One of the biggest obstacles that I face when I am treating someone is the stigma of seeking mental health counseling and receiving therapeutic medications. There are so many misconceptions and myths about the use of psychotropic medications. Some think that taking them means they are weak, that medications are a “crutch”, that they’re addictive, are dangerous, and thus unfortunately are thought of as the last resort.
It’s very difficult for patients to get to the truth about this subject by “researching” on the internet or taking the advice of family, friends, and other untrained and uninformed people who don’t truly understand the subject. Getting information from the internet is like getting medical advice from attorneys. It is mostly negative, whereas the reality is that the positives are so much more than the negatives that it is not even close.
Since neurochemical imbalances cannot be tested traditionally, such as with blood tests, this makes it not seem as real. I can assure you that this is a real medical problem with real medical solutions, and is not just a “mental” or “psych” problem that one can get over if one tries hard enough to beat it. It is at its core a genetic problem that is exacerbated by hormonal imbalances, self-medicating with addictive substances and is worsened by situational stressors. It is just as real as diabetes, hypertension, and any other common medical problems. Neurochemical imbalances is the most common, most under diagnosed and under treated medical problem that we face, by far.
Please email me any comments or questions about the stigma of seeking mental health counseling. Share with me what misconceptions and confusion is holding you back from seeking proper treatment. I can assure you that the treatment is safe and very effective when done properly. My next blog will be about the topic of addiciton. Last week, we lost my step-neice Vanessa to an opiate overdose. Addiction is a scourge in our society. More about this next time.