Why It's Now Taboo NOT To Go To Therapy
Our culture is turning an important corner in regards to mental health, communication techniques, and being okay with not being perfect.
Living in Southern California, I’ve been exposed to a wide array of self help systems and I couldn’t be more grateful. Luckily, many of those programs are now available online for people to begin the journey of self reflection and understand our human emotions in a much more mature way than the previous generation was able to.
The old way of doing things was to keep our fears, our anger, and our anxiety at bay by putting on a brave face. We may not have realized that these negative emotions were building up and we probably didn’t know why we would often lose our cool. Now we know it’s important to sit and take time to process our emotions. Even Hollywood has begun to weave narratives involving mental health and therapy into plots and character arcs (my guilty pleasure is Grace and Frankie).
But when was it that our culture switched from never talking about mental health to posting about mental health awareness like it’s our job on Instagram? This shift happened quickly and the good news is that now it’s not only okay to seek help for the inner workings of our psyche, it’s almost considered taboo to do the opposite. That said, for many people, therapy isn’t easy. Let’s take a look at why we might be resistant to therapy and the benefits of overcoming that resistance.
Mental Health Stigmas Are Finally Being Debunked
There are amazing organizations that are helping pave the way for our culture to be the first to openly embrace and discuss mental health issues as part of general medical issues. Just one generation before, there were terrible fears around talking about our issues because the commonly accepted mentality was that success came from being strong willed, strong minded, and separating ourselves from our emotions. Hollywood played a big part in showing women as emotional and men as unemotional. These roles became deeply ingrained in our psyche, etching emotions into our minds as “weak.”
But now Hollywood is shifting as we are evolving and the great minds of our time have called for a more balanced and informed understanding of the full spectrum of human emotions. There’s a huge industry growing around the economy of emotions because we now see the value in being stable and feeling good naturally. What that means is that it’s now hip to have a spiritual counselor and it’s cool to be in a support group. We are all coming to understand that we can’t blame other people for our emotions and we have to take responsibility for the behaviors we bring to the table in all of our relationships.
When it comes to more serious mental health issues, there are intricate links to other trends that offer alternatives to medications. Eastern holistic therapies like meditation, healthy eating, and herbal medicine are becoming just as popular as seeing a therapist. We are evolving to see things more holistically as a species. We are becoming more sensitive and receptive to emotional intelligence as we realize its importance. We are also becoming more informed about the damage of past trauma, the scars we’ve collected from others and the scars we leave on ourselves when we let our minds run wild without direction. Therapy comes in many forms. We can’t say that any one type of therapy is best, but we can say that people are changing and opening up, wanting to take better care of themselves and others.
We Have Diverse Beliefs and Needs; It Takes Work To Grow Together Instead of Apart
As we get older, many people go down different routes and find different belief systems. When we start to pit ourselves against each other for any reason—our sexual preferences, dietary choices, political views—we can really get turned upside down in our interpersonal lives. We can use therapists and their neutral role in our lives to help us get out of our own bubble of existence so we can learn to respect and even be friends with people we disagree with.
Similarly, we are each faced with mental health challenges to certain degrees. When those things come up, we can choose to go to our loved ones for therapy. Whether it’s rage, depression, anxiety, addiction, or something else entirely, we don’t have to run from ourselves anymore and we don’t have to hide what we are experiencing inside. We are no longer judged, labelled, and ostracized from our communities for addressing our mental health. Those who do judge and alienate those who are struggling are themselves the ones who become outsiders.
We can all be a part of shifting our culture towards better mental health by taking care of our own and being willing to talk about it with others. Most people have at least one family member with a mental health condition or have struggled with one themselves. We are coming into a time where we love ourselves and each other on a soul level and can see how certain environments and lifestyles breed poor mental health conditions. We can speak openly about mental health to prevent many of the tragedies we’ve seen in the media over the years.
This is a call to action for us to keep this momentum going.
We can all strengthen our emotional intelligence so that less children have to grow up in toxic homes. We are in the technology age where education about mental health is finally free and accessible to anyone. Let’s share the love and be bold about speaking kindly. Understand that there are still many people who continue to hide their struggles and we can play integral roles in changing that.
Imagine a world where everyone felt safe enough to open up to their loved ones. That’s a world I want to live in.
Thanks for reading and being a part of this global shift.