Critical Thinking: Are Mental Health Problems Out Of Control Because People Are Talking About Their Feelings?
In recent years, a lot has been said about how important it is for people to open up about how they feel. This is often put forward as a way for someone to handle the pain that arises within them.
In the past, however, it was radically different as people’s inner problems were generally ignored. What was taking place externally was what mattered, with what was taking place internally being seen as being irrelevant in most cases.
There was even a time when people with inner problems were seen as being possessed by demonic forces. It was commonly believed that this was something that could be resolved by cutting a hole in someone’s skull, so that the evil within them could be released.
At another point in history, someone who had inner problems was either abandoned to live on the streets or sent to live a life of isolation. This was due to the effect that someone like this would have on their relative’s life.
A Different World
Thankfully, a lot has changed over the years, which has made it easier for someone who is not in a good way to get the assistance that they need. Nowadays, there are helpliness and counsellors who are available, among other things.
In addition to this, as has been mentioned above, there is less pressure on them to keep their inner pain to themselves. As the saying goes, a trouble shared is a trouble halved, and this comes down to the fact that they, like everyone else on his planet, are interdependent.
If they were their own island, they wouldn’t need anyone else; they would be able to do everything by themselves and would truly be ‘independent’. Opening up about what is going on for them with someone who they trust can then enable them to feel lighter.
Not only this, as they are opening up about this part of them it will show that they are not disconnected from their emotions. If this was the case, they would look whole on the outside but they wouldn’t be operating as a whole human being on the inside.
Still, even though they would look whole on the outside, it doesn’t mean that their behaviour won’t give the game away, so to speak. Through being out of touch with the emotional part of their being, it will be a challenge for them to deeply connect with others.
They can then have people in their life, yet the bond that they have with them can only be skin deep. And if they in a relationship with someone, it can also just be a very surface level bond.
At the same time, even though more people have been opening up and sharing their ‘troubles’, plenty of people have been ending their life and have mental problems. As a result of this, some people have said that talking about feelings doesn’t help; if anything, it just creates more problems.
If, then, more people kept what was taking place within them to themselves, the amount of people who kill themselves and have mental problems would be far lower. The trouble with this is that it is based on the view that the people who have killed themselves had the tendency to open up to others about their feelings and the people who have mental problems behave in the same way, too.
Correlation Is Not Causation
For one thing, before someone ended their life, there is the chance that they kept their feelings to themselves. Thus, to say that keeping everything in would stop people from taking their life wouldn’t be totally accurate.
When it comes to the people with mental problems, they might not have been in a good way long before they started to open up. Someone like this may find that while opening up to another person doesn’t stop them from suffering; it is lot better than keeping everything within them and pretending that everything is fine.
Even if more people are taking their life than ever before, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the old approach was better. What it can show is that more people are choosing to end their life straight away as opposed to committing slow suicide.
Therefore, instead of slowly killing themselves by drinking too much, taking too many drugs, staying in a job that they can’t stand and/or driving recklessly, for instance, and creating the impression that everything is fine, they are almost instantly putting an end up their suffering. Due to social pressure, religion and commonly held beliefs, for instance, perhaps more people in the past went along with this kind of existence but now that society has changed, there is less pressure to do so.
One of the reasons why someone would believe that talking about feelings is the reason why more people are killing themselves and have metal problems can be because they don’t have a good relationship with their own emotions. Without realising it, people like this can remind them of the part of themselves that they don’t want to come into contact with.
Criticising the people who do open up is then going to be a way for them to keep this part of themselves at bay. It is then not that they are disconnected from themselves; no, it is that these people need to become stronger or to stop being so sensitive, or whatever they come out with.
While there will be times when opening up will be all that is needed, there will be other times when this won’t be enough. If, for example, someone has experienced trauma and this has had a big effect on their whole being, they will most likely need to work through it.
Simply talking about what they are going through is unlikely to solve anything in the long-run, and it could cause them even more pain. By working with a therapist or a healer, they may gradually be able to work through the pain that is within them and to emotionally settle down.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.