Communication is Key
Humans not only desire, but require communication. Close your eyes and imagine the following scenario. You have built up anger and you feel it weighing on your chest. Seconds…minutes…hours…days pass by, and your emotions continue to pile up. Until one moment your body can no longer take it and you snap. You let go of all of your bottled up feelings. All of a sudden those emotions leave your body. Did you feel light? Did you sigh of relief? Communicating your feelings results in improved mental health. Because of this, you are able to process and deal with those feelings without being so overwhelmed.
Communication comes in many forms whether it be verbal or nonverbal. Take a look at musicians for example. The songwriter uses nonverbal communication to create the lyrics of their song. By doing so, they’re letting out their emotions and putting it into a musical piece. A singer will use verbal communication by singing. While the audience is listening to a song that may have some deep content, they are listening to the musicians’ work of personal therapy. By creating their music, they were communicating their feelings which improved their mental health in some type of way.
What is mental health? According to mentalhealth.gov, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act.” Having good mental health will enable you to perform well in day-to-day life. I conducted an interview with a student at Rowan University who suffers from anxiety and depression. Because of her poor mental health, it affects her academic performance, sleep, and bodily health. Her anxiety causes her to procrastinate and because of this procrastination, her grades suffer. Further, my participant experiences issues regarding sleep. She states, “When I get anxious about grades, if I’m failing or something like that, my brain will just move a thousand miles per minute and it’s just bad…” Her mind is consumed with stress and anxiety about her classes which is keeping her up at night. Sleep is essential to mental and physical health. Due to her poor sleeping habits, she’s developed severe migraines.
My patient has confessed that she doesn’t talk to anybody about her issues. She feels that she is a burden by talking to friends or family members so she deals with it on her own. This is a common reason why people choose not to get help. Using my patient as an example, she experiences a great amount of issues as a result of poor mental health and not communicating it. This interview was more of a therapeutic conversation for my patient. She spoke about a lot of her issues and what has been bothering her. Through this short 30 minute conversation we also put together a list of things she can do to help her deal with her anxiety and depression. She even stated at the end of the interview how it felt good to get it off her chest. This proves how communication is key, and by communicating, it can better one’s mental health. After this interview, she is going to reach out to one of our school’s psychologists and get the help that she needs.
The power of talking is immense when it comes to catharsis. According to Value Options, “Talking leads to a catharsis, which means a feeling of relief. The charged feelings within us become less charged. Nothing has changed that caused the suffering in our lives, but talking has drained off some of the pain and this brings relief.” If somebody is experiencing mental illness, they are already experiencing a great deal of negative emotion. By keeping those feelings inside, those emotions continue to get stronger and create more stress. As stated by Mental Health Research, “Chronic stress increases the risk of developing depression and anxiety in some people.” This can easily be treated through the use of communication.
Further, you can take that communication and share with others. An excellent source is therapy. By going to therapy, you can let out all of your feelings and what has been bothering you. A therapist is there to listen and help you. Without communicating, you are unable to properly process what is going on in your mind. This will cause you to develop mental illness that could be detrimental. Good Therapy states, “Therapy can help improve symptoms of many mental health conditions. In therapy, people also learn to cope with symptoms that may not respond to treatment right away.” By using communication and speaking to a therapist, you are putting yourself on the right track for self improvement. It is essential to understand that you are not alone and you should not be dealing with all of your issues on your own. By letting these feelings remain in your mind, they will eat away at your brain and body and pull you under.
Mental illness is a significant issue in today’s society. At Rowan University, 50% of all students felt severely depressed to the point that it had a negative impact on their ability to function. 15% of students at Rowan met the criteria for major depression. Moreover, 20% of all students have been diagnosed or treated with some form of mental illness. These students need to communicate and talk to somebody. Rowan University offers therapy and counseling, however, it is not well known. I myself suffer from anxiety and depression. I never used to talk to anybody and decided to keep it all inside until I exploded. I spoke with one of our school psychologists and from the first session, I felt instant relief. I also didn’t realize how bad it was until I said it aloud. Once I did, I not only felt the satisfaction of letting it all off my chest, but continuing to communicate with my psychologist enabled me to work on my issues. There is a direct cause and effect of communication on mental health, and it should be enforced for our wellbeing.
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