According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in 2013, approximately 22.7 million Americans aged 12 or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol use – and only 2.5 million people received treatment. Mental Health America states that of the 40 million Americans suffering from a mental health concern, approximately 56% of adults still do not receive treatment. This is a substantial number of individuals surpassing opportunity to recover – if we aren’t seeking to recover, then we are perpetuating the negative symptoms of addiction and mental illness, leading us to suffer even more. There are several reasons why we may not be seeking treatment:
- Lack of awareness surrounding our addiction or illness. Some of the most common phrases used are “I’m not sick”, “I don’t need help”, and “there’s nothing wrong with me.” A study conducted by Andrade and colleagues in 2014 found that the most common barrier to seeking treatment was low perceived need and attitudinal barriers. We need to stop making excuses and hindering our own success – admitting our problem/symptoms and asking for help could mean a happier, healthier life.
- Lack of health insurance. In 2015, Dr. Jennifer Taber and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute found that many people avoided health care simply because the cost was too high or their insurance could not cover the cost. Speaking with your insurance company to find in-network treatment facilities could greatly help you reduce costs. Speaking with a treatment facility about payment options and exploring a variety of places could also provide you with an adequate price range that suits your budget.
- Stigma. Those who suffer from addiction or mental illness may feel embarrassed or may be afraid they will be judged or considered “crazy”. This is further from the truth, however – taking care of your health is a top priority and should be treated as such. Nobody can help you overcome your addiction or symptoms but you. Take that step today and make the choice to place your happiness and well-being over others’ opinions.
- Perceived lack of time and/or energy. According to a 2013 article posted by Associate Editor Margarita Tartakovsky in Psych Central, Dr. Howes, a clinical psychologist and professor in California stated that while many people feel that “rehashing” emotional problems after work can be draining, therapy can actually be a source of energy. The right form of support could be worth the extra time and energy, especially if this means you will be happier, healthier, and recovering.
While these are just a few reasons why many do not seek treatment, they are serious reasons that withhold us from reaching our fullest happiness potential. Make the decision today to ask for help. Admit to yourself and others what is going on with you. Give yourself a chance at leading a fulfilling life, and call a health care professional today.
New Vista Behavioral Health is a family of treatment providers, providing exceptional care at higher standards. Serving primary mental health and substance abuse, our programs are providing better outcomes across the board. Call us today to start your journey to recovery: 888-316-3665