My mental health journey thru the stigma’s

My background includes abuse of different types, addictions,sexual assults, homelessness,and some other trauma filled issues. So it would make sense that I definitely have some mental issues steaming from these events and situations. Most people on the world have experienced these same things so it boggles my mind that people think seeking therapy is such a horrible thing.

“You don’t need therapy,you need self control,” those are the words of an ex in response of me telling him I needed therapy to control my violence towards him. Who here understands generational curses? For those who don’t it simply means carrying on negative behaviors from one generation to the next. My mom saw her dad abusing her mom,I’m sure my dad saw some type of abuse,and at one point and time my dad abused my mom and then they both abused me. I,in return,learned that behavior and carried it with me. I won’t say this ex didn’t push my buttons but I will say that I lacked the tools to control that anger. Anyway,now that I look back on it,it’s ridiculous that he would have rather had me being violent towards him instead of seeking help. I’m not sure it dawned on him that if I could control my violence on my own that I would have. In my ignorance and feeling like I was weak,I didn’t take the therapy seriously and my violence remained in tact. If you see someone struggling with something and they come to you with it,why would you tell them they need to handle it own their own as if they haven’t been trying to do so?

“You don’t need therapy,you just need God and prayer.” That’s another line that I hear all too often. It makes a person feel that they don’t believe in God enough or that they aren’t praying hard enough for their issues to be resolved by God. So not only do they feel bad about their mental health or substance abuse,you also managed to question their faith. Do you pray for money,love, happiness, promotions,etc without putting in the work to accomplish those things? No,so why would you expect someone to just fix their mental health or substance abuse issues with prayer but no work? Tell them to pray for help and encourage them to seek help. Faith without works is dead.

“Don’t be telling some stranger about your problems”. So they can’t come to you but they also can’t go to a professional? You don’t think that’s confusing? You’re reinforcing their feelings that they’re all alone while simultaneously making them feel that they aren’t. How do you think a person who is suffering will process that conflicting information? If you aren’t capable of helping them and you love them, shouldn’t you encourage them to get the help they need? Strangers who gossip aren’t the same as professional strangers that help.

These are some of the stigmas that I’ve had to deal with on my journey of seeking therapy. Trying to be and do all those things I mentioned cost me years of getting the peace of mind that a therapy helped me achieve. I ignored my traumatic past even though it was causing a lot of my reckless behaviors just because I wanted to be this strong person. I suffered in silence, lonliness,and sunk into a deeper depression because I felt shame from those who said they loved me. Remember that seeking help isn’t a personal attack on you,it becomes personal when you ignore the distressed one based on your own insecurities or ignorance. You can be a helping tool or a destructive one. Which one will you choose?

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