I’ve recently returned from a promotional trip to America, and there was something significant that stood out to me about their culture.
That something is: OPENNESS
It’s hard not to admire how open and frank the American culture is towards mental health, especially compared to here in the UK. Therapy (whether it’s for anxiety or depression) is the done thing in the US. If you’ve got a problem, you talk about it. You don’t worry about what people might think – you go straight to a professional and talk about it.
One of the big talking points, while I was out there, was the fact that I’d been able to cover up my anxiety and depression for so long, without even the closest people to me knowing. As one of the guys said: ‘I internalized my anxiety.’ (Spelt with a z on purpose.) I’d never heard that term used in the UK, but I liked it – it summed it up perfectly.
Part of our problem here in the UK is a lot of us still think that mental health issues are a weakness, and therefore, going to a counsellor is a sign that you’re not coping. I know I was guilty of this – which is why I covered up my anxiety and lived in denial for over 10 years!
That’s simply not true, and the American’s are smart enough to know this, which is why therapy is a solid part of their culture. They know that going to a counsellor isn’t a sign of weakness. They see it as a sign of strength – a way of dealing with your issues so you don’t have to suffer alone.
If you’ve bottled things inside, take a lesson from America. Start talking!
ARE YOU DEALING WITH ANXIETY?
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