The reality is 1 in 4 people will experience ill mental health at some point in their life and worse still some people suffer for years and some do not recover at all.
So why is this?
Well still today despite valiant efforts from support groups, ill mental health is still a taboo subject. Yet all of us know at least one person in our circle that is suffering from some kind of psychological distress.
There is a plethora of treatments out there available that to some degree will deal with the 'symptoms' of the problem, but just how effective are these remedies?
Are they being applied or are they packaged for commercial gain?
And more importantly are they just relieving the symptoms or genuinely dealing with the cause?
- You think you can deal with your negative emotions on your own. Seeking help is a sign of vulnerability and weakness and yet for those who repeat the same cognitive 'story' of themselves and their experience to friends is only compounding the issue. Is it not Einstein who said "We can not solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them?"
- You think your doctor has the answers through medication. General medical practices has changed vastly over the years, with quicker and more convenient prescription based solutions. In a recent UK survey of medical practice, 35% of doctors admitted to prescribing anti-depressants as a convenient win-win solution until further support and resources were made available. Medication does have its place although it is not the only effective option.
- You think psychotherapy requires lying on a couch for hundreds of hours unverifying nasty memories about your childhood. There are many different schools of thought in regards to psychotherapeutic relief. Today some forms of 'talking therapy' are rapid, remedial and curative. In my experience it's all about the client either being passive or active in their commitment towards their chosen therapy. Even long deep emotional pain can be successfully treated if the client is willing to support the process of change.
- You believe that the way that you feel is just the way that you are. I was just born that way! This is a common response regardless of whether you have mental or emotional issues. There are a number of universal laws that dictate the unfolding of events and one of those is the law of cause and effect. Ultimately everything that we see around us once started with a thought and it is those thoughts that have accelerated change in the last 50 years. The human spirit is powerful and has a will that can steer your thoughts and therefore actions in a certain direction, towards a certain destination at a certain speed. When someone comments 'I was just born this way' it is an easy way out of taking responsibility for their thoughts and the consequence of their actions. Being stuck this way is a clear indicator that they are trapped in a certain sensory experience, limiting the ability to draw out their innate resources and utilize the other dormant senses that can complete their experience. Raising your awareness that it is not 'out there' that makes you feel the way you do and that it is your response to the event can be hard for some of you to forgive at first. This is a deeply held belief of them as a person and having someone tell them that they are the cause for the way that they feel can be shocking. This is a good place to be because the shift in perception can inject a deeper understanding of their potential to influence events and create their own positive outcomes.
- People do not realize that they have a choice in the way that they feel. Living from a place of 'victory' instead of 'victim'. Victor Frankl in his landmark book 'A Man's Search for Meaning' depicts the atrocities of World War II that he encountered during his imprisonment in the camps of Auschwitz. Whilst being beaten and tortured and every day that he would live to see the next day he describes a moment of realization that they could punish his body, verbally disparage him as a person and remove him of his dignity, though they could not take away his freedom of thought. As soon as he had this realization everything seemed to have a meaning and his response towards his captors was one of pity and shame, and he was invigorated and inspired.
- You have the ability to control and measure your response to virtually any encounter by adjusting what your thoughts are about it. Having the knowledge that our existence is beyond our thoughts, our feelings or the flesh and blood that we live in is an empowering position to be in. Being in the moment and having our will as our ally can determine how we are 'being' in any situation that we encounter.
- Can this be done overnight? Surely not, we are 'work in progress' and it requires a new attitude and paradigm of yourself and what's around you. Apply this understanding daily and I promise you that you will start to see changes happening around you. Keep your eyes peeled.