The Importance Of Prevention By Investing In Psychological Care

The importance of prevention by investing in Psychological Care

A Chinese proverb says: “Dig the well before you get thirsty.” When reading it, the first thing that comes to mind is the importance of planning for the future to minimize the negative consequences that we could encounter. In this article, however, we propose a different reading of the proverb, focused on the importance of preventing mental health disorders through psychological care.

Along these lines, “digging the well before being thirsty” would imply delving into our own pain; investigate our most difficult thoughts and emotions, even when we do not have symptoms compatible with a psychological disorder.

The fact of not suffering from a mental pathology does not mean that suffering is absent. In other words, you don’t have to be dehydrated to need some water. Furthermore, investing in Psychological care will allow us to prevent this type of difficulties together with the support of a mental health professional. Digging the well requires a lot of courage, but it is completely worth it if what we want is to assemble a life full of meaning.

The preventive role of psychological care in mental health disorders

Some recent statistics from the WHO, published in 2019, indicate that one in eight people in the world suffers from a mental disorder, which is close to the terrifying number of one billion people. Other studies indicate that 30% of us can expect to develop an anxiety disorder at some point in our lives. In this context, it is essential to highlight the place that psychological care has as a privileged way to prevent mental health disorders.

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However, it is also true that many people tend to access mental health services when they are completely overwhelmed by a personal situation; when alcohol consumption is already recurring and they are unable to go several days without ingesting that or another substance; when panic attacks begin to prevent them from going to work or when a depressed mood barely allows them to get out of bed. All of these problematic circumstances have had a prelude, which acted as a warning, and the person for some reason or another could not respond and go to a professional. It is not always a question of will, as is sometimes promulgated in some speeches. In many countries, access to psychological care services is poorly accessible —whether due to economic, cultural, geographic or war variables—, which causes people to take longer to be assisted, if they are at all.

Of course, we believe it is important to highlight that even in these “advanced” or “serious” cases during the course of a disorder it is possible to carry out an intervention. There is a myth within the field of psychological care, and mental health in general, that maintains that there are certain cases that “are lost”; that they do not have any type of treatment and that, therefore, there is nothing that a professional can do.

Even in the most serious cases of substance use disorders or psychotic disorders, intervention can be done. Perhaps treatment is not a cure; that the delusions and hallucinations of a psychotic person never disappear; But that does not mean that a professional cannot do something to help that person build a better life, even with those unchangeable conditions. That’s why, Prevention also takes place in those patients who suffer from a disorder, whatever it may be, since it will reduce the severity with which the pathology negatively affects their life and in that of others.

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Psychotherapy and relapse prevention

In relation to the latter, it has been very conclusively proven through experimental studies how psychotherapies are capable of preventing relapse in patients with different disorders. For example, multiple investigations have been carried out on treatments based on Mindfulness or full attention, such as MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy), which have proven to be effective in preventing relapses in people with recurrent major depression, especially when they had presented three or more previous depressive episodes. The reason why this treatment would be so effective is because this type of psychotherapy promotes people to be able to detect and redirect rumination thought patterns when they are in a risk situation, preventing a depressive relapse.

In general, treatments are based on accompanying patients to help them acquire a series of strategies or skills that they can put into practice when facing difficult situations. You can practice these skills safely with the therapist and in less challenging circumstances than the one that is detected as problematic (which is why we say it is preventive).

Prevention also takes place on the Internet

Prevention also has a place in the digital age. Although the dissemination of “psi” content in the media and social networks does not in any way replace psychological care, it is possible to share quality psychoeducational content that can help people recognize more quickly when it is necessary to consult with a professional.

The fact that the vast majority of people have a device with Internet access for regular use, beyond factors such as socioeconomic level or age group to which we belong, offers the possibility that groups that would not normally have access to this knowledge are able to know more about the importance of psychological care. Furthermore, thanks to this it is possible to carry out prevention campaigns on certain topics that tend to remain veiled under social stigma and taboo, such as suicide.

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As a last resort, Prevention on the virtual level also takes the form of psychological care through new digital media, such as online therapy, by video call, or telephone assistance. For example, some treatments such as DBT (dialectical-behavioral therapy) use this last strategy in order to help the therapist provide the client with the necessary support to survive crises and so that the client can apply the skills learned in the treatment in multiple contexts. therapeutic context. This, ultimately, has a preventive purpose, since it reduces the suicidal or maladaptive behaviors that some borderline people usually use to regulate their mood; as well as promoting adherence to treatment.

Invest in your mental health through regular check-ups

Going to psychotherapy for “check-ups” on a regular basis, such as once a year, is the best strategy to prevent mental health problems.

If you are interested in this type of services, contact us. At UPAD Psychology and Coaching we will help you.