Psycho, Psyche, Psychic or any word that begins with P-S-Y-C-H is generally considered as ‘mad’ by people who unfortunately don’t have sufficient awareness about this thought provoking field. People who carry such beliefs generally think that those who study psychology would be out of their minds in some way or the other as they are studying about ‘mad people’. As a matter of fact people I have come across so many people asking me, are people who study psychology are also ‘crazy’?
If this was so true, this philosophy should apply to every profession! A lawyer should have committed a crime before winning or losing his case. Doctors should have experienced the actual pain of every disease they specialized into.
Why is it that, when it comes to the problems associated to our ‘mental’ health we carry these misconceptions? From where do these preconceived notions develop? Is our brain not part of our body and therefore, it should be excluded from treatment?
If at all I am physically hurt and I have bruises on my body, I will eventually see a doctor if it’s too serious or apply an ointment available at home if the injury is not so grave. Whatever the scenario I will do something about it. Likewise, when I am mentally or emotionally disturbed and I am not able to handle it on my own why is it a matter of shame to get a professional advice for the same?
As we feel ashamed about seeing a Psychologist ourselves likewise, we also look down upon people who seek professional help for various psychological problems around us. Also, the mind-set of keeping it a secret from the world makes it a more concrete feeling of shamefulness.
When people are told that it is not at all a matter of being ashamed to consult a psychologist when required, most of the times the answer given is, ‘I know’. I also agree that some of us genuinely know that consulting a psychologist is not wrong but most of the times it is difficult to break these barriers we put for ourselves and so the ‘I know’ is never converted into action most of the times.
We just keep pushing ourselves away from this decision with thoughts like, ‘What will people say?’, ‘I am not mad’, ‘I can take care of my own problems’, ‘I am not ashamed to see a psychologist but I think there is no need for me to get a consultation as this particular problem is not so big’ , I have a loving family and they would be hurt if I don’t share it with them and seek professional help and thus this vicious circle goes on.
Disputing such inferences and “Shame Attacking” our irrational beliefs about seeking professional health will not only bring about a comfort to seek help in earlier stages of the problem but also help a person defeat these self – downing prophecies. This change in our thought process will gradually bring about change in our beliefs leading to the rectification of these misconceptions.