Recently I was told that not everyone needed to go to therapy. As a reminder, I recently graduated with a degree in psychology. I plan to continue my education to eventually become a therapist/psychologist. I also have gone to therapy since the age of 11 so I am familiar with therapy's ability to help others!
So obviously when I heard from someone that not everybody could benefit from therapy, I was confused. 1 in 5 adults experience some sort of mental illness in any given year; 450 million people worldwide are affected. Even though so many people experience mental illness, only 41% of these individuals seek treatment and only 50.6% of children with mental illness receive treatment.
The number of people seeking treatment are dangerously low compared to the suicide statistics recorded in 2017. According to this data, 14 in 100,000 adults and 11.8 in 100,000 young people commit suicide every year. This is a 33% increase from data taken in 1999.
Mental illness also goes undiagnosed in people for many reasons. The stigma behind mental health is a huge issue with why mental illness goes undiagnosed; the idea that people with mental health issues are "crazy" (that's crazy). Therapy often requires the patient to have health insurance which can be problematic for some Americans. Along with these reasons, mental illnesses can be misdiagnosed as physical illnesses.
Leaving a mental illness untreated can lead to substance abuse, worsening mental and physical health problems, and suicidal thoughts or actions. So it is crucial to take care of your physical AND mental health.
The best way to handle mental health issues is to go therapy, join a support group, meditate, and/or take medication for the condition. Since there are many types of mental health problems, there are many different therapists, types of therapy, programs, and support groups, and types of medicine to try.
It is important to note that not everyone is dealing with a mental health issue that affects their daily lives. But everyone can learn and grow. As humans, we are all taught positive and negative behaviors to get what we need.
In other words, a child learns to throw a tantrum in the store so that mom buys the kid a candy bar to shut them up. This behavior does not disappear as a child ages. It transforms into behavior that works better for a particular situation; this behavior is still maladaptive and could be worked on.
We can all become better people. And I think that the point of life is to learn how to treat people with respect and be kind to others so that we can all live in peace. Therapy can help you learn these skills.
It is also nice to have someone to talk to who will not judge you. A therapist is there to listen and allow you to vent. Many people in your life likely don't do that for you. It is refreshing to have someone who will listen and help you feel less alone. Even the happiest people on Earth have bad days. On those bad days, it may be nice to have someone to talk to who is on your team.
Whether or not you actively are dealing with a mental health issue, going to therapy once a week or once a month will allow you to discuss your life without judgment, become a better person through learning about yourself, and can help treat any mental health issues you may have. If you don't have time to do in-person therapy, many health insurance companies offer therapists you can talk to on the phone!
So it's time to end the stigma. Taking care of your mental health is good for you! Going to therapy has positive effects on everyone!