THERAPY - If this word makes you feel embarrassed, take a step back and consider where you're going wrong. Seeking assistance is not a humiliating behaviour, at least not in the way it is depicted in India. If you become unwell, your parents and relatives would always urge you to see a doctor or a family doctor. Has anybody ever suggested that you schedule an appointment with a therapist and express your feelings? Well, I feel that is mainly because of lack of awareness. Because of the stigma connected with mental illness, as well as a lack of knowledge, only 10-12 % of those suffering from it seek assistance. This must change!
I'm reminded of an experience that might help clarify certain things - I came across a child who lost his father when he was quite little and had carried the grief into his adolescence. This grief wasn't like appendicitis so, it didn't burst for others to take note of and prep up for repair and healing. Unfortunate? Yes! Unavoidable? NO! His grief invited many other physical ailments and a visit to the physician felt like routine. Hospitals seemed like the vacation he must take. Everybody empathized with him for how unfortunate his life was until he opened up to a medical resident in attending about how he never had the chance or time to grieve the loss of his father. Does this sound like something that might have grown out of proportion for no reason? If yes, please know that if you ignore your mental healthcare, you invite such a painful life - one that is filled with doctors, medicines, scans, surgeries and little to no experience outside of the hospital. Honestly, he could have seen a therapist and worked through his issues, but he didn't, and he should have if he had been aware of his choices. Are you still contemplating? Read on...
Many people nowadays, (the ignorant/illiterate/orphans), are ignorant of the alternatives open to them. Mostly because they are unfamiliar with the idea of mental health. To raise awareness, mental health should be made an open issue for group discussions. Seeing a therapist must become more common in society. Going to a therapist does not imply that a person is insane or crazy. Labels, as well as stereotypes and judgments, need to be abolished.
Can therapy be replaced?
Because the mind is the most essential and powerful element of our bodies, mental health treatment is critical. Good mental health contributes to a higher quality of life as well as optimal physical health. Therapy promotes mental wellness.
And, no, therapy cannot be replaced. Listening to sad Bollywood music, sobbing yourself to sleep, and eating your favourite food may provide momentary solace, but these are not long-term answers to improving your mental health. Yes, venting with your best buddy will assist and make you feel better. However, your best buddy may not have the professional abilities that a therapist has. A therapeutic connection is more than just a friendship: it challenges you and allows you to gain vital insights about yourself. Therapists are skilled listeners who can assist you in identifying the cause of your difficulties, whether it is your ideas, your family, or you.
Why don’t people consider Therapy?
Here are 5 reasons why people think they are better off without therapy:
They’d rather talk to their friends- Friends are not therapists, yes, emotional support is vital but friendship is not a therapeutic relationship.
It is too expensive- While the cost may be prohibitively expensive at times, paying on it now may avoid subsequent serious diseases.
Talking won't help -Therapy allows you to have someone you can talk to and express your thoughts with without being judged. It gives you a secure place to be yourself and let all of your problems out.
They wouldn't want to air their grievances in public—therapy is private, and the material shared during treatment sessions is legally protected. As long as you do not jeopardize anybody, everything you choose to share with your therapist will not leave the therapy session.
They don't have time for Mental Health Care- If you're struggling with problems that aren't going away, investing a few hours to dealing with them now might save you time, money, and suffering in the long run.
People frequently put off coming to counselling, which leads to difficulties that may have been readily solved at an earlier stage. Doubt is one of the reasons individuals skip therapy; they don't trust the process and wonder if it will help them. Let me tell you, giving it a try is no harm. In fact, it'll save you from unnecessary suffering and exorbitant expenses.
[Source: A client of EduPsych's Experts.
P.S. The storyline and identity has been changed a little to keep confidentiality intact.]
After dating for a few years, our client, a woman in her thirties, married the man she loved in an inter-caste marriage. They were head over heels in love but, it so happened that the husband couldn't support her as he should have post wedding, while living with his parents. This led to frequent quarrels. Our client started to feel lonely and sad. The multiple changes that she was experiencing - change of cities, families, marital status, etc., was overwhelming! She would often feel fatigued and then shrug it off as lethargy. Instead of planning date nights the couple would try to tip-toe around the joys and demands of the family. Instead of experiencing a surge in their sexual hormones, the couple would find it a chore. Despite the fact that they began to have sex issues, i.e., the woman experiencing pain during intercourse and lacking the willingness to copulate, the couple didn't find this alarming. Instead of seeking help, they opted for a sex-less life that too within 2 years of marriage. Having a partner with whom you want to and can copulate but are unable to do so can be mentally and emotionally draining!
The most strange findings of our Expert was the fact that this client's mother was a depression patient so she knew what it was like to suffer from a mental health illness. This should have enabled the client to be extra careful and particular about her mental healthcare. Unfortunately, her fears stepped in and made her ignore seeking professional help. Until one fine day, her friends and her physician suggested her to do so. The same fear made her book her appointment with an EduPsych Expert - just to gain validation aka a certificate that she wasn't suffering from Depression.
Going to a therapist and seeking treatment has significantly helped the client - by learning how to identify the root cause of her problems and how to work on finding a resolution and ultimately feel healthy and happy.
Often, clients come in with reports about their physical health issues. That too, only when none of the report findings satisfies their queries or helps them initiate a treatment. With a little success in promoting the importance of mental healthcare, EduPsych is able to encourage people to connect the dots upwards, i.e., to try and understand if their illness was a result of poor mental and emotional health. After all, it's true that mental health lays ground for good physical health. So, what is your reason to not give your brain it's due care? What makes you limit your treatment options? What makes you want to get testified with a physical ailment but not a mental illness? Why is it easier for you to spend thousands over lab tests, medicines, doctor fees, hospital expenses, etc. but spend a few minutes/hours in therapy and talk about what is bothering you? Why not trust the process?
This blog is an attempt to encourage you to realize the importance of mental and emotional healthcare. Your brain and emotions should be given the attention it deserves by signing up for counseling. It helps you understand yourself and also others better. Mental Healthcare is not a destination but a process so, try to trust the process.