You’ve worked hard your entire life to achieve your goal of becoming a doctor, lawyer, or other professional.
Whether your parents were on a similar career path or you became interested in it as a child, you put in the long hours and hard work to make it happen.
You knew the work wouldn’t be easy. That’s why it takes years and years of schooling, training, and shadowing others in the field.
While you’re feeling proud and accomplished, you’d be lying if you didn’t admit that you were also a little overwhelmed, exhausted, and burnt out.
Some of your friends and family members have recommended you talk to someone. But no one else in your industry seems to go to a therapist. You don’t want to be judged or seen as the weak link in your field.
If you’re feeling this way, it’s highly likely that your coworkers are feeling the same. Let’s learn more about why there is a stigma among doctors, lawyers, and other professionals when it comes to mental health.
Lack of Awareness
There can be a lack of awareness when it comes to mental health in various ways. For one, someone who is struggling with their mental health may not be aware of some of the disorders that they’re likely to be experiencing. They may just assume that it will pass with time. This lack of awareness can actually cause the person to not seek proper treatment, which can, in turn, lead to worsening signs and symptoms.
On the other end, the lack of awareness can also be an issue for colleagues, friends, or family members. If they’re not as familiar with some mental health disorders or therapy in general, the person struggling may not know where to turn for help or advice for fear of other stigmas related to mental health.
Stereotypes, Discrimination, or Judgment
Mental health is becoming more and more common. Unfortunately, people who struggle with their mental health still face negative attitudes, stereotypes, discrimination, or other forms of judgment.
People who struggle with mental health have a harder time finding a job, being in a committed or long-term relationship, finding housing, or living among others in society. This constant judgment can actually lead to worsening signs and symptoms as well as other mental health disorders. It can become a vicious cycle.
The media can also be a huge culprit in causing stigma when it comes to mental health. Due to past beliefs, there are stereotypes that have formed around mental health in general. News stations often associate mental illness with crime or violence. Mental illness has been associated with being crazy or dangerous, which can be harmful words to someone who is struggling. Not only does this verbiage cause isolation, but it can also bring on other hardships that are unnecessary and unneeded in this world for anyone.
In addition to all of the other forms of stigma that come along with mental health, there is also stigma that is known as self-stigma. This happens when someone who is struggling with their mental health associates any negative views from others with themselves. These views can cause them to feel negative towards themselves, as well as unworthy or not good enough. When self-stigma happens, it can cause someone to fall deeper into their mental illness and be afraid to seek help or move forward in their life.
Mental health is a serious matter, no matter your career path. Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals need support from time to time for their mental health too. We’re all humans. We’re not expected to know all of the answers to everything. One of the strongest things you can do is to reach out for help. We’re here for you when you’re ready. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for anxiety therapy.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.