The topics of mental health and therapy can be a scary and confusing thing for many people. There’s still a social stigma that keeps potential patients away from helpful resources. No one should feel ashamed for seeking the help they need to feel better emotionally and mentally. We understand why some people are reluctant but if you think it can help, explore the idea more, especially if you are experiencing sadness, anger or depression, abusing vices, have recently lost a loved one or endured a traumatic event. The best recommendation we can give is to take it slow by trying some of the following outlets.
Family and friends
Simply talk out your worries and fears with family and friends. Find at least one person you can trust and share personal info and issues. To have someone who knows and understand what you’re going through is a tremendous help. The consolation certainly goes a long way, the advice they give can be healing and may be able to point out things that you miss and want. Talking to someone about something you may perceive as shameful or problematic can be a freeing experience and all you need.
There are several diverse anonymous helplines with trained counselors that can help distressed people and suggest ways to handle their concerns and complaints. Of course, suicide hotlines are the most important and should be utilized immediately if needed. There is no pressure to call, most lines are available 24/7 and they can put you in touch with health services and resources you need. You can call as many times as you want and certainly expect judgment-free conversations.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is great for everyone because they track your mood, can help you recognize patterns and a good way to unload baggage. Also, a journal becomes a powerful tool for mental health professionals. The pages show where you have been and what you have been going through.
If you’re struggling with a specific issue or addiction, it can benefit you to go to a support group. Support groups are mediated and can be less intimidating. You can hang back or be more vocal and share often because the focus is not necessarily on you. Participation in a support group is purely voluntary which means you can leave at any point during a meeting and stop going entirely.
If any of these things helped with your personal dilemmas or in your decision to seek a mental health professional, we applaud your efforts. There are several ways you can find the help you need like consulting with your primary doctor. They’d be happy to refer you and it’s a great way to strengthen the relationship. Another way is to simply be proud and ask around. You’ll be surprised how many family members, friends, and colleagues have sought professional mental health. And, of course, you can explore what’s available in your insurance policy and do online research or utilize the yellow pages. You’ll discover there are a few different approaches.
- Psychoanalysis/psychodynamic therapies: Focuses on changing problematic behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their unconscious meanings and motivations, characterized by a close working partnership between therapist and patient.
- Behavior therapy: Discovers one’s role in developing normal and abnormal behaviors and the effects of classical and operant conditioning and associative learning.
- Cognitive therapy: Explores dysfunctional thinking, emotions and behaviors and the power of changing one’s thoughts to improve how they feel and what they do.
- Humanistic therapy: This route rejects the idea of therapists as authorities on their clients’ inner struggles. Instead, therapists help clients change by emphasizing their concerns, cares, and interests.
- Gestalt therapy: Highlights what is called “organismic holism”, which is the importance of being aware of the here and now and accepting responsibility for one’s self.
- Existential therapy: Focuses on free will, self-determination and the search for meaning.
Finding the right form of therapy is very informative and the research will give everyone the chance to try different tactics and processes on our own. Remember, you don’t have to rush into anything right away and if you don’t feel the chosen therapy is effective, take a break and continue when you’re comfortable. Like with anything else, commitment takes time and trial and persistence is key, which is understandably frustrating. Take a deep breath and start from the top of this article. It certainly is a challenging journey as it is discouraging but needed development and empowerment awaits. We support and commend everyone’s efforts in improving their mental health and please know you’re not alone.