Today I wanted to share my feelings on mental health related illnesses and how therapy is being used as a “cure” for them. More and more people are considering some form of therapy as a way to treat a mental health illness.
So what is mental health exactly? Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act.
Mental health related illnesses are more common than I thought. More than 50% of all U.S. adults will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. And, statistics say 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness every year.
Mental health issues includes: anxiety & panic disorders, bipolar, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse & addiction, and more.
As a child, even if I was sick I never missed one day of school. I was raised not to make excuses. So, when I see young adults and teenagers neglect their responsibilities while using mental health illnesses (like anxiety) as an excuse to refrain from taking accountability for their decisions… I begin to squint my eyes with concern.
I realize today is a completely different time than 30 years ago. I never imagined health insurances would cover weight loss treatments or nutritional counseling for people who eat unhealthy and don’t like to exercise. Nor did I ever imagine an employee could demand their employer to reevaluate their essential job functions because they suffer from anxiety or depression.
How do you really know if you need therapy?
My personal opinion is simple, just like not every sick person needs a doctor, not every person with a mental health issue needs therapy. I agree therapy is beneficial… but, in many cases it only serves as a band-aid to a wound. The band-aid doesn’t actually heal the wound, it simply covers the wound and confines the bleeding so that healing can take place.
Nevertheless, I still ask myself questions like…
• What qualifies someone as a therapist? Do you have to have a medical degree or just a life coach certification?
• Does everyone who has a mental illness need therapy?
• If after some time the therapy doesn’t work or help, do therapists offer refunds? 🙂
Can therapy help solve bad parenting or correct the poor behavior of undisciplined adults?
I believe some mental health issues are the result of a lifestyle filled with disorder and miseducation. I don’t believe therapy is the solution for poor parenting… nor do I believe it can effectively teach discipline. I feel life is ultimately the best teacher. People learn best from trial and error.
The older I become the more I see parents who subscribe to the idea of not discipling children. These are oftentimes the same people who wonder why people don’t follow directions.
Anyway… they view spanking children and setting repercussions for misbehavior as corporal punishment. I don’t feel any parent should beat their child… that should be easy to understand, even though some people are just ignorant. Discipline should never be about pain, but more about discouraging bad behavior and encouraging good behavior.
My parents and grandparents were very instrumental in my childhood development. However, my personal study of the Bible really shaped my perspective of life even as a child. Sunday school and Biblical stories taught me to appreciate life. It taught me how to love. It shaped my core values… and it taught me self-confidence even when the world did not.
I believe the majority of our present generation of young adults were raised in homes without established rules which were consistently implemented.
It’s a lot of people who expect good things to happen to them all the time… and they don’t know how to deal with pain. They don’t know how to respectfully disagree. They don’t know how to deal with rejection. They don’t know why they should respect authority. So, when things don’t go their way they have a difficult time with everything.
Everyone gets depressed at one time or another. We all go through struggles in life. We all have anxiety and fears. Don’t allow these things to be an excuse for your behavior. Take authority over your life and live it to the best of your ability! Someone once said… “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”
December 6, 2021 at 9:49 pm
Ahhhhh Jason! I have so much to say on this!! I am a Clinical Social Worker. I provide therapy as a mental health clinician and more.. I don’t even know where to begin… we are EDUCATED, TRAINED and LICENSED professionals- the process is rigorous. The theories, practices and interventions are evidenced-based and back by science and with TONS of validated studies. Not everyone can do this work; listening to a person or a group of people pour out their pain or those having a hard time navigating loss or those that can’t eat because they are filled with worry or those actively engaging in self-harm or even contemplating ending their lives. This work can be heavy. It is not for the faint of hearts. We are not here to FIX it.. we are here to support, help to identify barriers, validate and guide. Most people in therapy are there because they want to be- they have been told or are able to see where they are stuck and how it’s impacting the quality of their lives. Those that specialize in marriage & family or children are trained in using those techniques. Parenting skills are a thing — parents can learn how to set limitations and freedom in therapy too. Little Jim or little Jane can learn how to express their emotions. Teens can manage their emotions and raging hormones and adults can increase their self esteem and work on communication skills. The elderly can express their concerns for the future. So many things …
We all have experienced many emotions and when the behaviors, intensity, frequency, etc.began to show up in the DSM 5 – it’s more than an excuse at this point.. it’s something that ought to be addressed.
Therapy isn’t for everyone- and as a matter of fact, most people will improve overtime without therapy- and yet, having someone to listen to you and help you strategize in your living your very best life – proves to be worth ( at least for the 50% you mentioned above lol). And no. No refunds.
December 14, 2021 at 12:41 am
Hi Candace! Thanks for sharing your heart. It’s great to read your feelings and perspective. I believe you are giving a great service to people who you serve.