There is no them and us when it comes to mental health problems. Every one of us has either suffered from some form of depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviour or other disturbing, debilitating disorder, or else we have a close friend or family member who has.
“One in six of us will have a mental health problem in the next 12 months. Whether we know it or not, someone we love, some family member or friend is in mental distress at this very moment,” says Jim Lucey, psychiatrist, medical director of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and author of The Life Well Lived: The Therapeutic Journey to Recovery and Wellness (Transworld Ireland Publishers).
Prof Lucey is one of a growing number of psychiatrists and psychologists who value the role of talk therapies in helping people get to grips with emotional and mental distress so as to live life to the full again.
Interestingly, as a psychiatrist, he also clearly states that it is more helpful to identify people’s distress as “subjective problems experienced in ordinary life rather than as clinical labels derived from lists of symptoms”.