There are many reasons why people seek out therapy. Research has shown that in 2018, people saw a therapist the most to treat anxiety, work/life balance, political woes, sexual assault, electronics addiction, relationship issues, grief, fear of mass shootings.
Causes of Mental Health Concerns
Exposure to social media and other newsworthy outlets is one reason why there may be an increase in mental health issues in America. Another reason could be that others are ‘coming out’ with their own stories, encouraging others to also be more opened about their own experiences. There could be positive and negative consequences to sharing one’s own experience. A positive aspect could involve healing and strength to reach out for help to process through a traumatic experience. This could also influence political advocacy in changing policies and laws. Some negative aspects could increase one’s own negative emotions.
How to Reduce Negative Emotions
There are several tips in helping to reduce negative emotions:
- Recognize unpredictable events could occur in your life
- Accept that these things can occur and focus on what you can control
- Stay in the present
For work/life balance:
- Focus on daily self-care activities, such as exercise, talking to a friend, or taking a bubble bath
- Take inventory at the end of the day to make a list five things that went right
- Use a schedule to physically see what you are doing each day and schedule in downtime
For Political Woes:
- Limit time watching the news
- Decrease social media activity to only 30 minutes per day
For Sexual Assault:
- Lean on social support to help get through the trauma
- Support and therapy groups
For Social Media and Technology Use:
- Limit time spent on electronics and social media to 30 minutes or less per day
- Re-evaluate goals for how electronics usage influences overall goals in life
Comparing Themselves to Others:
- Blocking or unfriending people on social media
- Limit time on Social media
- Take responsibility for your part
- Speak calmly with your partner about issues
- Use active listening
- Stick to one topic at a time
- Create new traditions
- Honor a loved one’s memory with pictures, piece of jewelry, etc.
- Join a support group with others that are grieving
Fear of Mass Shootings:
- Turn off news and social media
- Stick to daily activities before event
Professional help to cope with these topics could be very helpful too. Your therapist will develop unique strategies for you to process through, accept, and learn how to move forward in life.
Meri Rule, PhD, LPC-S, LCDC
Children, teens, adults and couples.
Meri Rule is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. She treats children and adults, individuals and couples. Among her areas of specialty: depression, anxiety, addiction (chemical and non-chemical), relationships, grief, trauma and PTSD, career stress and dissatisfaction, bipolarism, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), and gender issues.