The research on mental health stigma is mind-blowing: 70% of people worldwide with mental illness receive no treatment (none!) in part due to “prejudice against people who have mental illness and expectations of discrimination against people who have a diagnosis of mental illness.” There have been whole books written on the topic. There are various papers on the double stigma facing those who are both mentally ill and ethnic minorities. There are endless personal stories, many of them tragic, about how mental health problems and shame around seeking care collide with devastating results. Any of you who know what it’s like to live with even a low hum of mental unwellness knows how exhausting and identity-robbing it feels. I know anxiety and depression sucked the life out of me. Which is why I first sought help from a therapist, which is what led me to become a therapist myself, and my experiences on both sides of therapy have lit a fire in me to help demystify and destigmatize the entire therapy process. Enter Theramonials.
Theramonials (therapy + testimonials = theramonials, a word I made up) are designed to answer all the questions I had but was too afraid to ask (and wouldn’t have known who to ask even if I’d had the courage) before I saw a therapist for the first time. I ask every participant the same several questions, with some leeway for follow up questions as the interview progresses, and post their videos here on Behiving for you all to enjoy. These people are incredibly brave to share a piece of their personal mental health journey, and they share the same hope I do: end the stigmatization of those who seek mental health services. Also, therapy is cool! It’s just a formal way to feel safe, loved, and close to another human being – which science proves is all we humans really need anyway. So, let’s dig in. Watch the video below for the first ever Theramonial.