Mental health is often a subject of social taboo and stigma. No one likes to talk about mental health, but as of right now, it seems that anxiety and depression are at an all-time high. College students seem especially prone towards developing anxiety and depression disorders.
First off, I think mental health shouldn't be stigmatized and should be freely talked about. Almost every person I know has some kind of personal issue, whether it's family issues or self-esteem. And almost every person I know has some form of anxiety or depression, from social anxiety to OCD. Yet, it seems as if therapy and counseling are almost sneered at, looked down upon. I feel that this shouldn't be the case, especially with the way mental health has been in the news lately.
Counseling or therapy can be useful for many reasons. Oftentimes, as much as we love our friends and family, it can be incredibly difficult to talk to them about personal issues. Many people fear being vulnerable because in today's world, being vulnerable means being subject to emotional hurt.
Talking to a therapist is different than talking to a friend as well. Therapists and counselors are specifically trained and equipped with the knowledge and resources of how to handle mental issues, from anxiety to depression. They often give advice, coping mechanism, and, if you're the type of person to benefit from it, just being able to lend an ear.
While friends are great, it isn't always good to rely on them to help all of your mental and personal problems. This can lead to toxicity, where you use your friend or significant other as a tool to rant. While ranting or venting occasionally is fine, doing it too much can lead to problems, such as co-dependence. Also, your friends aren't there to fix your problems. It's ultimately up to the individual to fix their problems, whether it be through therapy or medication.
There's absolutely no shame in seeing a counselor. When people think of therapy, they often associate with extreme mental disorders, like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. While those kinds of psychiatrists exist, there is therapy for less extreme issues, such as relationship counseling, interpersonal conflict counseling, etc. Counseling is for everyone, not just people with extreme mental illnesses.
A reason many people forgo counseling or therapy is they feel they might not have the time or money. However, most insurances cover counseling, and the copay is typically not much, usually around $30-40. For those with insurance, counseling doesn't have to break the bank. And for those with busy schedules, they can choose to have sessions every other week, or even as little as once a month. It doesn't need to be a weekly event, oftentimes therapists will work with their clients on schedule.
With all of these reasons listed, I believe every person could benefit from counseling. Although it may be hard to initiate, once started, it can be life-changing.