Psychotherapy for individuals aged 50+. Why is it considered a taboo topic?

Psychotherapy is a healing process aimed at helping individuals cope with emotional, mental, or behavioral difficulties. During the sessions, patients have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, while the psychotherapist helps them understand how these thoughts and emotions impact their lives.

After the age of 50, many people face issues such as health problems, loss of loved ones, changes in family relationships, and considerations related to planning for later years. At this age, individuals often have time to focus on themselves and their needs, which can contribute to a better quality of life.

 

Is psychotherapy after the age of 50 still a taboo topic?

Individuals over 50 often do not seek a psychotherapist at the right time. Unlike the younger generation, they wait until their mental endurance reaches a breaking point due to deep emotional crises or sudden, significant life changes. It may seem that psychotherapy becomes a trend among the younger generation, but they have an advantage in maintaining their mental health by taking care of their well-being proactively. Individuals over 50 come to therapy with a significant baggage of experiences, often filled with traumas that burden their mental and physical health. The process of psychotherapy becomes longer and more painful, as it involves reopening wounds formed along life’s journey.

“What does ‘mental’ mean?”

Everyone in the world has a psyche, but individual environment and genes have caused each person’s psyche to develop differently. The pejorative term “mental” actually originated from the culture of taboo topics, lack of knowledge about the psyche, the body’s defense mechanisms, the consequences of life situations, mental illnesses, and personality disorders. Mental health did not exist. Until recently, this information was so invisible that anyone who received “yellow papers” caused incomprehensible fear and the belief that a person with a diagnosis is either weak or disconnected from reality. Coping through alcohol or violence was considered normal, healthy, and better than, for example, a depressive episode.

Is it worth paying attention to emotions?

Thanks to increasing openness of people to topics related to mental health, the consequences of neglecting emotions have been exposed. The previous generation grew up during times of transformation, and their parents during the fight for freedom. The main themes of life were fear and poverty, not development. This does not mean that life in a relatively stable period is less noble. It is natural that priorities change with life circumstances. Therefore, it is not worth insisting on the narrative that emotions are not important because they were not in the past. They were important, as evidenced by the statements and memoirs of the Insurgents, for example. The common narrative becomes distorted. Every age and every generation has its difficulties that must be examined and addressed. Every person has emotions that also need to be taken care of, as otherwise, emotions will take care of the person. Somatic diseases, heart diseases, mental illnesses, alcohol, workaholism, and aggression are the first signs of emotions and tension taking control over a person. Recognizing emotions allows for true self-determination, independence, and stability.

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