Is your s^*#%@ showing?
One of the most aggravating things I experience as a therapist is the very same issue that prevents so many people from seeking mental health services when they need them: stigma. While there are many people who believe counseling is a safe environment to discuss problems and gain insight, there are countless others who believe emotional and psychological issues can be controlled if you “suck it up.” Unfortunately, the latter group doesn’t keep this belief to themselves.
Chris Kluwe, a punter for the Oakland Raiders and advocate for equality and empathy, articulated this frustration in his new book, “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies”:
“As a society, we see mental illness as a stigma, not a disease to be treated. We build prisons instead of hospitals, and then we wonder why someone who’s “not right in the head” does something crazy instead of getting help. We see going to therapy and counseling as signs of weakness, not as an attempt to heal a sick body part. How f*cking ridiculous would it be if someone made fun of you for doing physical rehab after a knee surgery? “Ha-ha, you stupid jerk, you’re so weak. Real men just walk off with ACL tears.”
Idiotic. Yet that’s what we do! We continue to cut funding for health care, especially for mental-health issues, and we treat our mentally ill like rabid animals. We force them to live on the street, or we lock them in prison and give them no assistance.”