Navigating Mental Health: Finding Light at the End of the Tunnel with Improving Lives Counseling Services
Posted by Improving Lives Counseling Services, Inc. | Individual Counseling
“All The Light We Cannot See” is a novel by Anthony Doerr, adapted into a World War II movie in 2014. It is a story of hope and resistance: “the irony of which is the idea that we know what’s coming but we’re still unable to look away.” Abraham Lincoln said, “The fiery trial through which we are passing will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.” Dating back to 1882, the more familiar “there is light at the end of every tunnel” suggests that better days are coming or “this too shall pass.” In mental health, “the light at the end of the tunnel” offers a sign of hope that offsets negative emotions. The counselors and therapists at Improving Lives Counseling Services treat emotions of feeling stuck in a long, dark tunnel with optimal treatment plans for those who feel surrounded by darkness and for those who see but cannot reach the light.
WHY THE CONCEPT OF A LIGHT
Feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed, or being diagnosed with a mental illness, is a brain health condition which can be treated. Belief in light at the end of the tunnel helps clients examine their thoughts, explore their feelings, query behaviors, and thwart negative emotions. Admitting something is wrong psychologically is akin to believing in the light. Seeking mental health care for negative thoughts, emotional tensions, behavioral disorders, and feeling lost in the dark, is further belief in the light. Much like the many quotations around the concept of a light, scheduling an appointment with an Improving Lives Counseling Services’ counselor or therapist is acknowledging there’s a problem, seeking help with resistance, and having hope – the expectation of a life-changing outcome.
STUCK IN THE DARK
Every action, memory, emotion in the brain, and the stories they tell themselves makes humans who they are. When a person’s story places them in a tunnel and the stories they tell themselves that they can’t, or refuse to, see the light, they are mentally unwell and should seek mental health care. If they see themselves as a spectator with no path toward recovery, they are allowing the trappings of negative thoughts, low self-worth, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness control them. Locked in a dark tunnel with all loss of hope influences decision making. Suicidality, substance abuse, alcoholism, self-harm, anorexia, promiscuity, unwarranted anger, acts of violence, and criminal activity can be linked to an absence of hope or failure to see light at the end of the tunnel.
WHERE IS THE LIGHT TODAY?
There is no way to avoid learning of ongoing wars, mass shootings, racial tensions, political upheaval, or a divisive society. A fear of leaving the house, interacting with strangers, or shopping at a local store is real. Today more than ever, people fear public transportation, ride-share services, and flying. Yet, they listen, they do, they go, and they fly. Because throughout history, there has been a light at the end of the tunnel. Not as bright as some might want, not the resolution, or solved problems some desire, yet there is a light – a reason to believe (to hope) bad things and bad situations will resolve or end.
IS THERE ALWAYS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
Even patients who see a light at the end of the tunnel might not experience total resolution of a problem or complete cure of a mental illness. A 2022 study found “more than half of people diagnosed with one psychiatric disorder will be diagnosed with a second or third in their lifetime. About a third have four or more.” (National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI). This is why mental health check-ups and mental health care are so important and early diagnosis a must. Sometimes the light is not a cure, but a way to understand emotions, promote healing, and live the life you were meant to live.
To lose hope, to think oneself irrelevant, and to allow the trappings of mental illness to control you is giving up on all the things which make you, you; that make you matter; that make your life worth living. Contacting Improving Lives Counseling Services and making an appointment doesn’t mean you have a mental illness; it means mental health matters. Our licensed, professional counselors, therapists, and clinicians treat children, adolescents, teens, adults, and seniors in individual, couples, family, and group sessions. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Call 918-960-7852 or click here.