Is Today the Day….?
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Ok, the chances are you’re reading this because you…or someone you care about…is suffering.
You’re facing the very real daily challenges of anxiety, depression, ptsd and the associated range of negative thoughts, behaviours and physical symptoms….
But here’s a fact…most sufferers are NOT seeking help.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) published their review of non-treatment of mental health issues and confirmed 30 to 80% of people with mental health concerns never received treatment!
Other studies concluded that in the case of anxiety and depression, as few as 1 in 4 even sought any treatment. The consequences are as devastating as they are obvious with personal suffering, missed work, relationship breakdowns, physical health problems and tragically too often, death.
The question has to be asked….Why?
(Particularly when, for so many conditions, there are clinically tested, effective, proven therapies)
Here’s the top 7 excuses:
1) Social Stigma - Fear!
This is the number 1 “reason” for not seeking help. It acknowledges that discrimination is real and “labels” can be career & relationship limiting….but ignores the negative impact that the condition is already having on your life! (Not much “reasoning” going on there.)
Seeing a therapist is a private matter - it’s entirely up to you how public you make your “health issue”. This excuse is busted…have a confidential talk with a professional today and get your life back!
2) Feelings of “failure & shame”
Admitting to yourself and others that you’re struggling can feel shameful - like you are failing to meet some personal or imposed expectation… but it conveniently ignores the fact that virtually everyone has periods like this and that getting some professional help would be a logical first step. We don't “feel ashamed" when we sprain an ankle. It’s time to think of a psychotherapist like a physiotherapist for the mind…
Concerned about opening up to a stranger? Worried that your personal information won’t be kept confidential? Counsellors, doctors and therapists are bound by professional ethical standards and legislation to maintain the highest degrees of confidentiality. The consequences of a breach are career destroying for them….and here’s the thing…they are there exclusively to help you! Discrete, private, focussed on your health and well being. This excuse suggests “paranoia” as a diagnosis ….think about that!
4) Lack of self-awareness
Not really an excuse, more a reason for not addressing a mental health issue - a person may not appreciate the impact of their condition, dismissing or minimizing their issues and explaining away their behaviour in terms like: “everyone gets stressed” and “I’m no worse than anyone else” or “you’re making more out of this than you need to”. Later in the progression of the illness, lack of self-awareness often combines with fear (social stigma) and feelings of “failure & shame” to create a barrier that can result in the worst outcomes. Difficult for others to broach this, left unaddressed, can be a silent killer.
5) Lack of availability
Let me start here by saying upfront - the system is badly broken. Mental health services are in critically short supply and demand is overwhelming. That said……there is no excuse for not trying to source help. A cursory glance at Dr Google and there are people everywhere ready to help. Do your homework. Ask lots of questions. Help is available…..but a warning! Don’t leave it too late. Dealing with mental health is like dealing with physical health, prevention is better than cure and maintenance is essential. Don't let things fester. Don’t wait until issues are critical because those resources are very limited.
6) Cost & other barriers
Financial hardship is a major issue. Mental health conditions often result in time off work sometimes for extended periods and this inevitably impacts on income. Some conditions require extensive treatment and consequential costs. Others are less demanding. Not having reliable transportation, child care issues and appointments for treatment that conflict with work or school schedules can also limit access to treatment. In my practice, as in many others, all efforts are made to accommodate personal circumstance, including discounted schedules and after hours sessions by arrangement. There’s no excuse for not asking.
7) Loss of Hope.
Ok, this one is a symptom of the condition more than a reason or excuse. So demoralized by their mental health issues, some people fall into a pit of despair and begin to believe “nothing will help me” or “I’ll never get better.” These erroneous beliefs, preventing us from taking positive action, need to be seen for what they are - symptoms of anxiety and depression - red flags for us and others who care for us to seek professional help from clinically proven therapists. Hope is all.
Fear, shame, distrust, lack of awareness and availability, costs and other barriers are all cited as “reasons” for not seeking help, and from a particular perspective they are.
From another, and here speaking as a clinical therapist, it's incredibly frustrating to see the inertia, the lack of self help when so much is available. As a society we pay a huge cost for the lack of attention we give to our mental health. Our pride and our prejudice prevent us from acknowledging our condition until we are in personal crisis - and it is so preventable.
The greatest crisis is the crisis of Hope - a tragically avoidable state in which “all is lost”. In my rooms I see it too often and to date I’ve been lucky enough to see clients before it’s too late.
There is hope. There is a solution. You don’t have to suffer.
The big questions remain:
What will you do about it? and… Is today the day you’ll seek out that help?
Need Help & Want to know more?
Getting your life back can be a heroic challenge on your own. Fortunately there are people trained to help. If you would like to know more about subconscious therapy and how it can resolve anxiety, depression and a wide range of negative thoughts, behaviours and physical symptoms - quickly, gently and permanently in as few as 3 sessions, visit www.pstbythesea.com