As our understanding has evolved around Mental Health issues, so too has the development of therapies. Quite impressively, professionals have made serious progress in combating Mental Health. From the creation of a vast variation of therapeutic strategies, to raising awareness across the whole of the UK, no stone has been left unturned. But perhaps the oldest trick in the book - is a self help book and there are many reasons why you should turn to them for guidance. 
They Are Maps Made By Those Who Have Been There. 
 
Most often, a respected self-help book is actually written by someone who shares the experience of the Mental Health issue and has worked his or her way to recovery. Perhaps using a self-help book themselves, maybe the guidance of a therapist or possibly, they made basic changes toward their own life which lifted the issue and helped them to see clearly why the changes made the difference. What is important to recognise, is that they had the experience themselves, both with the issue and with treating the issue. Therefore, their methods are very much like a map with directions advising you where you should be headed. 
 
An Intellectual Understanding Creates Power And Strength 
 
One of the hardest things about Mental Health issues is that most do not have the slightest inkling as to what is happening and why. This can be very distressing which is completely understandable. Self Help books most commonly explain mental health issues in a very constructive and conclusive manner. This takes you out of the dark within your own experience and enables you to see for yourself what is actually happening, rather than what you fear is happening. Having an intellectual understanding of the issue itself, although it may not immediately result in recovery, it is indeed the first step toward it. This will give you a sense of power and ownership over the way you feel and will relinquish the fear of the unknown - through that a new found strength is born. 
 
An Experiential Understanding Creates Absolute Clarity and Confidence 
 
Going back to the map analogy on point 1 - these books are very much a map to recovery from the specific issue. However, although we may gain an intellectual understanding through the explanation of certain areas of the map and see how we may run into certain conundrums, we will not have absolute clarity and confidence until we walk the path ourselves. By doing so, this gives us a chance to transfer our intellectual understanding into that which is experiential - whereby you saw it for yourself. It can no longer be up for question. The difference is; whilst an intellectual understanding may be enlightening and comforting, it must still become a direct experience for you to truly know. Learning what to do at each stage of the map is a tool kitgreat help but not until a step is made will you experience any progress. The fantastic thing about Self Help books is they always seem to make this clear and make a special effort to form the intellectual part as comforting as possible - making the moving that much easier. 
 
You Can’t Unlearn Recovery 
 
Self Help books are there to give you everything you need to know about the issue and recovery from the issue. They give you the opportunity to take recovery into your own hands and lay down a platform where intellect becomes a direct experience. You get both knowledge and confidence. Once you have recovered in such a way; you can’t unlearn what it took to get there. Quite simply you will always have the tools toolkit. We are human however and can experience a lapse in behaviour or thinking but the memory of what you should do and the confidence that comes from seeing how it worked before, will be completely unbreakable. And just for some extra encouragement if you need it, I can bet my last penny that the self-help book you chose has a designated chapter for such an event. Likely as this too was an experience of their own. 
 
Pass it On. 
 
There will be no greater feeling than knowing your work is done, that you have complete confidence in yourself and that you no longer actually need the book. Imagine the volumes it would speak when one day you see someone with the same issue as yours and you get to look them in the eyes and say.. “Trust me, read this!”. 
 
Maybe there isn't a better form of Mental Health Training than your own, or maybe there is, nobody can say for certain. This whole dilemma is causing us to grow and find out for sure. But once we do finally know, you can bet someone writes a book about it. And that's exactly what self-help books are; about something that people actually know without a doubt. Could there be any better reasons to choose self-help books? 
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