Alternative Help Can Be The Best Help
By Kelsey Stone
Growing up, I never thought much about therapy. I thought that was something everyone went through at some point, if they needed it. I remember hearing and seeing about it on sitcoms and talk show. At a young age, I believe this was everyone’s reality. As I got older, that started to change.
Growing up, I’ve learned that most communities didn’t view therapy and counseling the same way I did. I never understood how therapy is ethnically or financially exclusive. As I’ve learned more about healthcare and the privileges money can buy you, I saw how disproportionate simple health necessities could be. Not only does economics play a role, cultural and social influence plays a role as well. While predominate with African Americans, many people believe that therapy is a “rich thing” or a “white thing”. Many also don’t go to therapy due to fears of having their business out in the public, as Nia Hamm explained in her Ebony article.
I think it’s time that we cut ties with the stigma of therapy, or any other alternative to dealing with mental/internalized issues. While I have nothing against discipline, sometimes disciplining someone and putting them in their place doesn’t help the situation they’re facing. While I also don’t have anything against religion, sometimes God can’t save us from all our situations. God, or whatever higher can lead us to a solution, but our respective higher being themselves can’t resolve an issue, and sometimes it can do more harm than good. Alternative assistance can be the best thing for you and others.
As the research and studies of mental health are expanding, so is the access of getting help. Apps such as Headspace, Pacifica, and Moods are starting to become more prevalent, making it easier and more comfortable for people dealing with anxiety and depression. While some apps do cost, most self-help apps are free, therefore making it affordable to those in need. Personally, I have used Headspace and the aftermath from using it is very calming. It has been beneficial at times when I’ve felt stress coming on and I would recommend it to everyone.
For those who want to get a hands-on, in-person experience, there are numerous free clinics and therapy groups in your area, if you research them. Some of the best free therapeutic ways of dealing with issues are art and exercise. Take a few minutes to yourself; take all of your negative energy out on an exercise routine or express your feelings through art. For those who are able to pay for therapy sessions, go take an art class or treat yourself to a gym membership. Put a little money aside for therapy sessions if needed. Another kind of therapy practice that is often looked over is hypnotherapy. Yes, hypnotherapy can be highly effective and life changing. Some hypnotherapist not only be covered by insurance, but often times you are offered a free consultation just to find out if hypnotherapy can help with whatever situation you have. I had an opportunity to speak with one, and got a demo session, while I was in college, and I remember seeing the changes in me unravel as my week went on.
I am putting these solutions and ideas out there so that we can get the conversation going. Seeking help for yourself isn’t for one race or social class. Too many people are struggling and losing their lives because of clouded views and fear of judgment. On the note of judgment, I would like to say that judgment and the views of others contribute to your problems. If your friends and family don’t support your decisions in dealing with your mental health, then you might need new friends and express your feelings with other family members who are more understanding. No matter how you decide to cure yourself, taking the steps to help resolve anxiety and depression is the best thing anyone can do. There is no wrong way.