GET ADVICE: Ask Jason – Labeling and Stigma: Knowing When to Seek Psychological Help

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No_Labels writes:

Some people say I might have a mental illness, but I feel fine and don’t want to get a diagnosis because I don’t want to be labeled with that mental illness. I’m living happily with my family and friends and like being considered normal? Is that ok?

-No_Labels

Dr. Holland’s Reply:

To meet criteria for a mental health disorder your symptoms must interfere with everyday functioning. In other words, somehow it must be holding you back from living a full life. Maybe it interferes with your work or relationships or prevents you from taking good care of yourself.

If your ‘mental illness’ isn’t having a negative impact on your life in this way, then I might be inclined to give it another label. Of course, if the problems you described are negatively impacting your day-to-day life, then you have to decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth your while to address the issue.

Seeing a mental health professional isn’t all about slapping a diagnosis on someone. Ideally, it should be about working with someone that you trust to make improvements in your life.

If you are interested in talking with someone about your problems, you may find our article on finding a therapist that is right for you helpful. Or if face-to-face appointments don’t suit your lifestyle, consider online therapy. Our partner, BetterHelp, offers affordable online counseling all over the world.

This question and response were initially published on Quora.

 

READ RELATED QUESTION:

Considering_Therapy writes:

What is the most useful idea, advice or awareness that you have gotten from therapy?

-Considering_Therapy

Dr. Holland’s reply:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is hard. We all make mistakes and bumble our way through. If you can let go of your ego and pay attention to the lessons that life hands you, you might learn a few things along the way.

This question and response were initially published on Quora.

 

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