My Way is the High Way
The thought of therapy alone scares some individuals, I cannot comprehend why as it is a successful method in helping those with certain issues such as trauma, how to handle fear and worry, learn ways to relax, find ways that help to improve coping and problem solving skills and even how to control perspective in situations. Many historical figures and celebrities have open up about how beneficial therapy has been for them. Take Gwyneth Paltrow for example, the Iron-Man co-star discussed with Buzzfeed her time in therapy due to postpartum depression. She explained how she felt “…like a zombie. I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect…”. Paltrow claims that therapy aided her in getting control back of her life and that postpartum depression should be discussed openly more with women; she wouldn’t have been able to come to this realization should she have not gone to therapy.
The reality of the world well at least in the United States, shows that anxiety and depression are nothing new to any generation. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), over forty million adults suffer from anxiety every year! Anxiety is one disorder that is completely treatable should the individual take the first step that is getting into therapy. While many say that therapy is not the solution for them, that they prefer other methods such as yoga, home remedies and/or meditation; what many people don’t realize is that these activities and strategies are a form of therapy just not the one-on-one approach. Avoiding any type of therapy is the last thing one wants to do as it can lead to disastrous effects. I propose the idea of mandatory therapy for those diagnosed with any mental health issue. I understand that it is not the most moral decision but it will ultimately bring out the best in people in the grandest majority.
Therapy has many advantages that one may not be aware of. Take for example a child who was sexually abused. It’s not hard to conclude that this child will have certain behavior patterns that are deemed rebellious and non-orderly. If therapy is given to the child as early as possible, the effects of the trauma while most likely will still occur they will certainly not extend to a high degree of rebellion and internal pain. Therapy can help the child learn how to cope and find ways that best suit them to deal with the daily struggles of having to carry such a disturbing burden. Hans-Ulrich Wehler wrote an article titled Psychoanalysis and History in said article, Wehler goes on to discuss how therapy can help uncover the unconscious motives of why people act the way they act. In the case of the sexually abused child, therapy could help the victim acknowledge what happened to them and understand that they had no fault in the situation, that they were merely at the hands of a predator who most likely experienced the same tragedy and said predator most likely also did not attend therapy. Wehler also goes on to talk about how therapy can help victims understand the problems in their lives that occurred due to trauma and to help find methods that can best reduce their inner demons and make the ‘reality distorting’ effects bearable to live with. (Pgs. 7 & 8 of Article)
In a separate article, various authors wrote The Role of a Prescription in Anxiety Medication Use, Abuse, and Dependence. This article emphasizes the role that medication has on those who suffer from anxiety. While medication is a form of treatment for anxiety and other mental health problems, it is also a gateway into other forms of treatment, the bad side of prescription drugs. By that we are discussing non-prescript drugs that have been stolen, illicit illegal drugs, alcohol, etc. The article explains that these prescription drugs that are meant to help individuals with anxiety are being used in non-medical ways, by that we mean that these drugs are being sold to people who do not need them but are using them to either get high or buying to distribute to other people. Face-to-face surveys of about 35,000 people resulted that many individuals who use these medications either for good or bad intentions are becoming dependent on these drugs. One would agree that the last thing any of us want is to be dependent on a little pill to get us through the day. Therapy can eliminate the this way of coping as individuals will learn how to express their feelings and know the safe, non-prescription methods. Most people who take these drugs want to numb their pain so they don’t have to live with and face their emotions, this route however usually leads to drug dependency or even worse, drug addiction.
Emphasizing the idea that therapy is indeed a solution should be the main takeaway from this. Undoubtedly we cannot predict the future but what we do have control over are the decisions we make right now. Don’t waste anymore time giving a thought about what others may think or trying to hide from your emotions. We are all human and deserve a chance at happiness. The way with the highest probability of that outcome for those who suffer from any form of trauma is therapy.
Facts & Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
Fenton, M. C., Keyes, K. M., Martins, S. S., & Hasin, D. S. (2010, October 01). The Role of a Prescription in Anxiety Medication Use, Abuse, and Dependence. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://ajp-psychiatryonline-org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09081132
Wehler, H. (n.d.). Psychoanalysis and History. Retrieved November 02, 2020, from https://bit.ly/2UcohFJ
Gooferious, I created a bit.ly link to replace that super-long link you were using in your last source.
If I understand your argument, Gooferious, you feel the strongest argument against your thesis that therapy should be mandatory for all sufferers of mental illness is that “therapy is something to be afraid of.” That’s not entirely clear. It’s also possible that the Rebuttal argument you want to refute is that “there are plenty of alternatives to therapy that provide the same benefit.” Either way, the most comprehensible way to craft a refutation argument is to find a credible spokesperson (your Worthy Opponent) who makes the case for that point of view. That spokesperson appears to be absent from this paper.
In your ADAA paragraph, you dismiss the practitioners of yoga and other natural self-healing methodologies by simply saying that “these practices are therapy by another name.” That’s hardly a refutation of their effectiveness. Would you mandate psychotherapy for anxious adults who manage to control their symptoms through meditation (or yoga, or religious observance)? Has talk therapy proved itself to be SOOO much more effective that you’d be comfortable with that mandate? At this point in your argument I started to wonder if you had strayed too far from what I thought was your narrower thesis, that deeply disturbed adolescents in danger of self-harm or violence should be compelled to enter professional treatment. That was bold enough; now you seem to be saying therapy should be mandated for 40 million adult Americans.
The Hans-Ulrich paragraph restores your argument to what I thought was its original premise. Youth such as the deeply disturbed victims of sexual abuse, who pose a threat to themselves or others, should not get a choice about whether or not to attend professional counseling sessions. We owe it to them and to our society to get them the help they need even if they resist.
Then in the Prescription paragraph, you revert to another attack on an alternative approach to treatment. You may well believe that “the last thing any of us want is to be dependent on a little pill to get us through the day,” but saying so does not mean such an approach should be avoided for everyone at all times. Again, I don’t think you want to be preaching to everyone about what you believe to be the only acceptable method of coping with anxiety. It’s too big a topic and too distant from your primary thesis to be useful in this short essay. Least appropriate of all is the section on the abuse of illicitly-obtained prescription drugs, which has truly nothing to do with your mandated therapy for troubled adolescents.
I’m glad you asked for feedback on this essay, Gooferious. I hope you’re not sorry that you did.
The most powerful argument against your actual thesis, I imagine, the one that would be in the back of the mind of most readers, would be a civil freedoms objection. What gives society the right to impose a particular remedy on a minor? Do we have the right to compel any sort of PREVENTIVE therapy on a youth who hasn’t been convicted of a grievous offense? That sort of thing. Does that seem like a reasonable objection you might find ably expressed by a Worthy Opponent?