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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Is Therapy The Only Solution?

Trigger Warning: Suicide, Mental Illness, Disabilities

Therapy, often associated with mental health, is not a term unheard of in today’s world. According to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, an estimated one in four people globally experience a mental illness in their lifetime and almost one million people die due to suicide every year.

September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a lot of awareness is raised on this stigmatized and often, taboo topic and how therapy is important to overcome it.

Image: GUIDE, Inc.

But is therapy the only solution?

We assume that therapy is the cure-it-all, but that is not the case as research has proved that there are other effective solutions to help overcome any mental illnesses. In a study published by The New York Times, the effectiveness of therapy is often overstated but on further analysis, it is found to be about 25 percent less than expected.

Also Read: The Spiral of Emotions

Therefore, therapy isn’t effective for every person, and won’t help with every problem they have. In fact, it is ourselves and our surroundings that mostly aid in healing and coping with the condition.

There are other alternatives to therapy, the most common and accessible one being talking to a friend/someone you trust. However, this might not work in favor for everyone because they might not be as equipped and supportive as professional therapists who are trained to help you open up a lot more, identify new ways of thinking and challenge your insecurities and behavior patterns.

Self-help CBT

For people who don’t have access to either or are unsure of seeking therapy, then there are multiple other options such as self-help CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) where you “become your own therapist,” and internet-based treatment.

Image: PTT (pastthetrauma.com)

Self-help CBT is now widely recognized as studies have shown that people who used this technique for anxiety and depression felt substantially better. Using this technique, you can learn more about your mind and identify your thought patterns. It also helps to determine how your thoughts affect your feelings and actions. Thus, you will be able to control your mind and replace biased thoughts with realistic ones. Self-directed therapy can prove to be an effective toolkit which you can continue to practice in the future and keep well throughout.

Other Alternatives

Other alternatives to therapy are reading self-help books, practicing yoga, meditation, deep breathing, journaling, mindfulness, ecotherapy, herbal remedies, etc.

Also Read: Can Too Much Optimism Blind Us?

The threat of the spreading virus, social isolation and lockdowns has given way to fear and anxiety, rising depression rates and soaring healthcare costs. Hence, it is very crucial that we take care of our wellbeing which also includes our mental health. Whatever your situation, it is a good idea to broaden out your idea of therapy and find the right tools and support to feel better and stay even keeled.


Author: Mary Jiya (she/her)

Jiya believes she is born to chase unusual stories and pretty sunsets. An ambivert, aesthete and artist, she has a knack for learning and experimenting new things everyday. She is also into journaling, cooking and K-drama.

Note: The views expressed are of author's own.

We are in no way claiming to be a medical expert.

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