I was talking to a mom recently, and she was telling me that her child who is in elementary school was struggling with anxiety and it’s gotten to the point that it’s affecting the child at school so the kid is now seeing a therapist.
And the mom seemed kind of scared to admit this like I’d judge her and like it was something to be embarrassed or ashamed about and she made a joke about her child being crazy, and then she quickly retracted that statement assuring me her daughter wasn’t crazy.
Clearly she doesn’t know me.
I mean, first of all, I’m totally a little bit crazy.
I told her that going to a therapist is nothing to be ashamed of, and I told her that I was going to see my therapist tomorrow. And I’m really looking forward to it.
So just in case you are struggling with this, here’s a reminder:
- If your kid has a physical illness and you aren’t able to help him/her recover, you take him/her to the doctor.
- If your kid has a mental illness and you aren’t able to help him/her recover, you take him/her to the doctor!
- Anxiety/OCD/depression/eating disorders — anything that affects your mood, thinking or behavior is a mental illness.
- Everyone has had some sort of mental illness at some point in their lives. EVERYONE.
- If you are taking your kid to a therapist, you aren’t doing something wrong. You are doing something right.
By taking your kid to a therapist, you are also showing any other kids in your family that at some point, we all need someone else’s help, and we all have different parts of our body that need help from a doctor sometimes.
My kids know I go see a therapist.
Because should they ever need to see one, I want them to know I do the same exact thing. Willingly. And proudly, even.
No shame. No embarrassment.
Therapy is good, we can all benefit from it, and the more open we all are about it, the sooner we can all stop the stigma of mental illness.