Talking Therapies as the Solution to Mental Health Problems – Depression Example

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"Talking Therapies as the Solution to Mental Health Problems" is a good example of a paper on depression. Health as defined by WHO is the physical, mental and social well being of a human being; but mental and psychiatric problems not taken as diseases, are stigmatized and the patients are marginalized and misunderstood making them, forced even further away from society. Mental illness is not as obvious as a physical defect but causes changes in behavior leading to dysfunctional disabilities effecting speech, thoughts, actions, and his relation to other people (Lakshman, 2001). However, if these patients participate in programs such as talking therapies, psychiatric help, and drugs then they can rapidly recover and return to a normal life.

The most famous treatment to mental illness is found through talking therapies; whereby the patients discuss their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and problems with the therapist openly, trusting upon him to provide positive solutions from the world they are scared of. Therapies can be delivered by either one on one patient-psychiatrist interaction or could be computer-based, or through manuals or group discussions. These therapists help patients going through a difficult period in their life, initiating optimism and self-belief.

Talking therapies, more commonly known as psychiatric counseling or psychotherapies, act as an outlet to patients to express their experiences and innermost feelings to a professional, trained to understand their problems. They also encourage them to speak, acting as an ear to their problems, which these patients mostly cannot get from their family or friends; thus are able to speak out their mind in a way they could not talk to anybody (Cooper, pp. 91-101). According to WHO reports, depression is in the top five illnesses that plague the world in this millennium; however, the question against talking therapy is its efficiency in curing such a common and widespread disease.

Some critics believe that psychotherapy alone cannot cure depression, but usually requires other comprehensive simultaneous treatments and sometimes medication. The psychiatrists need to be supportive, amiable, and patient towards the patients so that they could easily open up to them with their problems with ease and strong trust. Such a doctor also requires to be sensitive to the patient’ s feelings, if he tends to be aggressive and uncompassionate, then it would further demoralize the patient making him feel insignificant and worthless (Patelis-Siotis, pp.

145-153). Sometimes a counselor might choose to cure the patient through the practice of group therapy, whereby all patients with similar problems sit down and share their problems and anxieties with each other. This method of cure helps the patient to open up to his problems automatically, accept them and agree that they are solvable and only require his effort; thus forming a support group for him.

However, sometimes the patient might feel suppressed if the group forms a judgment against him, which might further limit his interaction to the society, worsening his situation even more, rather than curing them. On the other hand, a patient might attach himself to the support group very intimately, starting to get dependant on it; so strictly that he would not be able to make any decision without the group’ s opinion (Feltham, pp 20). Talking therapies, which focus on providing direct solutions to the patients, are very beneficial in treating depression, as he could use direct advice and could even reject it if he feels uncomfortable with it.

However, the vulnerable patient might get into the habit of therapist solving problems for him, depriving him of his own decision power; and in case the decision does not work in the favor of the patient, then he forms a revulsion against his therapist, and gets more depressed, believing that he can never find a solution to his problems (Cooper, pp. 91-101). It is an essential role of the therapist to present a warm and comforting personality towards his patients so that they can easily relate to him and share their feelings openly, which is the key aspect in curing a patient suffering from depression.

However, some of the patients develop a very strong bond of trust and friendship with their therapist and become dependent upon him to solve their problems of life, as they no longer feel that they could function without his guidance. Moreover, this attachment would grow with the length of the therapy period, because such a patient had no one he could trust initially, with the therapist alone listening to him, which makes the patient realize his importance, thus he is likely to cling to the psychiatrist strongly.

The therapist needs to take an assertive role, bringing a proper structure to the treatment, so that the patient does believe that he could access solutions to his present crises but also knows that he needs to find long-term solutions to his problems via his therapist, otherwise the entire concept of the therapy is useless (Feltham, pp 101). A major criticism against the working of talking therapies is the fact that they only concentrate upon caring for the patient through social interaction; ignoring the fact that a certain disease may be caused by a chemical imbalance inside the patient’ s body.

For example, with depression, the symptoms of sadness and isolation may be due to the trigger of some chemical abnormality, which a talking therapy is unable to cure; which would result in the prolongation of the disease as the patient struggles to find a cure through therapy alone. A psychiatrist will only be able to cure the emotional or weak side of mental levels while the physical illness keeps on getting worse (Waller, pp.

119-127). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a therapy method-dealing patients suffering from mild to moderate depression symptoms. The therapy encourages patients to understand and admit their negative emotions and helps them think in a positive and useful manner (Bower, 2008). However, according to a British Broadcast report, CBT is short in supply, as patients have to wait for almost 18 months in order to get a check-up, thus, the government seeing an increased number of illnesses announced that “ by 2010, £ 170m a year would be spent - allowing 900,000 more people to be treated using psychological therapies” (BBC, 2008).

Authorities believe that every one person out of six suffers from a mental problem, stating, “ For many people prescribing medication is a successful treatment but we know that psychological therapies work equally well. Improving access to psychological therapies will give people with mental health problems a real choice of treatment” (BBC, 2008). On the other hand, there are also those doctors who believe that the government is simply misusing funds and that techniques like CBT and other therapies are useless with low efficiency towards a cure.

117 studies taken into talking therapies, yield “ an average effect of 0.67 on symptoms of depression, with zero being “ no effect, ” whereas, once publication bias was taken into account this effect dropped to 0.42,” thus proving that their effects are just overestimated, “ with the results of talking therapies, merely being ‘ talked up’ ” (Cuijpers, pp. 173-178). Mental disorders are a severe illness and the most effective cure against them is to initiate awareness, education, and acceptance of their existence not as a stigma but as an ordinary disease.

Only then a proper cure will evolve against them, as no matter patients are being treated, but to lack of research and effective techniques, the cure rate of these patients under therapy is only 21-42%. The government along with other social communities should contribute their funds into this field, which requires the dire need of help, as only then the patients will be diagnosed timely and their cure could be made possible (Fawcett, pp.



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