It is not uncommon to find a person asking their relatives not to tell anyone that they go to the psychologist, or that they are undergoing therapy to recover from any mental disorder . Either out of shame or fear of rejection, the truth is that this situation is much more common than we usually imagine, unfortunately.
And it is that today the fact of going to a psychologist continues to be a taboo, something to hide and to try to hide in the best possible way. People fear having to face criticism from their environment, because they know that it is believed that going to the psychologist is something reserved exclusively for people who are very ill, or who have disorders considered more “serious”. The truth is that going to the psychologist is something as normal as going to the family doctor when your throat hurts, and that all problems are serious as long as they affect the person who suffers from it.
This taboo, this secrecy, all this shame, is something totally unnecessary and that does nothing but harm the entire society. Because those who admit to going to therapy will be judged, they will be labeled “crazy” , while there will be those who simply choose not to go thinking that theirs is not “serious” enough.
The psychologist is not our enemy, quite the opposite
This problem lies, fundamentally, in the fact that there is a negative perception of both the psychologist himself and the therapy in general . All this is a prejudice that we have been forming on a social level, that we have been reproducing in different social communication media (such as movies or series, for example) and that we have maintained over time. Psychologist is associated with madness, when nothing is further from the truth! The truth is that psychologists are still people whose job is to help others, help them both to solve their problems and to function as naturally as possible in their lives. Moreover, you do not go to the psychologist only when something “goes wrong”, but also when we want to improve something.
A person may suffer from social anxiety , and do not know how to develop with their environment without feeling very nervous. That does not imply that he is crazy, nor that he should be ashamed of his feelings and sensations; it simply indicates that there is some kind of disorder in their way of socializing, and that this must be addressed . Thanks to therapy, and always following appropriate psychological treatment, it is possible to overcome all these types of situations. But if we hide and think that all these feelings are nothing more than taboo, we will find a great barrier between us and our healing.
A mental disorder is not something that should be hidden, or something to do a taboo, even though we have been socially taught that it is. A person with Borderline Personality Disorder is not weak, a person with an Eating Disorder has not “looked for his illness”; It is like someone who has the flu, or someone who has appendicitis: it is something related to health, and it appears without the patient having chosen it. Having a broken leg is not the same as going through depression , but in truth they are two things that the person does not choose and both are overcome with professional help.
Shame is over: therapy comes naturally
We are the first to try to change this, normalizing the work of the psychologist . Going to therapy should not be a product of shame, but something that looks totally natural, something as common as going to the doctor when your throat hurts or to the dentist when a tooth hurts. Only through this normalization will we get people to begin treating their mental disorders with the same assiduity with which they treat their physical illnesses . In this way, problems could be solved long before time, possible disorders whose evolution made them more complicated to treat could be stopped.
The psychologist (as a figure in himself) is a trained professional , and with enough knowledge to be able to help anyone who comes close to him. That is why we must make this taboo drop, and that going to the psychologist is seen as something totally natural.