Jon Hamm is calling B.S. on the negative attitudes associated with seeking mental health help.
In a new interview on the show “In Depth With Graham Bensinger,” the actor talked about going to therapy and taking medication for depression and why he thinks it should be normalized.
“I mean, sometimes that’s what you need,” he said. “It’s got the most interesting stigma. People think if you break your ankle, you’re not expected to just walk it off. But if your brain chemistry is somehow a little tweaked, you’re somehow expected to just deal with it.”
Hamm said he first started seeing a mental health professional in college, after his sister encouraged him to get help following the death of his father.
“My sister was like, ‘You need to see somebody … you’re sleeping till 4 o’clock in the afternoon … you’re not well,’” Hamm said. “And for me it was like, ‘Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.’ You’re not fine. This is not fine.”
Hamm went on to explain that when he was growing up, many people around him were taught not to speak up and it was common for people to push their emotions under the rug. However, he realized seeing a therapist was “profoundly helpful.”
“It gives you another perspective on something that you can’t quite figure out,” Hamm said. “And she was able to really reorient my kind of way of thinking and she put me on medication that changed my brain chemistry enough to where [it was like], ‘OK, I’m feeling a little better. I can get up and go to work, I can get up and go to school. I can do my work on time. I can self-motivate again.’”
Hamm has previously discussed living with depression and seeking mental health help, and has also praised the power of therapy.
“Medical attention is medical attention, whether it’s for your elbow or for your teeth or for your brain,” he told InStyle last year. “And it’s important.”
An estimated 1 in 5 American adults will experience a mental health condition in a given year. Openness like Hamm has about therapy and mental health medication is crucial to breaking down the stigma. Research shows negative stereotypes around mental illness often stand in the way of people getting treatment. Celebrity testimonies can help others feel less alone and encourage them to reach out for support so they can manage their own conditions.
Shout out to Hamm for continuing to spread awareness and speak the real truth about seeking help. Because no one should be expected to just deal with it.