hopes that they will help repair you mentally. Therapy involves digging deep into your past and present and exposing who you really are. You may be afraid that you do not like what you discover. It is important to be aware that a therapeutic atmosphere is a safe place where you can feel comfortable to express anything. You will have a professional by your side the whole time. 

Questioning the Length of Therapy

It is important to know that fixing your mental health is not something that will happen overnight. It can take months or years to finally feel better. According to the American Psychological Association, 50% of patients require 15-20 sessions which are about three months if you go weekly. By missing your sessions, you are only making your treatment much longer than it needs to be. If you do not put in the time and effort, you are not going to get better. Every minute that you wasted could have gone into speaking to a therapist about how to help you. By making it a routine to go to therapy, you will see that the months you need to be in treatment will fly quickly.

Feeling Shame

You could be afraid that someone will see you walking into a therapist’s office or a neighbor constantly asking you where you go every week. Especially if you are currently unemployed. You may not want to lie when someone asks, but you are also afraid of the judgment you will face if you tell someone you have a mental illness. You need to remember that you are not alone. According to a Barna study, 42% of Americans have been to therapy at least one point in their life. The people curious where you are going could be in therapy for themselves as well. Also, if you had to go to the doctor for a physical medical issue, that would not be something that you would be quick to hide. The same goes for having a mental illness. It should not be something that you are ashamed of. 

Using Your Friend’s Experience to Match Yours

Everyone’s experience in therapy is different. Your friend may have told you that they had a terrible therapy experience and that based on that one experience, therapy is not helpful. The experiences that our friends have dealt with are not universal. The Barna study said that 47% of people have had a positive experience in therapy and 39% had a somewhat positive experience. Only six percent had a negative experience. It could be possible that your friend did not see a good therapist or that the therapist was not fit for your friend’s needs. Focus on the long-term benefits of therapy and give it a chance as you have the opportunity to have a more positive experience.

Therapy Associated with the Crazy Label

You may feel like you do not need therapy because therapy is for “crazy people.” You may think that your symptoms are not that bad because you get irritable sometimes or get sad sometimes. It is all about how you handle your anger and sadness. If you have huge fits of rage or hide in your room whenever you feel sad, you are not expressing your emotions in a healthy way. You could think that therapists have bigger problems to fix than the ones you have. Any problems that you have, though, are important as small problems can become bigger problems later if you do not do anything about them. 


It can be expensive to go to therapy. But, there is such a thing as affordable treatment. There are therapists that offer service based on a sliding scale or there are community mental health centers that offer therapy at little to no cost. Also, remember that money should not be considered as what stops you from seeking help as if you sprained your ankle, you would see a doctor to fix it no matter what. The same emergence should be said for your mental health as not seeking help can lead to panic attacks or suicidal thoughts if you let the symptoms worsen.

Encouragement for Mental Health Treatment

More needs to be done to let others know how normal it is to be in treatment for your mental health. This can mean writing down the statistics of those who are struggling with the same mental illness you have or how many people in the country go to treatment. Government officials need to talk more about their mental health and encourage treatment. The responsibility should also fall on your local doctor’s offices to have pamphlets of information where to go for treatment as well as transportation options. By speaking comfortable about mental illness and being honest about your symptoms, you should be confident enough to pick up the phone and schedule your first therapy appointment. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12-Step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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