Step aside, therapy shamers.
Not only is seeking mental health help vital when it comes to treating mental health issues, it can drastically improve a person’s quality of life. Research shows talking to a therapist can positively rewire the brain. It can also can help you find purpose and better handle life’s stressors.
Despite all of the perks, there’s still a cloud of stigma surrounding mental health issues. And it’s that type of shame that often prevents people from even seeking out a therapist in the first place.
Thankfully, more people in the public eye are dismantling the misguided notion that therapy is something unsavory rather than something beneficial. Take a look at some of the celebrity quotes below on the power of seeing a mental health professional. They’re proof that the process is nothing to feel shame over:
1. “Asking for help is always a sign of strength.” ―Michelle Obama
In an interview with Prevention magazine in 2016, the former FLOTUS praised the power of seeking help ― especially for veterans who may be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I kept meeting service members and military spouses who were hesitant to ask for help because they thought they should be able to handle it themselves or that seeking help meant they were weak or broken,” she told Prevention. “But of course that couldn’t be further from the truth ... Our service members, veterans and their families are some of the most courageous, resilient folks I have ever met, and asking for help is always a sign of strength.”
2. “My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth.” ―Kerry Washington
The “Scandal” star talked about seeing a therapist with Glamour magazine back in 2015. In the interview, which was also with Sarah Jessica Parker and Obama, she stressed that the reason she speaks out in the media about her mental health is because she feels it should be treated the same as physical health.
“I say that publicly because I think it’s really important to take the stigma away from mental health,” she said. “My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?”
3. “It’s not a weak move to say ‘I need help.’” ―Jon Hamm
Hamm discussed how mental health treatment helps him deal with life’s challenges, like his breakup with writer and director Jennifer Westfeldt, with InStyle magazine this year.
“Medical attention is medical attention whether it’s for your elbow or for your teeth or for your brain,” he told the publication. “And it’s important.”
He also stressed that seeing someone doesn’t make a person less than or fragile.
“We live in a world where to admit anything negative about yourself is seen as a weakness, when it’s actually a strength. It’s not a weak move to say, ‘I need help,’” he said. “In the long run it’s way better, because you have to fix it.”
4. “I think that whether you have a mental health condition or not it’s good to talk to somebody ― especially someone who is a licensed professional.” ―Demi Lovato
Lovato has been forthcoming about her mental health for years ― and she says it’s shocking to her that others still think it’s something to be stigmatized. In an interview in February with HuffPost, she touted the perks of caring for your emotional wellbeing by seeing a professional.
“The biggest surprise for me is how many people are afraid to talk about mental health,” she said. “Therapy is something everyone should try. I think that whether you have a mental health condition or not it’s good to talk to somebody ― especially someone who is a licensed professional.”
5. “I spent a lot of time avoiding feelings. And now I have no time left for that.” ―Brad Pitt
The actor revealed to GQ Style earlier this year that he started going to therapy following his divorce with Angelina Jolie. He also highlighted a major truth in the interview when it comes to seeking professional help: Sometimes it takes a bit of shopping around.
“You know, I just started therapy,” Pitt said. “I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one.”
Pitt also shared how the process helped him do a lot of inner reflection.
“I think I spent a lot of time avoiding feelings,” he said. “And now I have no time left for that.”
6. “It’s extremely important that every time something comes up, I reach out to someone and let someone in.” ―Brandon Marshall
Marshall, who co-founded the mental health organization Project 375, has previously discussed his experience with borderline personality disorder. In May, the NFL star talked with the Child Mind Institute about the importance of reaching out to a support system during low mental health points.
“It’s extremely important that every time something comes up, I reach out to someone and let someone in, no matter how hard it is or difficult it is to express those feelings,” he said.
7. “We need to help young people and their parents understand that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help.” ―The Duchess of Cambridge
The royals have dedicated themselves to mental health awareness. In April 2016, the group launched “Heads Together,” an anti-stigma initiative in the United Kingdom. Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince Harry have openly discussed how seeking professional services can make a world of difference when it comes to mental health challenges ― especially for young people.
“We need to help young people and their parents understand that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help," the duchess said at a mental health event in 2015.
8. Matt McGorry
The “How To Get Away With Murder” actor is known for his outspoken nature on social media ― and that includes therapy. During May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, McGorry tweeted about going to therapy and expressed how access to mental health support shouldn’t be limited.
“Therapy should be free for everyone, not just to those who can afford it,” he wrote. Amen.
9. “There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help.” ―Catherine Zeta-Jones
Zeta-Jones discussed her bipolar disorder diagnosis with People magazine back in 2011, when it was arguably less common to discuss mental health in the public eye. The actress said she was happy to discuss her condition if it meant encouraging others to take care of their own wellbeing.
“This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them,” she said. “If my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it. There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help.”
10. “It’s a really wonderful thing to be able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you.” ―Katy Perry
The artist recently live streamed a session with her therapist on YouTube, where she opened up about her struggle with suicidal thoughts. She discussed the decision to publicize the session with Australian radio station KIIS FM and explained that therapy was an excellent tool for her emotional wellness.
“I’ve been going to therapy for about five years and I think it has really helped my mental health incredibly,” she said. “And it’s a really wonderful thing to be able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you, because I don’t think a lot of people have that. I encourage it.”
11. “Each session improved my life.” ―Rachel Bloom
Bloom, best known for her role in the hit show “Crazy Ex Girlfriend,” opened up to Glamour magazine about how she regularly saw a therapist. She then revealed that for her personally, she felt seeing a psychiatrist drastically improved her mental health. Her testimony is proof that mental health treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all, but it’s certainly worth it no matter what.
“I had gone to therapists, but for the first time I sought out a psychiatrist,” she said. “Each session improved my life. He diagnosed me with low-grade depression and put me on a small amount of Prozac. There’s a stereotype (I had believed) that antidepressants numb you out; that didn’t happen to me.”
12. “Therapy is beautiful.” ―Jenny Slate
The “Landline” actress gushed about getting mental health support in a recent interview with Marie Claire, stressing that seeking help shouldn’t be considered an insult. Instead, it should be celebrated.
“You know what’s weird about reality shows? Everything. A lot of the time, the ladies say to each other as an insult that they should go to therapy,” Slate said. ”Like, ‘You really need help, honey. I wish you well. You need to go to therapy.’ But every person needs to have someone to talk to. Therapy is beautiful.”
Ain’t that the truth. Keep on preaching, superstars. The awareness definitely helps.