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  • Writer's pictureBret Dorsett

Am I Crazy Because I Need Counseling???

For many years I personally believed that if I went to counseling that there was something "wrong" with me. Getting counseling while in the military or other government service was also frowned upon because people wondered if their jobs were in jeopardy. Since COVID 19 Pandemic began in 2020, may people have discovered more about mental health challenges because of lost loved ones to COVID, losing jobs to business shutdowns, financial hardship, and family dynamics changing.


Fearing the Stigma


Some fear that's if they receive a mental health diagnosis, they are "branded" for life. In most cases this is not true. All a diagnosis is meant for is to assist with treatment planning and to bill insurers. Unless there is a personality disorder, psychosis, or even Bipolar Disorder, your diagnosis can be changed and even removed upon successful treatment completion.





Debilitating Shame


Many who suffer from mental and emotional distress shame themselves form"not being normal." Let's talk about normal a minute. Isn't it normal for our bodies to heal from a deep cut on our arm? How about broken bones? It is normal to experience pain, and be uncomfortable with how our bodies heal because it takes time. It is no different with mental and emotional pain! We have to experience pain, identify the source, and get the appropriate treatment. It has been my experience that many who see me did not have a lot of control in what caused their distress and if if this is the case, why shame yourself for what you "don't know" when it comes to healthy perceptions of yourself and the world around you? I submit that self-compassion is more approprioriate!





Getting Help


Just as you would go to a doctor for a physical injury, you come to therapists and paychologists to get help with mental and emotional injuries. Just as you pick the "right fit" when it comes to doctors, you do the same with therapists. Take your time. Interview them and express what you need to feel safe and what you find helpful. Listen to them and measure their knowledge, sincerity, and compassion. Even after you start, you have the right to stop treatment if you do not feel good about the therapeutic relationship. Good therapists will guide you and provide an environment where you can be safe to choose treatment and whether you feel it is a good fit.


Conclusion


NO you are not crazy because you may need therapy! In fact, it is pretty healthy and courageous for you to take the leap of faith to get the help you have always needed and most certainly deserve! You can do this!

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