If there are two things that can reach out to an Indian audience, they would be Bollywood and cricket.
A few years ago a Hindi Film titled, ‘Dear Zindagi’ was released. It starred a suave Shahrukh Khan who played a Psychologist and the chirpy Alia Bhatt who goes to seek his help to find her lost sparkle. We saw a nattily dressed Alia talking her heart out to her rakish Psychologist who brings her out of her shell. There are walks on the beach, impressive motivational jargon, and an airy room of my dreams involved.
Dear Zindagi shone the spotlight on a topic often brushed under the carpet – Mental Health.
Suddenly a lot of people thought it was ‘very cool’ to see a therapist. It was heartening to see that people were willing to talk about Mental Health and amusing to note that they assumed Therapy would be as filmy as it was in the movie.
So, what is Psychological Therapy?
The decision of seeing a Therapist (Psychologist/Psychiatrist/Clinical Psychologist) to help you untangle the emotions and thoughts that are affecting your daily life and mental and physical health is what Therapy is about.
Why should I get Therapy? Won’t talking to friends and family help?
If you break a bone in your hand, do you just tape up the affected area and let it heal? Let’s say you do just that, would it heal as it should? I think not. The healing would probably be haphazard and your fractured limb would be misshapen. In the same way, if the mental turmoil you are facing refuses to abate, despite repeatedly talking to friends and family. If you feel tired, hopeless, and listless and think that you can’t go on like you are, talking to a professional would surely help.
A professional Mental Heath Professional is qualified to know what to do, can guide you towards solutions, and help you feel better.
Isn’t therapy just like venting to friends?
This is the most common misconception people have. No, Therapy isn’t about ‘venting’. A good therapist will ask you a bunch of questions even before taking you on as a client. Among all the questions asked, your reason for seeking Therapy and what do you hope to gain from it, are the ones that help steer your sessions in the right direction.
The friends whom we vent to are empathetic shoulders, who listen and tell us what we want to hear. Venting to friends and family can be a never-ending process with no results.
A qualified Therapist has the right knowledge to steer the conversation in the right direction, by asking relevant questions, by making you rethink a certain situation in a different way.
Who needs Therapy?
Mental Health is as important as Physical Health is. The only thing constant in every human being’s life is problems, either caused by themselves or by others. Problems and how we deal with them make us realize a lot about ourselves and people and situations around us. Some problems are small and are solved easily or with time. Major problems may take longer and linger, but you eventually find a way to either solve them or live with them.
When you are in a place where nothing seems to work when problems cause you to feel exhausted, hinder everyday life and strain your relationship with yourself and your loved ones, that is when you should consider seeking Therapy.
Won’t people judge me, or worse still, ‘think I am mad’ if I start Therapy?
The acceptance of Mental Health issues and the will to heal from them is the truth that should be made acceptable. You are brave if you acknowledge that you have a problem that you want to solve. You are brave if you decided to seek therapy and do so. You are brave if you decided to put yourself and your Mental Health above everyone’s voices and views. You never know whom you might inspire when you take this step.
Besides, Therapy Sessions are 100 percent private. No one needs to know if you don’t wish to share.
Ignorance causes assumptions and misconceptions. Let’s be open about Mental Health and everything related to it. That is the only way we can erase the stigma associated with it.
This is my 2nd post for #CauseAChatter a campaign with Blogchatter.
I chose #MentalHealth and will be writing a post a month on this topic.
You can read my 1st post here