Awareness Education

Why you should Start Therapy?


Therapy is a technique employed by various medical professionals to relieve the distress of their patients. While this term is most commonly used in association with psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors, it can be understood in terms of treatment provided by other medical practitioners as well. Therapy essentially means the treatment provided to patients for curing various physical and mental disorders. For example, physical therapy is provided to sportspersons, speech therapy is provided to correct talking difficulties, etc. However, in this article, we will focus on therapy as a psychological tool.

Read More: The Difference Between Psychiatrists and Psychologists

According to the definition given by the National Institute of Mental Health, Psychotherapy (also called talk therapy) refers to a variety of treatments that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. A lot of people as of late have started taking therapy to deal with several problems as well as to learn how to cope with the struggles of everyday life. Even a lot of celebrities as of later have started talking about their struggles with mental distress and seeking therapy such as Deepika Padukone and Selena Gomez! Before we understand the reasons behind seeking therapy, we should understand the different types of therapies that exist.

Why Start Therapy?

There can be multiple reasons to start a therapy from seeking help to treat a mental disorder, address concerns regarding mental distress, or learn better coping strategies for everyday struggles. Some common reasons to start therapy are:

  • Anxiety has become a growing concern nowadays. Everyone gets nervous and gets tense and stressed out at some moments but what sets anxiety apart? As the official definition dictates, anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. With growing competition and the burden of a fast-paced life, a lot of people seek therapy to help adopt better coping strategies to help them with anxious thoughts and feelings. Depression and other mood disorders are a spectrum of disorders that has recently been gaining attention and their symptoms have just started becoming more recognisable in India.
  • According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, 4.5% of Indians suffer from depression and another 3.5% of Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. Depression refers to prolonged periods of sadness, disturbed sleep cycle, appetite, weight gain, withdrawal from social interactions, lack of motivation and interest, etc. Other mood disorders include bipolar disorder, mania, etc. Symptoms include erratic behaviour, extreme mood swings, reckless behaviour etc. Therapy helps with the diagnosis of such disorders and suggests the course of treatment required.
  • Resolving issues from the past is another common reason for people to seek therapy. As humans, we go through significant life changes and transitions such as suffering losses, losing out on desired goals, and traumatic incidents such as going through abuse or being in a life-threatening situation, etc. Humans, at the start, are like wet clay, thus early experiences of our lives have an imprint throughout. We must become aware of the impact of all such events so that we can get a whole picture of ourselves to heal and recover from everything that has happened. Gestalt Psychology believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This also helps us in becoming aware of our potential and abilities.
  • Relationship Issues will arise in every relationship. It’s just that sometimes when they get a bit more serious, a little intervention may be required. Couples therapy has become very popular as the divorce rates rise. It is a form of therapy that can help you and your partner work on your relationship and maybe work on issues that you two have been avoiding or were unable to address. It can help you develop skills such as effective communication, feelings of disconnection, working through issues of trust and affairs, and establishing an understanding that may have been becoming a bit blurred.

Advantages Of Therapy

If we sat down to count, the list of advantages of therapy would be in millions! It helps in nearly every aspect of our lives. Nearly 14% of India’s population required active therapeutic interventions, according to the National Mental Health Survey conducted by NIMHANS in 2016. As per the data, about 70% to 80% of persons in India struggling with mental illness receive no care. This harms their mental health even further.

The growing concern regarding mental health calls to highlight the importance of therapy. For instance, if we were to injure our leg, we would seek a doctor consultation, probably undergo surgery and take medications to heal from the injury. Psychotherapy is equivalent to mental distress. It helps you work through mental disorders, find better coping strategies for dealing with day-to-day struggles, and inculcate skills for further improvement of your mental functioning.

There are various therapies also available in case there are issues regarding expressing your emotions. Art Therapy and Scream Therapy are some examples of this. People dealing with addiction also seek therapy to uncover and understand underlying issues that cause them to abuse substances. Behaviour remedial therapies are also available.

Positive psychology talks about the need for therapies even in the face of no discernible disorder. The focus here becomes the overall development of the individual. Seeking therapy in this case enables the individual to gain better insights about themselves so that they can understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Overcoming Barriers and Facing Stigma

“Mental Illness isn’t something that should be swept under the carpet”

Deepika Padukone

Statistics have shown that while cases of mental disorders are prevalent in India, only a very small percentage of them seek therapy. The stigma attached to mental health and especially seeking help has been present in India since time immemorial. Stigma refers to the negative perceptions that are associated with talking about mental health. Any psychological issue is diminished by equating it to the person “being crazy”. Such derogatory terms harm the reputation of the field and mental health in its entirety.

Due to this stigma, people may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help. However, there are ways to deal with this. When people with a platform, such as Deepika Padukone, talk about mental health, it helps fight off the negative perceptions people have attached to it. Thus, by raising awareness, seeking help despite the stigma, and not hiding the illness, we can collectively fight off this stigma.

Read More: How Celebrities are Shaping the Global Mental Health Dialogue

Therapy is a very important tool, especially in this day and age. It has numerous benefits and one does not necessarily require a reason to seek therapy. You can avail therapy for whatever duration you want and you can seek the kind of therapy and therapist you desire. No amount of rumours about therapy and mental health should ever get in the way of seeking the help you require.

References +
  • Cherry, K. (2023, 25 May). Psychotherapy Types and Techniques. Verywell Mind.
  • APA Dictionary. Anxiety. American Psychological Association.
  • Aggarwal, A., Bashar, M.A., and Mehra, A. (2019, June). Integrating mental health into primary care for addressing depression in a rural population: An experience from North India. Indian Journal Of Psychiatry.
  • Bustamante, N. (2023, September 7). What is Gestalt Psychology? Simply Psychology.
  • Gupta, S. (2023, 16 November). What Is Couples Therapy? VeryWell Mind.
  • Nawab, N. (2022, 7 October). Mental Healthcare Analysis. Times Of India.
  • Ackerman, C. (2018, 20 April). What Is Positive Psychology and Why Is It Important? Positive Psychology.
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