Advertisement

by Rachel Aredia, LCPC

Mental health is so important. It guides our thought patterns, how we feel, and at times how we behave. Yet many people don’t care for their mental health for a variety of reasons. The importance of taking care of our mental health is not always something we are reminded of, consequently making it easy for us to let mental well-being self-care fall to the wayside. 

Below are some common reasons you may avoid taking care of your mental health and suggestions for how you can address these: 

Finances

One of the biggest complaints about therapy that I have heard is that it is expensive. It is true that individual therapy can be costly but there are options. 
    
If you have health insurance, you can find out more about your mental health benefits by calling your insurance company directly. They can not only connect you with a list of providers in your area, but they can break down the details of what would be covered by your insurance giving you a better idea of what your actual cost will be. If you know what mental health services your insurance covers, most therapists will include on their profiles/websites information regarding which insurance they accept. 

If you do not have insurance, don’t fret! You can contact local therapists and find out who might offer a sliding scale payment. A sliding scale payment is worked out with the individual provider based on financial need. You can also get in touch with your local social service agency or a community center to find out what mental health services they might offer. You may be able to find a support group in the community that is low-no cost as well.

Talk to your provider about possible payment plans if you are in financial stress. Most providers will allow you to pay in increments as they want to support you to receive the treatment you need.

Can’t Find the Time

Many people today are overwhelmed with responsibility to their family, career, friends, volunteering, school, committees, etc. Therapy is another commitment that many people are stressed about finding the time to address. If you can, find a therapist that is close to the proximity of wherever most of your time is spent. This will cut down on drive/transportation time leaving a little over an hour for your therapy session once a week. If there is no one in the area that you connect with or can see, a lot of therapists now offer web-based sessions. It’s important to note that web-based sessions are not always covered by insurance. If you are planning on using insurance, check with your policy holder to see what they will cover. 

Other things you can do for yourself include taking time for self-care. You can take a nice bath, go to the gym, turn off your phone and read a book. Your self-care is individual to you. It is something that you can do for yourself and relax. If therapy is not in the cards, make sure to build a self-care routine into your weekly schedule.

Stigma

Let’s face it, while mental health has been in the conversation more lately, there is still a stigma around it. And while there are many professionals, celebrities, and others in the community trying to #breakthestigma; it still exists. There is a fear of being stigmatized as “crazy” if you seek out therapy, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many people will head to their family physician when they feel sick. Seeking mental health treatment is very much the same, you are simply getting professional guidance on how to better care for yourself.

Therapy is an investment in you. When you feel good about yourself emotionally, you will take care of yourself physically and be more productive, and a better caretaker for others in your life. 

Taking the first step to seek therapy can be difficult, nevertheless you and your mental health are worth that step. Once you take it, you will be glad that you did.  

ADAA Resources


About the author: 

headshot-rachel-aredia-1000px_0.jpgRachel received her Master of Clinical Counseling from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Rachel has extensive experience in behavioral health counseling with adolescents and families that exhibit anxiety and related disorders, oppositional defiant and disruptive behavior disorders, and trauma.  She has a special interest in CBT for anxiety, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and related disorders, and has received specialized training in LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy as well as mindfulness-based treatment therapy, and motivational interviewing.  In addition, she has obtained advanced training in the application of CBT for Insomnia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs), including skin picking, hair pulling and nail biting as well as other anxiety related disorders. Rachel’s treatment approach is described as supportive, educational, solution focused, while also being friendly, intuitive, and compassionate with a bit of humor thrown in.

This article is very helpful and encouraging to those that need help. I do need some advice in regards to someone who denies there is anything wrong. We have tried compassion, understanding, encouragement, support and nothing gets through. How do you convince someone that they need help in order to survive?

Rachel Aredia, LCPC

January 30, 2019

In reply to by CAROL

Hi Carol,

Thank you for your comments and question. It sounds like you are doing all the right things in providing support, understanding, encouragement, and compassion. One of the things I have noticed in my clients is if the client does not want to be there, the therapy won't be as effective. I should mention if the person is not an adult and you are the caretaker you can take the person to therapy. If the person is an adult, you could offer to set up an appointment with a therapist and taking the person to the appointment. Another thing I might suggest is talking about therapy or mental illness as a common thing and normalizing the idea of therapy. Often, people will avoid therapy because of the stigma attached to it. Normalizing this may help encourage the person to attend therapy. I hope the person seeks treatment soon as it sounds like it feels dire to you. Let them know you care about them, love them, and only want the best for them. Also letting them know that you will be there for them whenever they decide to seek treatment.

All of my best,

Rachel

I am new to this anxiety that I have been dealing with.It has started to make me feel like I am going absolutely nuts and making me think I am crazy. I have had quiet negative thoughts and that is like me at all. I just want to cry all the time and I just feel off in my body!! I am on the hunt for a therapist in hopes to help me to become normal again. I do feel as though a lot of this may be contributed by premenopausal. But I get anxiety about what others may think of me and being accepted and whether I have the right things going on in my Life. I feel like I’ll never be the same and I hope that I haven’t hurt my family.

Advertisement