Why People Fear Getting Professional Help

Individuals who get professional treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) and related mental health conditions have better life outcomes. Unfortunately, many people are scared of change or uncertain about the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs, and these feelings can make them hesitate to get the help they need.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Like many health conditions, help for mental illness takes professional diagnosis and treatment.” Attending a treatment program is the best path to successful recovery for many individuals. A New Hope Recovery offers family support services and intervention assistance to help families communicate effectively with loved ones who struggle with substance misuse.

Why Do Some People Fear Professional Help? 

Not everyone feels comfortable with the idea of getting help for SUD or other mental health disorders. A few reasons people avoid reaching out for professional help include:

  • Fear of family members or others finding out about the substance misuse
  • Embarrassment over perceived personal failings
  • Not wanting to look weak 
  • Fear of involuntary treatment, legal repercussions, or social judgment
  • Distrust of authority figures
  • Uncertainty about what happens during rehabilitation
  • Ambivalence about treatment and sobriety
  • Multi-generational substance misuse 

Individuals struggling with substance misuse might not know the many benefits of participating in a rehabilitation program. Fear, shame, embarrassment, or other negative emotions can lead them to avoid treatment. Social stigmas and self-stigmatization are also significant factors for many.

Social Stigmas and Self-Stigmatizing

Popular media and other sources show stereotypes of mental health disorders and SUD that can alienate people. Individuals who watch a television show or read a book that depicts characters with exaggerated symptoms or behaviors may feel like their own struggles with addictive behaviors do not match the stereotypes. Stigmas attached to these stereotypes make it easier to ignore the similarities. A loved one may not recognize that they have a problem because their symptoms do not match what they have seen in the media.

Self-stigmatization can also cause some people to avoid seeking help. According to Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders,Self-stigma occurs when a person with mental or substance use disorder internalizes negative stereotypes and the public and structural stigma directed at these disorders.” Common self-stigmatizing thoughts include: 

  • “I cannot be helped.”
  • “I misuse substances because I am a bad person.”
  • “I am a burden on my family.”
  • “I cannot achieve and maintain sobriety.”
  • “Treatment won’t work for me.”

A mental health professional can use therapeutic tools to dismantle self-stigma and irrational beliefs. 

The Healing Power of Treatment

Mental health professionals have years of experience to draw from when they collaborate with families and individuals during interventions, evaluations, and treatment. Evidence-based therapies can provide emotional support to people in recovery and give them a fresh perspective on their substance misuse. Professional care can empower people and provide them with essential tools that will help them heal from SUD.

Treatments can include a wide range of modalities and include integrative care. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “The best treatment programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet the needs of the individual patient.” The mental health experts at A New Hope Recovery can provide families and their loved ones with referrals and details about local treatment programs that meet their needs.

Benefits of Seeking Professional Treatment 

Mental health professionals have the necessary knowledge to provide personalized care to people at all stages of recovery. The rehabilitation process is unique to each individual, and no two treatment plans look the same. Some of the benefits of professional care include:

  • Access to a wide range of resources, including individual therapy, medical care, family support, and peer support
  • A care team that will constantly expand their knowledge and apply new evidence-based treatments to give patients the best in addiction recovery science
  • Flexible treatment plans that can be adapted to accommodate personal, religious, or cultural preferences
  • Options for trauma-focused treatments and trauma-informed care

Rehabilitation programs decrease the risk of relapse and prepare individuals with SUD to maintain sobriety independently. People can learn to thrive and grow during rehabilitation and continuing care. Programs led by professionals in the mental health field also have complementary services that support families and encourage ongoing recovery. In addition, professionals can guide families through the intervention process.

Professional Help to Guide Interventions

Often, families do not want to rely on outsiders to convince their loved ones that they need professional care. Unfortunately, families that do not consult or collaborate with a professional rarely have positive outcomes. The best results usually involve intervention services like those provided by A New Hope Recovery. Our team can show families how to effectively communicate with their loved ones to help them overcome hesitancy and ambivalence regarding treatment. 

Some people do not trust rehabilitation programs or professionals in the mental health field because they have had negative experiences or have been misinformed about what treatment entails. A New Hope Recovery works with families to help people struggling with substance misuse accept their situation and attend rehabilitation. In most cases, interventions that take advantage of advice from professionals will have better outcomes, and family members can provide more effective support to their loved ones during treatment and recovery. Interventions can help people challenge stigmas and irrational beliefs that might be enabling maladaptive behaviors. Families can benefit from the experience and suggestions of professionals who can help them motivate their loved ones to get treatment. A New Hope Recovery ensures that individuals struggling with substance misuse have access to local recovery resources, referrals, and family support services. To learn more, contact our office today at (407) 501-8490.