Posted by: jude49 | November 4, 2012

Maintaining Emotional Wellness is Worth It!!

Hello All,

I admit it. I am terrible at maintaining my car. From the time I bought my first car, my father told me to keep it maintained on a regular and consistent basis. His advice fell on deaf ears. I had some magical idea that MY car would just keep running, no matter what the circumstances. Thankfully for me, my father could usually fix whatever ailed my car, but sometimes I let the maintenance slip and, hence, BIG bills. This metaphor is useful in talking about maintaining our emotional health wellness. Why do so many of us ignore maintaining our emotional health? Here are a few of my thoughts.

Emotional health counselling still holds a stigma. Seeing a therapist to resolve emotional issues automatically screams weakness. Yet, improving physical wellness is seen as a strength. When I hear individuals announce to friends and acquaintances they’ve committed to a fitness routine, I hear oodles of positive praise. I doubt I’d hear the same if someone walked in and announced a commitment to therapy to break themselves of some negative emotional patterns. People would probably turn away and might even mutter, “Too much information.”

Almost every client I see acknowledges that they “need” therapy and later indicates that therapy has noticeably changed their lives and why didn’t they do this sooner? It seems that it takes a crisis of some sort before most individuals will finally phone a therapist and ask for help. And that’s just the first hurdle.

The second hurdle is realizing that it is going to take time to establish, reinforce and maintain new patterns that will lead to and result in increased positive emotional growth. “How long will this take?” is a common question. “I only have so much money.” “Can we accomplish everything we need to do on the $300.00 allotted in my extended health plan?” These questions clearly illustrate a few things to me: emotional health needs to be a quick fix and individuals don’t budget for mental health wellness.  (Most people do spend major bucks on maintaining physical health!!)

Many say that having your health is everything, and I subscribe to this belief. Health, though, is physical AND emotional. How many parents make room in their budgets for their children to take lessons of every kind or enrol them in team sports? I would think many do this, and there are many benefits to the children engaging in these activities. Many of us think little about investing in the latest technological gadgets, cars, home improvements often using the reasoning that it’s better to spend a little more because products will last longer and give better service.

Even though there is article after article indicating that almost without exception every family will be touched by emotional health issues, many hide their heads in the sand saying, “It won’t happen in my family.” No one is immune to emotional issues, many of them quite severe.  Many, though, who suffer with issues like depression and anxiety, put on a brave face and keep going until they find themselves in a state of high stress or collapse.

Do not neglect your emotional health. It affects every aspect of life.  When emotional issues rear their heads, and they will, why suffer?  Accessing help quickly resolves them quickly.  Unresolved emotional issues fester, grow and become harder to resolve when not addressed quickly.

My challenge to you: Are you prepared to take as much care of your emotional health as you do your physical health?

Until next time,

Judith

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Responses

  1. Yes, I believe you are worth caring for, and requesting help when needed. I don’t know anyone personally who doesn’t need some help. A sure sign of strength for patients and clinicians, alike.

    • Quick response! You must have responded a minute after I submitted the post. (Wondering if you read the draft? Still haven’t got the complete hang of wordpress! Thank you for stating that seeking therapy is a sign of strength.

    • Hey there!

      Thanks for your response. It’s always helpful, I believe, when clinicians like Marsha Lineham, Kay Redfield and other clinicians come forward with their stories. Helps to let the general public know that we, too, have our issues and learned how to manage them.


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