MYTHS AND SUPERSTITIONS IN PSYCHOLOGY
During the high school, where everybody is bombarded with the pressure of performance, choosing right subjects, meeting the expectations of teachers and parents and what not, a 16 year old young girl, an average performer in academics was in the confusion of choosing subjects because of the parental pressure. She was very much clear of opting ‘arts’ stream, but the dilemma was either to choose maths or psychology. Her father insisted her to go for maths because it is a more known subject; many of his friend’s children are going for it and believed she can meet up with the better options than psychology. Well, the option of maths was not even into her consideration because deep down, she was aware that she is definitely not going to bebe ev a better performer in maths and it would be better to not do a gag to her life. But on the other hand she wasn’t able to make her father agree for opting psychology despite stating her interests.
Here comes the lack of awareness of the field of psychology and a myth that psychology is not claimed as a strong subject
Like every other subject, psychology has come up with an independent agenda and applications. Also, it is considered as a natural as well as social science. It’s true that the discipline of psychology was emerged by western psychologists but it has been expanded all over the countries with no limitations and yet is in cultivating phase in many places like India. People still question the essence of this subject just like the girl’s father did. But yes, thankfully, many institutions are providing this subject as a core to students I'm order to broaden the awareness about the human behavior. As human beings are dynamic in nature, in very similar way so is the field of psychology. And so, psychology is called ‘a study of human behavior and experience’.
This discipline can be applied in variant fields, the only thing is, to grab a correct idea and apply at right condition and a place. With the emergence of the contributions of the famous personalities of this field, the psychology is endless starting from covering the cognitive, biological, environmental facets to the developmental, organizational and many more with the best career choices.
As I have been in touch with this discipline from last 7 years, the fixed opinion of people that I have come across is ‘individuals who visit psychologists are insane or crazy’.
This is the stigma that is attached by the society. Due to this statement, nowadays people are hesitant to talk openly about the psychological issues and visit psychologists. This is the reason why the rates of psychological issues are proliferating. The problem lacks in the society that people aren’t ready to accept, challenge and celebrate the indifferences. If it’s okay to be physically unfit then it is absolutely alright to be psychologically unfit too! Yet every individual is perfect in their own ways.
Another myth that I have come across is that ‘psychologists only treat mental disorders’.
Do we visit our doctors, only when we are suffering from chronic issues like diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and cardiovascular issues? Don’t we visit them with the complaints of fever, cold, throat problem, stomach infections? Well, we definitely do for both acute and chronic issues
Hereby, the same notion goes along with the psychologists. Every individual faces some or the other challenges in their lives. These challenges can vary because every individual is different. For instance, one person may find it difficult and stressful to continue with the job because of the performance pressure, but for another individual it may not be a prominent stress. The psychologists can manage any type of stress, anxiety, peer pressure, stress, emotional disturbance, choosing a career, parent – child relationship issues and can free from the related symptoms of the issues like mood disorders, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.
Another major fallacy is that ‘psychologists can read minds’. Do they really open up our head and read what lies in it?
Well, I wonder this profession would be more fascinating if they could really tell us what people are thinking just by looking them. But, this is not how this profession works. It is true, that psychologists study gesture, tone, body language and can draw inferences about the human behavior using the standardized measures but they can’t read people’s mind. The study is all about studying the aspects of mind, behavior, how individuals interact in society and how they are different from each other
I have seen people dropping out their appointments of sessions as they have a disruptive thought that talking to psychologists is same as talking to family members or friends.
Psychologists are provided with the best training of being empathetic, non – judgmental and a good listener. While interacting with a mental healthcare professional, the entire focus is solely on the individual who is talking about his insecurities, his concerns, his issues. He/she doesn’t have to consider the concerns or take care of other people. The time of the session is not shared with any other person and the environment is totally free of distractions and disturbances. This secured environment makes the individual more comfortable to carry forward a conversation with psychologist. The perspective that psychologists provide is unique and unbiased. It is highly possible that friends or family members may not be every time comfortable in discussing over the concerns, they can be biased with their viewpoints and yet the focus is not stagnant. And the perspective that would be shared is not necessary will meet the needs and concerns of the person.
The fallacy that I would like to bring in to the notice is something that we hear in all profession.
For instance, we have a preconceived notion that children of math’s teacher will be expert in mathematics. A doctor is always expected to be physically fit. Similarly, for psychologists there is a myth that ‘psychologists cannot have any kind of stress or mental health issue in their life’.
While forming these kinds of notions, we tend to forget that these people are also human beings. They also go through the similar phases as we all do. Being an expert of a particular profession doesn’t restrain one from facing the normal life challenges. Even after spending several years in their studies and going through the training, there is fact, that mental health professionals also find difficulty in applying skills in hard situations, which should be considered by us. Just like everyone else, they sometimes fail to cope and can suffer from the stress. After all, life is all about trial and error method.