"I’m too embarrassed to tell my family, friends, and partner that I’m in therapy, but I feel like I’m lying to the people I care about. What do I do?" - 21, M, NY
Although therapy is becoming gradually less stigmatized, there is certainly still a lot of societal shame around getting professional help for mental health issues. And depending on other factors, such as race, ethnicity, religious background, and/or gender (just to name a few), that shame can feel even more intense. Therapy is personal and private, and there is nothing wrong with keeping it that way. That said, there can be benefits to being vulnerable and honest with the people you love and trust.
I would first suggest asking yourself: is my fear of judgment a form of projection? In other words, am I assuming others will judge me harshly because I am judging myself harshly? Going inward and examining the shame you yourself carry can be a good place to start. I would also strongly encourage you to talk to your therapist about this. That is what we are here for! Your therapist can help you unpack the embarrassment you feel and help you determine what next steps make the most sense for you. Finally, remember that seeking help is a sign of strength and resilience, not weakness. It takes courage to ask for help, especially when we are afraid we’ll be met with judgment or criticism. Don't forget to be proud of yourself for taking your wellbeing into your own hands.