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We as a society, as a people, need to get real about mental health treatment.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve about had enough. I am done with this ridiculous circus show we call our mental health system. If we don’t get real about mental health and mental health treatment, it will never change.
Why? I believe there is one main aspect that really needs an overhaul.
First, I believe that there are so many mental health therapists out there who tend to go by the book. They treat you like just another subject instead of a human being. This is not necessarily their fault, obviously they were taught these things from somewhere.
I also believe there are some that are in this profession for the wrong reasons. They may have started out with good intentions, but somewhere along the way, they seem to have lost their focus.
I do think some of these things have been exacerbated by the fact that the system is overloaded, and there are just not enough support systems in place to help not only the patient, but the therapists as well. It seems to have become a problem of combined instances of dropping the ball from multiple sources.
This can be quite disheartening, as finding a good mental health specialist can seem like a daunting and discouraging task. It’s equivalent to looking for a needle in a haystack. Why is this? Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Therapists…whatever you prefer to call them, are literally a dime a dozen. Finding them isn’t the problem.
The problem lies in finding one of the good ones. What defines a good therapist? I suppose that question could be answered based on perspective. In my experience, this is what I’ve discovered:
My Own Experiences with Private, County and Small Practices
- I found, in my personal experience, that private practices were much less personal, spent less time, and were quick to recommend and provide prescription medication. It was also a much longer wait time to get an appointment.
- In utilizing help within my county, I found that psychiatrists and psychologists worked together, using both counseling services and medication to help treat symptoms. They worked together with you to ensure you were being properly treated.
- Practices that are small, that work with you based on your insurance or income, are much more personal and have more time to spend with you. A lot of times, these therapists are in continued training, and truly want to help you, as well as learn from you so they may better help others.
Keep in mind, this is my experience. I would love to know what others have experienced. Some of you may not have reached out to other practices. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to see the inner workings of each of these completely different environments.
What has amazed me the most, is that these high dollar private practices were lacking in so many areas. I found the lower income and smaller practices were much more personal, and much more focused on you, the patient. While I’m sure these experiences vary from person to person, and area to area, I thought it was pretty interesting.
Also, I’ve found the smaller practices are finding new approaches to treatment. There are new ideas of treating the whole person, instead of just the illness. There are things like talk therapy that can be very beneficial. And while books and studies can be used as a guide, they should not be the sole basis of treatment.
I am not just an illness
If we’re going to get real about mental illness and better treatment, we need to stand up for ourselves, and we need therapists who are willing to stand up for us too! We are not just a textbook example, we are not just a diagnosis. Mental health professionals need to understand that we are human beings, and we should be treated as such! That is not too much to ask!
There are so many therapists who treat those of us with mental illnesses, and they do it with such a lack of empathy, patience, and kindness. I have felt a lot of times that these types of therapists have looked down on me, or treated me as if I were incompetent and ignorant. Like their complete lack of interest would go unnoticed.
Well, I’m here to tell you, I am not incompetent. I am not ignorant. And I can see right through your false interest, and your pathetic attempt at patience and understanding. The only person you’re fooling is yourself.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not here to bash therapists, or discourage anyone from seeking treatment. There ARE good counselors and therapists out there – it may just take some time to weed them out, and find the one that’s right for you and your needs.
My therapist is amazing, and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her. But it took years of going through so many of the wrong ones (and the ones that were great, but just not the right fit) to find her. I just feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to find the right one.
So let’s get real about mental health
There needs to be a change within our mental health system. We deserve to have the treatment we need in order to get better, in order to manage our symptoms and lead productive lives. We deserve to have people who care.
Everyone deserves to be heard. How do we get real about mental health? One step at a time. Stop giving these overpriced pencil pushers that call themselves mental health professionals the power. If your therapist isn’t helping you, or you feel your needs aren’t being met, be honest. Tell them how you feel. If they’re unwilling to help you in the way you need to be helped, walk away.
Continue your search to find the one that you’re looking for. The one that will listen, who truly cares, and makes you feel comfortable. There are new and better ways to find the right fit. Check into tips and what to look for in finding the right therapist.
But whatever you do, don’t settle! You deserve a chance to be the best you can be, to feel the best you can feel. Kind, compassionate and caring therapists are out there, waiting to be found. You are worth the effort to find them! In order to get real about mental health, we’ve got to be willing to stand up for ourselves and each other!
I talk about more in my blog on our broken mental health system, and some of the shocking truths surrounding mental illness, if you’d like to learn more.
I am speaking out and standing up for all of those who feel lost within this broken system, and encourage everyone to work on pushing our healthcare system to get real about mental health treatment!