It’s not shocking that a large number of people that have mental health issues do not seek treatment for their issues. A report by the World Health Organization found that 30 to 80 percent of people who have mental health concerns do not seek treatment.
So why don’t people get the help they need? There are a number of different reasons why this might be the case.
They are ashamed.
There is such a negative stigma associated with mental health issues in this country that so many people do not seek the treatment they need. They do not want to be labeled “crazy” or “mentally ill”. They also believe that such labels may negatively impact their education, career, and other goals.
They don’t believe they are sick.
Often times when someone has signs of mental illness, they will say “I’m not sick” or “there’s nothing wrong with me.” This signals a clear lack of insight. If someone truly believes they are not sick, they will not feel a need to accept treatment.
They do not trust health care professionals.
Some people really have a hard time with talking to “strangers” about their issues, even if they are counselors, psychiatrists, or physicians. People also may worry that their discussions will not be kept confidential.
They do not have hope.
Some people believe nothing will help them or they will never get better. Some of these beliefs may actually stem from the depression they need to treat.
They are afraid of being inadequate.
For a number of people, they think that if they have to admit something is wrong with their mental health, they will have to also admit that they are inadequate. People also believe they should be able to handle things by themselves without seeking outside help.
They do not know where to turn.
Someone may be open to receiving treatment, but they do not know where to seek treatment or how to go about finding the best care. If they live in an area that is underserved, there may not be as many mental health professionals who are available.
While legislation was passed in an effort to address these concerns. It is a complex issue, and while we are certainly on the road to better mental health care, we still have a long way to go.