The problem is not that we battle emotional and psychological problems. The problem is that we are taught we should not have any kind of inner turmoil. The subliminal message of “that isn’t real” or “it’s all in your head” contributes significantly to the deterioration of symptoms of people with mental illness. This form of gaslighting in which a person’s reality is taken as a fabrication of his or her mind is the all pervading message of the mainstream mental health treatment field. Suggesting a patient change their symptoms is equivalent to them changing a limb- it is their reality. Instead, the aim should be to provide validation of an individual’s reality, understand the meaning of particular symptoms, and provide ways for patient’s to properly handle and overcome the battle.
The greatest illness is denial. Pretending as if emotional and mental health problems are foreign and exclusive to certain unfortunate individuals greatly contributes to the isolation and further stigmatization of an underrepresented group. It’s time to be honest and acknowledge the battle!