I frequently watch TED talks, not just because I learn something new, but because I gain insight about how others are experiencing the world today. One of my favorite presenters is Ruby Wax and her talk about depression and mental illness. If your adolescent child is suffering from depression, or any mental health concern, I encourage you to watch Ruby Wax on TED (Video below). In this video, the stigma of mental illness is identified as a barrier to seeking help.
As a whole our society has become more aware and sensitive to race, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc… Mental illness though, is still frowned upon, is perceived as a weakness, or made into a mockery. The human brain is such a powerful and complex organ, and I venture to say the most complex of all our organs. Yet a person affected by mental illness is not afforded the same empathy or acceptance as someone who is physically ill.
Would you suffer with the pain of a broken arm? Or how about the pain of a cavity? What about appendicitis? Of course not, you make an appointment to get the problem resolved. So, why are so many people willing to suffer with depression, bipolar disorder, the effects of trauma, or any other mental illness?
Counseling is part of getting effective treatment. Treatment for mental health issues includes treating the organ (brain) and I often work with prescribers to get medications that work for my patients. But the brain is amazing and talk therapy can actually help to activate pathways that aid in recovery. The phrase “use it or lose it” applies to thinking as well. Counseling can help address mental health issues by challenge thinking patterns that are reinforcing symptoms or preventing patients from experincing joy, satisfaction and
pleasure in life! Counseling helps “exercise” helpful thinking patterns that overcome mental health issues. Counseling also helps with understanding mental health symptoms and how to manage them. It also helps with relationships – finding and educating support persons to help with mental health recovery.
Parents: Does your adolescent suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues? Is the stigma of seeking mental health services for your adolescent stopping you from making an appointment?
Adolescents: Are you hesitant to seek help because of what your peers might think? Isn’t it time to stop the stigma?
Make an appointment, and begin to heal.
Tami Lang, LIMHP
1001 South 70th St.
Lincoln, NE 68510
(402) 325-0117 x 8