A lot of my clients over the past few weeks have talked about feeling judged for having depression or anxiety or other mental health issues and the judgments not only come from other people, but also from themselves. My clients often express feeling weak or having some sort of character flaw because of their mental health issues. Some of my client’s even face the belief that their mental health issues are somehow a choice they’ve made!
It got me thinking about the unfortunate stigma that still surrounds mental illness. The reality is that often times we look at mental health issues differently than we look at medical issues. We wouldn’t judge someone for having cancer, yet often times there is judgment around someone who struggles with depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The reality is that these mental health issues are NOT a choice. There are many factors that go into our mental health struggles, these include genetics, biological factors – both of which we have NO control over – as well as the environment that we grew up in. It makes sense that someone who grew up in a home marked by abuse or chaos may struggle with anxiety or depression or even substance abuse issues as an adult.
So if you struggle with mental illness and find yourself facing these judgments either from yourself or others, please remember that you did not choose to feel this way. What you can do is offer yourself some patience and compassion. What you can do is recognize that your mental health struggles are very real and deserve the same attention as a medical issues would.
If you are struggling with mental health issues and have not yet taken the step to reach out, please remember that you deserve to have support and guidance in navigating the very real world of mental illness! It takes courage to reach out and I welcome you to call me so we can begin your journey into healing!
Want to learn more?
Call or Text Dr. Jen: (954) 464-1733