Stereotypes are formed in many different ways but are always exaggerated on what the group that is being perceived in a certain type of way does. Although we may not agree on what others say when a similar message is conveyed by a large group of people and is spread, we do not question these “known” truths. Common misconceptions are widely held around the world about ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. Stereotypes and misconceptions were created because our conscious has been repeatedly exposed, thus creating our subconscious to store and relay it back to our conscious where stereotypes and bias are formed.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but rather than listen to others go out and see for yourself if a judgement is true or not. People who suffer from some form of mental illness are just one of these numerous misconceptions. Stereotypes depicting people with mental illness can lead to active discrimination and may exclude them from opportunities to better themselves. There is a stigma in going to see a therapist to talk out problems or the struggle about seeing a therapist with a mental illness.
People who attempt to look for therapy are trying to find a treatment for their mind and emotions yet deal with unfair misconceptions and assumptions about why they proceed in going to therapy. Stereotypes are often not agreed upon and exposed to many in our surrounding environment, we take information and images to make a split-moment decision to accept them or not. Stereotypes are first influenced from parents with children absorbing everything. Not only do parents have a heavy influence, the most influential ones are our teachers, significant others, and media as well.
We stereotype a generalization of a group of people who carry a defined set of characteristics based on appearance or our assumptions. People are stereotyped when others are unwilling to attain all information we should have to make a fair judgement. Stereotypes are discriminated based on no fact, sometimes we start discriminating against a group of people after a bad experience. There is a positive and negative side of stereotyping which is necessary in order to be able to interact effectively, siding with the positive side about stereotypes is the goal for people who seek therapy.
A positive thing about stereotyping is that we must have some kind of idea of what people are likely to be like, which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. This connects to how parents were raised and how they continue to be the same way for their children relating to morals, beliefs, and values. The use of stereotypes is a major key in which we reduce our social world, for example, some stereotypes revealed are that Americans are generally considered to be friendly, generous, and tolerant, but also arrogant and impatient.
These are considered misconceptions, a mistaken thought or idea that can happen anywhere, not understanding or knowing a full story can lead to misconceptions. In the article About Men by Gretel Ehlrich she states “we’ve ironically disesteemed his true character. ” Ehlrich says this because the stereotype in New York they have conveyed is nothing how cowboys really are, but nobody knows that because they have not seen a cowboy first hand like she has. The stereotype built by us is from what we hear or see in movies especially, we still think we know about the group with many misconceptions about the supposed cold hearted, tough cowboys.
Misconceptions and stereotypes are two different things that are relatable. Stereotypes infer that a person has a range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of the group have but are just exaggerated truths, while misconceptions on the other hand are ideas that are wrong because it is based on a false truth. In fact, a commonly mistaken stereotype is people who seek therapy are crazy. The thing about this is that some may be mentally unstable and aware of their illness, but not all are sick.
A typical stereotype about people going to therapy is that they are weak, crazy, or damaged. The surrounding stereotypes of people who attend therapy are harsh, but many find therapy a way to release stress or talk about something they can not talk to anyone else about. Imagine being judged because you were seeing a therapist about relationship advice and you are embarrassed to tell a friend or family member, but because you go to therapy you are emotionally unstable and insane. The misconceptions about therapy may stop someone who needs the help from seeking it.
Therapy is portrayed as if it is a bad thing–when in reality people go to therapy to cope with disorders, stress, grief, to figure out how to live life to the fullest or figure out who they are. Another common misconception is therapy will make your problems worse, yes you will go back to the past and bring up bad memories but therapists help you get through problems in a safe and non overwhelming way. This is familiar to me for a couple reasons, my cousin goes to therapy, my best friend is majoring in psychology, and my sister’s friend has a master’s degree in psychology.
I went on to acquire interviews from them to see their perspective on people who go to therapy and received some informative information that I believe will help with a better understanding of the stereotype everyone has perceived. The questions remained the same for each individual, the first question asked was, Why do you believe there is a stigma on attending therapy? Alfonso, my sister’s friend, who has his masters in psychology and is in a internship program for psychologists answered “ People think it’s for “crazy” people.
They think it is for people who have severely gone off the deep end and it is their final option to go to therapy. Each interview that took place had a similar answer for this question because the stereotype built by society has created what we think we know. People do not understand some are ashamed of their feelings and ashamed to talk about what is going on and not really come to the truth on their own so they seek for help. As the second interview went on with my cousin Gabby, who goes to therapy weekly because she has lost the connection with her dad and it has only grown worse, was asked, What do people say when you tell them you attend therapy?
She stated “They tell me are you crazy or what is going on that you need that much help? People are fast to judge. why can’t you help yourself? ” What others do not understand is there comes a breaking point in people’s lives and they can no longer handle the situation and feel alone. “It is always nice to talk to someone outside of your circle so they understand the situation without having a side,” Gabby also said, just because she takes things into her own hands so she does not self harm or seek for a easy way out she is judged, for wanting to better herself and not have a weight on her shoulders.
My dad tags along with the judgemental people of the world, he sees therapy as a weakness and believes that all problems can be overcome with determination, and everyone has an issue or two to overcome, but people should be able to push through. Asking someone who goes to therapy is an eye opener because while interviewing my cousin I realized how hurt she was and how she could not seek to any of us for help.