When you visit your therapist, all they want you to do is communicate, right? They tell you the first step to recovery from mental illness is opening up. But many psychologists and therapists have recently discovered that silence can sometimes act as a useful means of healing from trauma and mental health issues.
Role Of Silence In Depression
People suffering from depression often find it difficult to communicate freely about what’s bothering them. They tend to isolate themselves and hold back from speaking their mind.
Andrew Solomon, author of “The Noonday Demon,” said that he “could not manage to say much.” He explained, “Words, with which I have always been intimate, seemed suddenly very elaborate, difficult metaphors the use of which entailed much more energy than I could muster.”
Research suggests that being unable to speak is a significant symptom of depression. Badgering someone to talk about their problems who is going through a phase called ‘depressed silence,’ might only make it worse. They should be given the time to gather themselves and speak only when they are ready.
It is not that the victim does not trust his or her friend, parents, or even therapist; they are just not comfortable enough to open up yet or have nothing to say. It is best not to pester them with uncomfortable questions or unsolicited opinions.
Recovery In Silence
Talking about one’s trauma can take quite a toll on their mental health; it is much easier to recover in silence. Amid noisy surroundings, a person struggling with mental illness often tends to zone out and become lost in their own train of thought. Someone like this can find the silence comforting rather than forcefully engaging in conversations.
Experts claim that silence plays a very significant role in meditation, and as studies reveal, meditation prevents depression from relapsing.
Clinical Health Psychologist, Amy Sullivan, claimed, “When we’re frazzled, our fight-or-flight response is on overload causing a host of problems.” She added, “We can use calm, quiet moments to tap into a different part of the nervous system that helps shut down our bodies’ physical response to stress.”
Also Read: High Treatment Cost & Being Labelled As ‘Paagal’ Makes Mental Health In India A Serious Problem
Cater To The Patient’s Comfort
It is very important to cater to the patient’s comfort when dealing with their mental illness. Obviously, it is important for the person suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues to open up so that their loved ones can learn of their struggles and provide them with the required help; but people dealing with trauma tend to trust a professional therapist or counselor in such cases.
Psychologists claim that many patients take time to even become comfortable with their doctors, which is completely fine.
It might require one or two extra sessions to get to know a person’s underlying traumas, but what is important is that therapists should try to establish a hospitable atmosphere for their patients to feel comfortable talking about their problems.
A person suffering from mental illness should not be constantly pressured into opening up or bombarded with the idea that talking would help them.
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Source: The Print, Bharat Times & News24
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