But I’m finding that some of our conversations and solutions are becoming a little reductive. I find that whenever we talk about suicide or depression or anxiety, people are now quick to say, “Have you talked to someone? You
should try therapy!”
Everywhere I go now, I hear, “therapy, therapy, therapy!” We see
people pushing therapy more and more. The problem is that “try therapy” sometimes sounds like it’s becoming the inevitable default response to any and all mental health concern.
Therapy is important and it has its place, and I suppose no one is truly
saying that therapy is the only answer, but I want to underscore that it is but one tool in our mental health toolbox.
While it is helpful to talk to a LICENSED professional, I don’t want us to
sound reductive and imply that all problems can be resolved by therapy. Because sometimes therapy isn’t enough.
I’d like to think that we now have more people in therapists’ offices which is
good, but we constantly still get sick.
I’ve seen my fair share of therapists. At one point in my life, I went to
therapy when I was depressed and always late for work, only to discover that it was my job that was the problem. Not my mind. Therapy led me to my answer, yes.
But my real answer was to leave my job and the city in which I was living.
So yes, go to therapy – but not to exclusion of other methods.
It’s therapy and/(or) medication and meditation and flex time and vitamin D
and light therapy and moving to a warm country and a living wage and lower rent and job security and childcare and better, fulfilling relationships and less ghosting and abysmal dating behavior and and and…
It’s being able to contact family members while in jail and not having to pay
hundreds to do it — while using antiquated phone technology ironically provided by Bell. Anthony Morgan has written a great piece about this.
The opposite of depression is vitality, not sadness. So it’s also doing things that make you feel alive. Be creative. Move. What has become of us that we no longer have time to do basic, Maslow’s-hierarchy-of-needs-type stuff like feed ourselves, instead of relying on Good Food or Hello Fresh.
Therapy is only the start. Not the only one, but it’s a good one.