It is easy to predict the future but not so easy to be correct.


It is easy to predict the future but not so easy to be correct.

The reason that it is easy to predict the future is that many things seem so obvious. For instance, the economy is going to struggle because of the combined effects of Brexit, the Pandemic and trade wars etc make this seem obvious.

That people are going to continue to be over-prescribed anti-depressants and anxiolytics seems obvious, given that the rates of prescription have doubled in 10 years.

It is harder to predict if people will start to take more responsibility for their own mental health. My special interest is in promoting Self Help Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (SH-CBT) because my mission is to eradicate unnecessary mental health problems. In all honesty, I am not at all sure this will happen in my lifetime!

Some reasons this prediction is hard to make:-

  1. At school you learn history and biology etc but you learn nothing helpful about avoiding mental health problems.
  2. You have been taught that psychological problems are like medical problems and therefore you need to go through a professional gate-keeper (doctor) who rations treatments because of cost and scarcity.
  3. You have been taught that mental health problems are shameful and need to be kept private.
  4. You have been taught that you cannot help yourself because you don’t have the education, therefore you need someone to help you.
  5. You have been taught that mental health problems arise because there is something wrong with you as a person.
  6. You have been taught that you have a chemical imbalance in your brain and therefore you need a medication to remedy this.
  7. You have been taught that mental health problems are really complicated.

Given all of these preexisting beliefs and processes it is really interesting to tell you that the only one that is accurate is no.1. All the rest are misinformation. Some are motivated misinformation, such as no. 2, no 4, no 5, no 6 and no 7. I think no. 3 is just the way society has developed.

Anyway, non of them are helpful to you because they all dis-empower you. They basically tell you that you are helpless.

A ray of hope in this bleak narrative is this:-

Self Help CBT is as effective as face to face CBT. You genuinely do not need a therapist if you use Self Help CBT.

Here is a link to a research paper that examined over 2078 research publications on CBT and self Help and eventually studied the data of 20 of those with 1418 participants to determine that internet based CBT is as effective as face to face CBT. I made the same comparison in 2009. Here is the link to the research I published then.  

Comparing this with evidence for the efficacy of antidepressants vs placebo, it turns out antidepressants perform little better than placebos in terms of clinical outcome, and the majority of people report unpleasant side effects. Here is a link to a recent paper discussing this issue.

I continue to travel hopefully but maybe this future is not so easy to predict.

You can start with Self Help CBT now with Anxiety Wizard and take back control of your mental health.

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