Like most Americans, I am a sports fan. I watch my favorite teams play and I love hearing the commentary, the main reason I dislike going to sport venues to watch a game or boxing match. However, what I heard a few nights ago from the commentary during game 5 of the Lakers-Nuggets NBA playoffs, left a bitter taste in my mouth.
During the second quarter, a female fan carelessly walked onto the NBA court and dropped a scarf or towel before security escorted her out. Yes, this can be a scary moment for players and fans alike, so there should be caution. But to hear the commentators speak in jest is a reminder of why soo many people are afraid to get help. The stigmata of mental health has been the biggest deterrent to treatment, and after hearing the commentators, it's no wonder why.
Immediately following the incident, the TNT commentators are jeering the woman, saying "she was literally out there" in reference to her mental state. Soon after there was published reports that this woman had different kinds of mental health problems. Rather or not this is true, what ever happened to privacy? Mental health records are medical records and those are protected by federal law. How was it that TNT got these records so soon? As a mental health professional, I was quickly bothered by this.
What was the end result? Twitter and FB, including Youtube quickly began sprouting posts and clips using words like "crazy, stalker, mental, psycho" etc. to describe her. People do not want this label to associate them which is why the stigmata exists. Psychotherapy isn't solely for people who have hallucinations and are hearing voices, quite the contrary. Therapy is beneficial to all, most importantly, people who have some kind of mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, or suffer from Bipolar. As long as a person is on his/her medication and adhering to treatment such as therapy, most people wouldn't even know they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
You would be amazed at how many co-workers have gone to a therapist or thought about one. Mental health has come a long ways from the days of lobotomies performed routinely. If you think you might have a problem, seek help. Remember, your brain is the most important organ in the body. If you broke a bone or had cholesterol problems, you would seek out medical attetnion...
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