5 Mental Health Counseling Misconceptions

Misconceptions or Truths: 5 Things You Need to Know About Mental Health Counseling

We have all heard the notion that only “crazy” people seek mental health care. This just isn’t true. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 64.1% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2018.   

Whether it’s to cope with disorders, a bad relationship, stress or grief, therapy can help sort out issues and put people on a road to improvement and lifelong happiness.  

Here are 5 misconceptions about therapy that may help you look at counseling and life in a brand-new light:
1. Mental illness is not a common problem. 

According to MentalHealth.gov, one in five American adults have a mental health issue; one in 10 young people have major depression; one in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression and suicide accounts for more than 41,000  lives in the U.S. each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide. While these statistics are staggering, help is available for those who require additional support

2. Children do not suffer from mental health problems.

Children of all ages can develop mental illness, whether it be anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, many children and adolescents are not being helpedGetting help early can help avoid problems that may interfere with their developmental needs.  

 “If a child or adolescent is struggling with a mental health illness, it is best to seek treatment early on,” says Alicia Day, MS, LPC, School Based Clinical Services Supervisor, Counseling and Wellness Centers, Acenda. “This will help normalize their experiences but also learn how to appropriately express their emotional discomforts. Seeking out therapy well before they reach adulthood could prevent the possibility of seeking out high-risk behaviors such as promiscuity and substance use later on.”  

mother talking to sad teenager that needs mental health counseling
3. Mental illness means you are weak. 

Being mentally strong and being mentally healthy are not one in the same. Just as someone with heart condition could be physically strong, someone with a mental illness can be strong mentally. You can build mental strength regardless of whether or not you might be suffering from a mental illness. 

woman talking to psychotherapist for mental health counseling
4. Medication can help solve a problem.

Many individuals think medication will solve all of the mental concerns, but that’s not true. Although medications can help, it’s important that people seek counseling in order to also work on their ways of thinking, or cognitive restructuring.  

“Medications can be necessary to help relieve symptoms, of say depression or anxiety, however speaking to a licensed professional such a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional can be helpful in processing and understanding experiences that might be underlying and causing the symptoms,” adds Day. 

5. Seeking mental health assistance is an indicator of failure.

Unfortunately, due to the significant stigma associated with mental illness people that struggle with disorders like anxiety and depression do not seek out treatment. Much like seeking out cancer treatments or calling a doctor for chronic back pain, seeking out mental health assistance is an indicator of prioritizing personal health care. Thus, it should not be considered a sign of failure.

Clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers are available to help with any mental health concerns you are having. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) for more information about our Outpatient Counseling and telehealth services.