Benefits of Talk Therapy

It is very disturbing to learn that adults with severe mental health conditions have nearly 25 years fewer to live than their peers who experience sound mental health. And, most of their deaths are caused by conditions that could have been rectified. What could be the cause for this? Is it accessibility to professional help or the reluctance to come forward and discuss mental health problems?

Step Out and Talk About Mental Health

Data shows that at least one in five American adults suffers from some form of mental illness in a given year — this could range from bouts of anxiety to postpartum depression or more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

There is a stigma attached to mental illnesses and this often prevents individuals from coming forward and discussing their symptoms, even with a professional. Many are often ridiculed about their condition, which forces them to stay away from society and delve deeper into the darkness of their symptoms.

This is why it is important to overcome the stigma and understand the importance of getting help.

Talk Therapy and Its Benefits

One of the most talked about methods for dealing with mental illnesses is talk therapy. You may have noticed that you tend to feel better after sharing your innermost fears or burdens with your partner or best friend; that is talk therapy.

It gives an individual the opportunity to talk about their symptoms, what they experience on a daily basis and how it impacts their life.

A study that followed 6,000 individuals who had previously attempted suicide and had undergone six to 10 sessions of talk therapy found that 27 percent of them had a reduced risk of another attempt.

Benefits of talk therapy:

  • Avoids accumulation of emotions: Not sharing our emotions and thoughts can often cause them to accumulate until a point of break-down. Such a breakdown can easily impact your personal and work relationships, your ability to function efficiently and your overall health. Talking about it, on the other hand, gives you an outlet and relief.
  • Defines the problem: Talking about an issue, to a friend, spouse or therapist could give it more definition in comparison to mulling over it in your own head and getting more confused.
  • Offers long-lasting benefits: Unlike medications that provide temporary relief, talk therapy can offer more long-lasting benefits because it helps you deal with the root cause of the problem and not just the symptoms.
  • Supports physical health: Individuals with severe depression and other mental ailments often feel physical side effects like fatigue, lethargy and an overall dislike for any activity. Talk therapy can help them overcome these physical drawbacks too.
  • Rewires the brain: Just like medications can help reset the brain to come out of the illness, so can talk therapy. It can help reset parts of the brain that deal with emotions, memories, fears and worries about the self. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you recognize certain behaviors that may be causing your health issues and teach new habits to keep the mind healthy.

Utilizing talk therapy will allow you to set an example for your loved ones, especially your children. You can teach them that there’s nothing wrong in expressing your innermost emotions and that talking about them may be the healthiest way of dealing with them.

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References

George, N. (2014, November 25). The Many Benefits of Talk Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/many-benefits-talk-therapy/

NAMI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers