In the past, there was a great deal of stigma surrounding mental illness and the need for therapy, including substance abuse counseling. Recently, celebrities and politicians have helped to raise greater awareness and normalize the need for the treatment of mental health conditions. Even so, you may have family members, employers, co-workers, or friends who still believe in the negative connotations surrounding mental health issues. Knowing how to react to this type of stigma will help you cope with these situations better as you seek out West Palm Beach counseling.
Educate Others in Your Circle
One of the most important things you can do is to educate your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. If you do suffer from addiction or an emotional health problem, you’ll need the support of your social circle. This will involve educating them about your condition. You should start by dispelling any myths they believe. Once they understand the truth about your condition, they will be able to support you more effectively.
Raise Awareness About Mental Illness as a Health Condition
People tend to think mental illness is less serious than physical conditions because it takes place in the mind. When you encounter someone with this belief, you should be prepared to explain that mental health is just as serious as physical conditions. Help them understand that a mental health issue can affect one’s quality of life and may lead to physical health problems. Some mental illnesses can also become life-threatening if they are left untreated.
Discuss How West Palm Beach Counseling Will Help
You should also talk to your loved ones about the treatment you’ll be receiving. Even though they understand your condition, they may not know what treatment will involve. This doesn’t mean you should feel compelled to discuss private matters that you have discussed with your therapist, but a broad generalization may be helpful. Explain the types of therapy you receive or the medications you have been prescribed. This will help them understand more about your recovery process so that they can be more supportive.
Help Others to Support You
In some cases, people may not be as critical of your condition as you assume. They may just find it difficult to know how to support you. For example, if you attend substance abuse counseling, your co-workers or family may not understand how their alcohol use affects you. Help them understand that being around alcohol is a trigger for you. If you suffer from an eating disorder, tell your friends or relatives how they can help you deal with that illness. You may find that you’ll face far less stigma and receive more social support when others know how to help you.
Even though you may face social stigma, it’s still better to get the help you need to address and treat your mental health issues. Contact Banyan Group Counseling to schedule an evaluation and start on the road to recovery.