Therapy needs to be Normalized…
There seems to be this negative stigma behind therapy. These days the stigma is opening up to a more accepting society as research has shown more millennials are engaging in therapy.
When we were growing up, therapy was a dirty word. You did not go and tell your problems to an outsider. We were taught to suffer in silence. We did go to therapy a few times, but were informed we could not tell anyone that we were going. And if our mom suspected anyone knew, then she pulled us out of therapy indicating it wasn’t working and not needed.
There were many years where we were shamed for needing therapy, or even wanting therapy. We listened to a lot of negative comments, we saw the looks of sympathy, we were treated as if a mental issue was contagious, and heard the whispers about we “were not right in the head”.
It was always our fault though. We did something wrong. We didn’t put on a smile. We didn’t just snap out of it. We chose to be depressed. We sought attention. Little did people know back then. Perhaps people didn’t care to know; it was easier to dismiss mental issues than it was to try to understand them.
In some ways this is still true today. Some people don’t take the time to understand mental disorders and how they truly affect a person. Because mental disorders are not a “seen” issue, then it is really not a true “issue”. This is especially disturbing for those who need therapy and shy away from it for fear of how their friends and family will respond.
Over the years, we endured a lot of negative attention from going to therapy. Eventually it got to the point where we either stopped going, or we didn’t tell anyone when we did go. Admitting we needed therapy was a sign of weakness, and after all we were taught not show weakness.
We need to change the way therapy is seen, the way people perceive the therapy process. We need to change how world sees mental health. The best way (we can think of) is to make the change within ourselves. Be the change you want to see happen. Therapy is not a dirty word. It is the essential part to self-care. We need to first start with the change inside of us. We have been in therapy for almost 3 years now. We are not ashamed of it. We are not ashamed of who we are. We are not ashamed of being a multiple and having DID. Sure, there are other parts of our past trauma history we are dealing with not being ashamed of, but for now we are starting with not being ashamed of we are and where we are now.
Therapy is not the issue. The issue is those bullying anyone in therapy. Stand tall. Be proud of the changes you are making for yourself. You matter!
A. G. Ballard