The Fix: The Self-Help Addiction
Are Self-Help Books, Videos The Answer?
Whether the "problem" is mental illness, low self-esteem, feeling unfulfilled or any other "malady", there is a book, problem or savior for you! Walk into your local Barnes & Noble, Half-Price Books or independent bookseller and take note of how much real estate is devoted to the self-help titles. You Can Change Your Life, The Secret, The Law of Attraction. . .the key to a happy life is contained within. Can't you hear the harps playing as you crack it open? No? Me neither.
Looking Outside for Mental Health Self-Help
Watch TV and you might think that any malady can be solved with the drug of the week. Feeling sluggish? There is a drug for that! Feeling tired? There is a drug for that. And then there are the programs: Got a behavioral problem with your kid? The Total Transformation is the answer. Need to attract wealth? There is a program for that.
Talk to a friend about your concerns, dreams or relationships and he or she may gladly provide you with a "solution". If you only meditate more, pay more, exercise, do more and do less, it will all be okay. Except when it isn't.
So what then? Am I implying that each of us should not endeavor to improve the things that we can? Most certainly not. There is, however, a slippery slope that exists when we seek every self-help method other than OURSELVES. Mental health recovery begins within. Tools and resources help the process, but we still have to do the me-work. Can medicine and therapy help? Absolutely. Can a book or program help us gain insight? Sometimes.
You Have The Mental Health Self-Help Answers Within
The key is not to fund an entire industry that revolves around "broken" thinking. When we view ourselves as broken, not enough or in need of fixing, we contribute to someone else's well-being and not our own. How many self-help books have you bought on a given topic that you believe needs fixing? At one point in time this year, I had 32 self-help books of one sort or another on my bookshelves. Crazy pants, huh? Once I woke up and realized that no book was going to make me feel better about myself, all but 3 that I refer regularly remain (Louise Hay and Julia Cameron). Yet it happens, especially when we believe that the answers are outside ourselves and held tightly in some secret place that only special people have access to. You have the power.
You have the courage. You are not a science experiment. You are a HUMAN BECOMING; learning what works for you in terms of self-care and what doesn't. For some, it is meditation. For others, it may be coloring or singing or the right balance of therapy and medication. We choose what we feel needs improvement; just try to make sure that you aren't trying to fix so much that you create a poverty mindset - a mindset of never being enough.
Kipp, P. (2013, December 13). The Fix: The Self-Help Addiction, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2013/12/the-fix-the-self-help-addiction
Author: Paulissa Kipp
'Can't you hear the harps playing...' sounds rather condescending to me
You don't need to mock those that are searching for answers... if people knew how to fix themselves they wouldn't be turning to doctors, counsellors, friends, religion, self help books and the like.
The 'slippery slope' also comes when we are too proud to reach out for help when we need it. Let's be honest here, we all need help now and then.
What works for you may not work for others... personally I don't mind paying someone for that help if I think it might benefit me as well. You never know if it's gonna work until you try it out...
Very true! Just what I needed to hear, thankyou