Whether it is because there is more awareness, better technology, more mental illness, or because of all the media hype, it seems like mental illnesses are being blamed for everything from oversleeping to shooting people. Not to make light of mental illnesses, but there also seem to be more types of mental health disorders nowadays. However, it seems like people are still afraid to talk about it.
The stigma of mental illness is still very much alive in the United States and everywhere else for that matter. Why are we so afraid to talk about how we feel? How can you get help if you are afraid to even bring it up? That is why counselling is so important.
What Is a Mental Illness?
There are many types of mental illnesses from addiction to xenophobia (fear of strangers). In fact, if you were to Google mental illnesses, you would come up with 1,250,000 results. In recent years, there has been more interest in mental health disorders due in part to the tragic school shootings in the news.
As a matter of fact, almost one in five people in the United States have some form of mental health disorder. The most common mental illnesses reported in the United States include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), personality disorders, and addiction disorders. Anxiety disorders are the most common and affect more than 40 million adults every year. That is close to 20% of the population! Depression comes in second and is the most common cause of disability in America. It affects women twice as often as it does men.
Treating Mental Illnesses
Some forms of mental illnesses are mild and do not affect your everyday life but there are many who are unable to go about their daily lives due to symptoms of a mental condition that has gone untreated. The sad part is that almost all mental health conditions are treatable but only about a third of those who need help actually get treated. This may be due to the stigma of mental illness, lack of insurance coverage for mental health care, denial, or the shortage of psychologists. Seeking counselling is the first step toward feeling better no matter what type of mental health condition you or your loved one may be suffering from. The good news is that it is not as hard to get as it used to be.
Online therapy has made mental health care a much easier and more confidential way to get treatment for all sorts of mental health conditions.
And whether you have health insurance coverage or not, the best news about online therapy is the cost. Speaking to a psychologist online is only a fraction of the cost of traditional face to face treatment. The cost of treatment is lower because the cost for therapists to treat you is much lower.
They do not have to pay the cost of transportation, an office, hiring an office staff, or the costs of running that office such as utilities and insurance. They save money so you save money. And another great benefit is that you can do it from the privacy of your own home so you do not have to worry about anyone giving you a hard time for seeing a therapist. However, it is time to get rid of the stigma of mental health so we can all feel better.
I agree that the mental illness stigma is is still alive in the U.S. When I got diagnosed with clinical depression, I was somewhat embarassed. However, as you mentioned, my doctor informed me that one in five people have a mental health disorder. She also strongly encouraged counseling, as medications can only take you so far by themselves. Do you have any advice for choosing a counselor?