Why Is There Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Amongst Doctors, Lawyers, and Professionals?

It’s kind of ironic when you think about the fact that there is mental health stigma in the medical profession. Or that lawyers and other professionals believe in certain stereotypes when it comes to mental health. It is estimated by one study that 61% of lawyers deal with symptoms of anxiety and 46% cope with depression. It is also estimated that 80% of those in the medical profession are dealing with anxiety or depression.

There is irony in the fact that those who have the most power to break stigmas surrounding mental health are among the ones who need it broken the most. Breaking this stigma is important among professionals. By shutting down the stigmas surrounding mental health for professionals, it will only help to make it a less taboo subject. Let’s go over why there is mental health stigma among professionals.

Why Is There Stigma?

One leading reason is that professionals always want to appear put together. Because they work to serve other people, they need to remain as poise, calm, and together as possible. Whether it is a doctor working a tough diagnosis case or a lawyer in the middle of the courtroom. Or a business executive who handles high-profile accounts. They have to portray that they are composed and put together because they know people rely on them to do so.

However, that doesn’t mean that they are actually composed and together on the inside. We are all good at faking things and putting on a brave face when we need to. But, this leads to some pretty severe consequences for their mental health stability. What causes this?

The Fear Of Being Judged

Nobody wants to be judged. Or seen as less than, not worthy of their job or profession. This is especially true for those who are in a helping profession. Professionals, overall, know that someone might not feel comfortable working with them if they think that they are mentally struggling with anxiety or depression. So, instead of getting the help that so many of them deserve, they keep it fully to themselves.

The “I’m Too Successful To Deal With These Issues” Issue

There’s also a stereotype that says that just because you are successful or make a lot of money, it means you can’t have problems too. That saying of, “Money can’t buy happiness,” is true – even if most don’t really believe it. However, just because someone is a professional and career driven, that doesn’t mean that they are free from the internal struggles that every single person faces.

What Causes Mental Health Issues For Professionals?

Now that we know some of the stigmas surrounding mental health – what causes so many doctors, lawyers, or other professionals to deal with mental illness?

A lot of it is the pressure put on them. For doctors, that pressure is to help as many people as possible in the best possible way. To have the best possible outcome and healing scenarios possible. Lawyers deal with it through cases where they have a lot of paperwork and situations that they have to shift through in order to make the best judgment calls. And when a business person has a lot of people underneath them or they are dealing with a lot of financial issues, it can put an alarming amount of stress on them.

Second, they are human. That might sound mundane to say. But, outside of what they do for a career, they are still human beings with lives. With worries and concerns. While society elevates them(as they should) to a high level, that doesn’t mean that they are going to be exempt from dealing with mental health concerns.

If you are a professional, it is important that you begin to break the stigma surrounding mental health. And sometimes, breaking that has to begin with you getting the support you need. Reach out to us to begin receiving support in anxiety or depression therapy.

October 13, 2022