Stigma – the Demon

“There is not an enemy so stout, as to storm and take the fortress of the mind, unless its infirmity turn traitor, and fear unbar the gates.”

-MARTIN F TUPPER


Let’s address the elephant in the room. YES, right away. There is a stigma when it comes to going to a Psychologist to deal with our concerns. There are some who think that people who seek such help are not “mentally stable”. Others might shun away from such “mental” people!


An individual can go for counselling for various reasons. Many of those who decide to attend counselling/therapy sessions do not have a serious mental illness. What they (probably) do have are some serious life challenges; or are simply going through some difficult life-cycle transitions that may be affecting their current ability to cope. This, in turn, may be adversely affecting their well-being and ability to function to their best capabilities. Some of these situations could include death of a near and dear one; the ending of a close relationship, romantic or otherwise; changes in family/couple relationships due to the addition of a child (or a new member); health diagnosis; family or parent-child conflict; cultural assimilation; getting married or divorced; caring for loved ones due to their to illness or disability; decision-making challenges related to these life choices. These are just some of the (more common) reasons for people to go for counselling; there can certainly be a plethora of other events/situations as well that cannot be listed out in a page.


While the above serve as daily-life issues faced commonly by people, there are also some who go for counselling to address more pronounced psychological concerns. Let’s look at it this way: when we have a neural concern, we pay a visit to the neurologist and oral issues directs us to a dentist. Similarly, when we have concerns of the psychological realm we CAN visit a psychiatrist and/or a psychologist. What we do not realise is that, not taking care of our mental health could then result in the concern growing larger and more disastrous (just like an early diagnosis of initial tooth decay can save us the trouble of a full-fledged surgery and of course the pain). Remember the age-old saying – a stitch in time saves nine!


It is OUR mind. It is for OUR peace. It is definitely for OUR well-being! Why should anyone else have a say in it? Should it actually matter as to what others think about us when we reach out for help? If you have a concern, ask for help! Counselling can indeed help you make a difference. Ultimately it is an invaluable investment in your emotional, physical and mental health – it is an act of courage, not weakness. Let’s get rid of this demonic STIGMA and RISE to a healthier future – both in mind and body.


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