If we have a tooth ache we aren’t embarrassed to say “I need to go to the dentist”. If we think we’ve broken a bone we aren’t afraid to say “I think I need to get an x-ray”. So saying “I think I need to talk to someone – like a therapist” should be the same thing. Getting help for any problem early (tooth ache, broken toe, loneliness) makes healing quicker and easier than waiting until your tooth falls out of your head, your toe is twisted like gross knot or you feel like you’re all alone and there’s no hope.
Lots of people think that mental problems are rare and “happen to someone else.” when they are actually really common. About 54 million people in the USA suffer from some form of “mental disorder” in a given year.
I wish they’d come up with a better word for it than “disorder”. That word might be part of the reason that people don’t get help. Maybe the word “DISORDER” freaks people out “I DON’T HAVE THAT – NOT A DISORDER!!”
Since mental disorders are really common maybe we can use a really common word instead. A word that just about everyone can relate to… “Pain” both mental and emotional pain. Let’s use something simple and drop the “disorder” stigma word so that kids feel comfortable getting help when they need it.
If you think you or someone you know may have mental or emotional problems, it is important to remember there is hope and help. (More info: Mental Health America)