The Big Taboo. Yildiz Sethi
People are comfortable being open about having a doctor’s or hairdresser’s appointment, a personal trainer or coach. Yet few are willing to disclose they are seeing a counsellor or psychotherapist. The reality is most of us don’t want to reveal they are dealing with depression, anxiety or relationship problems. This is surprising because we all deal with such issues at times.
Shame surrounds emotional, psychological or relationship problems; a fear of revealing vulnerabilities, of being labeled or judged.
The fear of mental illness probably has its roots in our past. There was a time when mental illness was thought to be caused by the possession of entities or dark forces. People with mental health conditions were sent to asylums, with little expectation of recovery. Hell indeed.
This remains a shadow in our relatively recent history. It wasn’t until the 1980s that mental asylums were finally closed in Australia. This has an effect on community consciousness.
The present trend is for more open conversations about mental health. So much so media frequently engages members of the public as well as professionals when covering mental health issues. No doubt this is driven by an intention to normalise the taboo of mental health. If we are drawn into human stories it is likely empathy and acceptance may unfold in wider society. While some would say things are improving, unfortunately we still have a long way to go. There are at least two themes in operation that are in opposition.
More people than ever are being diagnosed with mental health problems due to the expansion of the diagnostic book, the DSMV. This is used by psychiatrists and supported by the pharmaceutical industry. This is the traditional medical model comprising of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry.
Unfortunately, this traditional medical model is in direct opposition to the movement to normalise the common stressors of human experience.
Here we have the dichotomy. The public is being encouraged to open up and seek professional help. This inevitably results in more diagnoses, labeling and medication
Unfortunately, this has consequences. While we no longer incarcerate most in mental institutions, diagnoses of mental illness remains a permanent imprint on medical records.
Did you know the traditional mental health model maintains the belief that the majority of mental health issues cannot be cured? The only hope offered for most is the management of symptoms and this is in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication, often for life for many.
In the traditional mental health model the brain is considered a mechanical mechanism; once broken it can’t be fixed. This does not take into account neuroscience, which shows a very different story.
The brain has been found to have a plasticity: continues to grow and change. It has the capacity to be rewired. Further, neural pathways are constantly being reformed as an ongoing natural process. This makes recovery and healing in terms of mental health a real possibility for many.
Why isn’t this knowledge being taken into the traditional mental model and our universities?
We all experience suffering and distress. I too have had my fair share of tragedy, sadness and trauma. Such situations cause imbalance for a while. This is normal and much of it does not require labeling or long-term medication. What is required is effective help that builds resilience and enables the resolution of trauma and the resources for growth. (I also remain mindful that the more serious mental health problems do require diagnoses and medication with traditional mental health care.)
I will never forget the day a young woman came to me desperate for help. Her severe depression intact, regardless of extensive hospitalization, numerous electric shock treatments (ECG -electroconvulsive treatment), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and medication. She was about to be readmitted to hospital and was seeking another pathway to recovery. A few sessions of Rapid Core Healing with me helped her come out of depression and withdraw from medication. She could return to return to her husband and children to commence a normal life.
I am a registered systemic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist, educator, trainer and supervisor. Since 2000 I have developed a way of helping people through such crossroads and stressors in life including depression, anxiety and relationship issues in a brief cost effective manner. As a psychotherapist I remain outside the traditional mental health system. This means I cannot offer Medicare rebates. Counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists are not included in the medical model.
There is a wealth of modern psychotherapies excluded from funding because the psychological research to verify efficacy has not taken place. Psychological research typically focuses on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) alone and does not include other newer methodologies. There is no level playing field.
Unfortunately the public largely see the mental health system as the only legitimate answer to emotional and psychological suffering.
The suffering in mental health is intolerable and set to grow unless radical changes take place. These include dismantling the vested interests, alliances, exclusions and blind spots blocking innovation and growth in the mental health industry. Individuals deserve the right to question treatments and medications and make choices in aid of their recovery. Registered counsellors, psychotherapists and hypnotherapists need to be given their place as providing viable pathway to recovery. They offer viable pathways to recovery. They offer through genuine human connection a wide range of engaging creative and therapeutic skills.
Imagine a world where children are taught the value of their feelings and thoughts and where mentoring is a common, life long experience. Each of us being mentored and mentoring others as a communal sharing. Where people receive mental health support alongside treatment for physical ailments; in a truly wholistic approach to wellness.
In this world the highs, lows and crossroads of life are viewed as normal. Not only that, they provide the opportunities for the growth and resilience necessary for a life well-lived.
The mental health industry has expanded its web to include more people than ever in pathologising human suffering. This has resulted in a larger percentage of the population being labeled as mentally ill. At the same time there is a well-meaning impulse to normalise human suffering that is unaware of the real nature of the present mental health industry. Its time for the mental health industry to come into the twenty-first millennium. Yes, lets continue to talk and normalise human suffering and let go of the taboo of mental illness. Lets also make sure that this results in a world we want to live in and pass onto our children and grandchildren. From taboo to acceptance
These ideas are presented in my book Rapid Core Healing for Growth and Emotional Healing (2016)
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Here is who I am www.yildizsethi.com and this is how you may engage in what I
have to offer www.rapidcorehealing.com.