This October is Mental Health Awareness Month and although it should not be a topic that is only talked about in October, from Planet Venus we want to support it because we know how important it is to take care of our health and emotional/mental wellbeing.
That’s why today we have the pleasure of interviewing Alicia Sabó expert in child, adolescent and family psychology to know her opinion as an expert in this topic and listen to some of the tips she has to share with us.
Why do you think it is so important to take care of our mental health? Do you think that the current situation (living a pandemic, the rise of technologies…) has increased the emotional/mental discomfort of people?
Mental health is fundamental because it is what sustains and motivates our daily steps. It enables us and shapes the way we encounter others, face challenges, accept differences, etc.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc and has generated a lot of loneliness, it has intensified the bonds (for example children who spent little time with their parents), it has also generated a lot of fear which favored confinement (both in oneself and in society) and this in many cases was unfavorable causing ruptures of bonds or hardening of some of them.
People sought to break their confinement through social networks, which in many cases caused misunderstandings and oddities in bonds. An alarming consequence of confinement is that many people found in this confinement an excuse not to face challenges and difficulties, which is a deceptive pleasure that ends up generating suffering.
Is it still a taboo subject today, or do people talk openly about mental illness?
The fear of what is not controlled and what is not known (the different, the unexpected) means that mental disorders are still a taboo subject today because of the fear generated by facing the unknown and the unexpected.
It is a very complex subject that requires a process, it requires duels, help and networks and many times the opposite happens; people try to hide the disease and do not share it. That is the real problem that needs to be eradicated because the more network and the more possibility of thinking as a team/group/family, the easier it is to stop fearing and start working on it.
What would you say to a person who is suffering but thinks that going to a psychologist is not for him/her?
It is necessary to consider going to a psychologist as the creation of a space of oneself, but accompanied. A space of respectful encounter with oneself in which there is the possibility that another person who has distance and who is not soaked with our suffering can contribute another external vision and can help you to change your perspective without condemning, ridiculing or pitying you, only accompanying and starting to think together with the patient a new perspective from which to approach the problem. That is why it is sometimes difficult for a friend or family member to try to help you, that person is part of your environment and cannot always be objective or impartial.
Can online therapy help you in the same way as face-to-face therapy?
Face-to-face therapy is always more intense because the fact that one moves from one place to another already indicates a certain predisposition and greater commitment, which accelerates the path towards improvement and commitment to the process.
In my opinion, online therapy, while also effective, can lead to more misunderstandings. However, thanks to the pandemic, I and many other professionals have learned to improve our services in this format.
Regardless of the format, it is always worth asking for help. Therapy helps the patient to be emotionally moved, a concept associated with “generating a movement” accompanied by an other, expert, who with distance can change the perspective/emotion that leads to another type of vision of the same problem. And the great problem of mental disorders is stillness (what remains the same): if everything remains the same, we are worse off. We are social beings in constant movement, and that movement helps us to grow. That is why going to therapy becomes necessary, because the encounter with another helps the person to be moved/generate new movements with another.