The term "mental health" is one that sends some people running for cover. People want to always present the illusion of total control at all times; But statistics over the years have shown us a different reality. One out of ten people will suffer from some sort of mental health problem over the course of their lives.

Imagine your graduating class? Or the teacher staff at your children's school. Or the White House Staff. 1 out of 10 of them could be dealing with something right now. Does that scare you? It shouldn't.

People suffering from a mental health disorder have long been given a stigma. They are called crazy. Or nuts. Now, think about your local news. When someone commits an inexplicable act of violence, haven't you said or thought, "Oh, he must be crazy. Or insane. Only a crazy person would do something like that!"

The truth is that we are generalizing the whole spectrum of mental health disorders and doing ourselves a disservice when we think like this. People with mental health issues are normal people.

A woman who lives across the street from you, and works at a local bank, may suffer from bipolar disorder (which is much like manic depression) -- but with appropriate treatment she lives normally.

Reality Check...
1. People do not actively seek treatment for many mental health issues because of the stigma attached to having a problem, getting counseling, or taking medication. Encourage people you know to seek treatment. Or seek treatment for yourself. Don't let public perception hinder your own growth.

2. People do not know enough about mental health disorders. Read your paper. Go on the internet. Ask your doctor questions. Get mental health savvy. It is almost guaranteed that you will need that information for yourself or for a loved one day.

3. Mental health problems can be event triggered. If your mother dies, you are expected to be very sad, but if you find that you are unable to crawl out from under the deep sadness after a prolonged period of time - it is possible that you are suffering from clinical depression that was triggered by a traumatic event.

4. Seeking treatment is not a sign of weakness. It is almost ridiculous to not seek the help you need, because you believe it is a sign of weakness on your part. A diabetic takes their insulin, much like A bipolar patient may need their lithium. A physical problem may require a medical and/or psychotheraputic solution. Talking to your best friend about it from time to time is not a medical solution.

5. Recent studies have shown that internet therapy can be very successful for a particular type of patient--mostly depressed ones. If you rather not face the confrontation of a face to face meeting with a clinician, then this may be the way to go.

Recommended Reading:
Choosing an Online Therapist: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Professional Help on the Web by Gary S. Stofle

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Angelettie, M.S.W., is a psychotherapist, writer, and speaker. She has been helping clients with all types of life issues since 1998.

Lisa is the Founder and Director of, a site that offers expert online advice, counseling and coaching for women on a variety of issues including mental health, money, health and relationships.

"As a new psychotherapist based in New York City, I was fortunate to work with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances-- but I prefer helping women and teenaged girls invest in themselves and make better choices for their futures."

Lisa enjoys success as an author of various self-help articles/books/booklets dedicated to the improvement of a woman's whole self & she writes the syndicated advice column, Ask GirlShrink, where people can submit questions for free advice.

In addition to GirlShrink work, Lisa also spends time advocating for public awareness and further research on Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (DSI) via her website, as well as building her private practice in the New York City Tri-State Area.

If you would like to request a private e-therapy consultation with Lisa, please visit