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  • Tommy Lofgren

Mental Health Stigma

Updated: Mar 16

We are driven human beings inspired by the world around us— but we are also humans that live in a world that may also perpetuate shame and guilt.

Despite mental health being what we focus our eyes on every day with clients, mental health has really shifted dramatically over the years. In my knowledge alone, there are cultural, familial, and political areas of concern that have shed light on mental health as an unrealistic or pseudo- phenomenon in our world. On the other hand, it has shaped the hearts of many people who have grown to accept that all challenges cannot be faced alone.

The stigma of mental health can involve various perspectives— “emotions are for those who are weak,” “If you can’t deal with it alone, you’re weak,” “you have to be strong and push forward,” “don’t cry about it,” or, “feelings don’t get you anywhere,” just to name a few. These are various perspectives that I’ve also heard from clients I’ve worked with over the last year.


Ultimately, these positions around mental health shift the way we view ourselves as well. I will tell you now, I believe that each and every one of us will face times in our lives where we don’t have the answer, are struggling to figure out what to do next, or are looking for a way to cope with the stress that life “throws our way.” When life “throws you a curveball,” as some people might say, you’re given an opportunity to


  1. Assess what’s happening around you or in front of you

  2. Address what’s coming up for you emotionally

  3. Approach those feelings in a way you can process them


When we find struggles in either of these areas, we are likely to experience feelings of overwhelmingness, frustration, irritation, or helplessness to name a few that might appear in such moments. In these times of our life, we have the golden opportunity to pursue comfort from those around us. Because, when we rely solely on our own intuition or thoughts and find that we are left reacting in this way towards ourselves, we can feel guilty about not having the answer or shameful because we’re not capable.


We are driven human beings inspired by the world around us— but we are also humans that live in a world that may also perpetuate shame and guilt.


If we are constantly being sent the message to deal with what’s in our heart and mind on our own, we may likely feel that the world, or those around us, are conspiring against us— Whatever guilt or shame arises, you have to succumb to it, pushing yourself forward while the rest of the world pushes you down.


I know how important, and how hard it is, to build awareness around the systems that perpetuate this stigma around mental health. We see challenges still with—



  1. Men who must stand and be strong, because opening up and building a vulnerable image around themselves shows weakness

  2. Women who must succumb to the privilege that males have in their workplace

  3. Men and women who endure violence or abuse in their relationships who become accustomed to the normalcy of what’s happening around them

  4. Children who expect less because of their background, financial status, culture, religion or race.

  5. Movements that lead to BIPOC showing signs of racial fatigue because of the fact they’re simply compassionate and empathetic towards those that push them down

  6. Local, societal or government systems that miss out on validating the experiences of those who have suffered immense emotional pain


I could go on and on, but the message I’m trying to send is this— we are not responsible for trying to manage all of the pain in our hearts and minds. There will be times when we need to reach out and seek emotional support when we can’t rely on ourselves anymore. We all deserve that additional support, and we strive on cultivating that support when others really need it.


Reach out and schedule an appointment with us today, and we’ll work through what’s going on in your life and how to approach understanding what needs are not being met. We believe that secure attachments are a golden light for finding safety and security in the world. Let’s start from here.


#cultivateconnectioncounseling #emotionallyfocusedtherapy #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthblog #Couplescounseling #psychologyblog #WAstatecounselors

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