One of the most difficult things can face over the course of their lifetime is mental illness. The difficulties surrounding mental illness are manifold. For one thing, it can be difficult to diagnose mental illness. Symptoms are difficult to diagnose in a short period f time, with many psychiatrists and therapists having to study their patients for a good amount of time before having an idea of what they’re suffering from. Often, mental illness is diagnosed through talking with the patient — and it’s difficult for many sufferers of mental illness to speak out about what they’re going through. They feel that they won’t be taken seriously, and for that matter are concerned that people can’t understand them. Of course, therapy services aren’t just for those suffering from long-term chronic mental illness. Psychotherapy is also for those suffering from a particular, individual crisis in life. Through therapy, you can solve this crisis and move on from it without the emotional wounds sustained otherwise. Therapy and counseling have even been known to save marriages. Let’s look into how therapy can help people suffering from depression, marital issues, and much more.
Depression: Myth Versus Reality
Many people think that depression is an easy to diagnose condition — which couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that depression is actually a very easy to miss condition, because not all people suffer from depression in the same way. It’s very individualized. The fact is that many people suffering from depression can’t trace it back to a single triggering event (though some can). The source of depression can be an imbalance of hormones, the seasons, or something far more devastating. People shouldn’t feel as if they have to justify why they have depression. What’s important is treating it. Anyone can suffer from depression. It’s believed that 11% of adolescents will suffer from depression before they reach 18, and women are 70% more likely to experience depression than men. Depression can be very intense, punctuated by periods of inactivity or even self-harming behaviors. It can also create a dullness in people, making them feel as if there’s nothing in the world that can help them. Therapy is a great resource for those suffering from depression. Although medication is also a possibility for depression sufferers, many find that “talking it out” and developing coping skills is an important part of treating depression.
Marriage Counseling: Saving Relationships
Too often, marriages end without any effort to save them from either spouse. And yes, it’s true that some marriages are beyond saving, whether or not a couple seeks out marriage counseling. But many couples find that marriage counseling is not only worth it, but the only thing that can keep families together. People seek out marriage counseling for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, marriages just fall apart due to a lack of feeling or intimacy. Other times, an affair or another betrayal is at heart. Either way, a counselor could be the key to helping spouses communicate — just as it’s the key to helping people with mental illnesses communicate.
Therapy Versus Psychiatry: The Key Differences
While a psychiatrist can give out medication, a therapist is more focused on talking and developing changes in a person’s lifestyle. For people wishing to avoid medication, this is key. And in fact, medication isn’t an option at all for many people seeking counseling. But the lack of pharmaceutical intervention is not the only reason why people seek out therapists rather than psychiatrists. There’s also a monetary factor to consider. By choosing therapy, you could get effective treatment for 20 to 40% less than what you would pay to see a psychiatrist. Many who need therapy have enough to worry about already without financial stress; it’s important to keep this in mind.
Don’t feel ashamed — many people suffer from mental illnesses, and there are plenty of other reasons why people need therapy. The most important thing is that you get help when you need it.