With the increase in the pace of our lives, workload and problems, mental health issues are also increasing. A number of people are dealing with some kind of mental well-being challenge. However, very few step out to seek help.
This is because of the misconceptions that surround counselling and therapy. Therapy is one of those ‘hype’ words that has been successful in maintaining a firm position in Indian families. Despite the increase in the talk about mental health everywhere, a good number of people are still surrounded by the myths associated with it. In the last few years, the youth of our country has put in a lot of effort at their end to end this stigma. The concept of therapy or counseling is being taught to the younger generation on a very high scale. Nevertheless, our country is still lagging behind because of its inability to make the elder generation understand this concept. No matter how much we try to ease out the concept of therapy, Indian parents’ stringent mindset isn’t easy to change.
The Reasons Behind the Problem
Misguided notions of therapy are the main reasons behind this unacceptable attitude. Even after years of spreading awareness, people especially of our parent’s generation still consider mentally unwell individuals as crazy. It is this notion of “pagal” or “crazy” that makes it difficult for members of such families to talk about their mental health conditions. This thing goes a long way and ends up in serious mental disorders. Most of us have tried this and are familiar with the responses we get when we talk about therapy at home. The most commonly heard responses are:
- People who seek therapy are mentally ill, crazy and weak.
- Therapy is for very serious mental problems.
- There is no such thing as anxiety or depression, it is all in your head.
- Our generation never had therapists, we solved our problems ourselves.
- Therapy is costly.
- Seeing a therapist is a trend these days.
Another reason behind this problem is that Indian parents have zero to very low tolerance for others telling them about their child’s mental state. According to them, if their kids had had some problem, they would have spoken to them first. However, in reality, they don’t realize how many times they shoo their kids away when their children gather the courage to tell their problem. The stigma around therapy doesn’t let people think upon or see what it is. The taboo is so deep-rooted in some minds that they continue to believe in these things even after all this awareness around us.
The solution to this problem lies with us. We can convince our parents or even others having the same mindset by helping them demystify the myths. Awareness programs can be conducted specially for parents. These programs can help parents to develop a better understanding of the meaning and need of therapy. On our part, we can clear the misconceptions of our family members and those in our vicinity.
We can help people in demystifying the myths by using statements like:
- Seeking therapy is not something to be ashamed of and is instead a brave task.
- Having a safe space means a lot.
- Therapy is not general guidance. It is rather a comprehensive study of behavior that assists one in finding the hidden reason behind the problem and helps to deal with it.
- Therapy helps one to heal by finding the reason behind the problem and by suggesting a potential solution to it.
However, after all this, there is no guarantee that the other person will understand it. No two individuals are alike thus all of them react differently to different situations. In such cases, one should remember that their decisions and choices cannot always be understood by everyone. If you feel the need for therapy, you should go for it regardless of what others say or think. Also, not everyone has to accept every decision you make, especially when it comes to your well-being.
BUDDY to share all your problems with (even anonymously, if you want) on the FeelJoy Mobile App available for all Android users.