Essay about The Importance of Psychology
|📌Published:||02 September 2021|
Psychology is, in simplest terms, the study of the human experience. From a more complex standpoint, it is an attempt to explain how and why one interacts with oneself and the environment one exists in (textbook, 2019). In its most practiced form, psychology is used to treat and eliminate the struggles of those who have deviated from neurotypical behaviors, especially those who languish in their daily lives. The importance and purpose of psychology are one of the same. Without seeking to understand the most central parts of oneself - the ‘whys’ of ones actions - and the actions of those around us, we would not be a proficient species. Psychology is simply an innate, intrinsic, and quintessential part of humanity.
Discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals is by no means a new topic of discussion, but it is still something that I have personally witnessed and experienced. While living in a small town comprised primarily of homophobic southerners, verbal and physical abuse towards those opposite the population is an extremely common spectacle. From gossiping about the only “out” neighbor to the crude destruction of pride flags, prejudice is innate within my small community. I grew up watching grown men threaten young adults with violence, the only reason for it being a difference in sexual orientation.
Eventually, everyone experiences attraction to another person, whether it is sexual, romantic, emotional, or all three. Discovering the preferences for these attractions determines someones sexual orientation (Grison, 2019). Within the article “Trying to figure out where we belong” published by M.A. Ghabrial, the topic of how discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals affects the individuals well being is discussed, as well as the concept of “come out stress”. Come out stress is the pressure put on LGBTQ+ individuals to come out, which causes some queer people to “feel less authentic and further separates them from the mainstream queer community.” (Ghabrial, 2017, p.51). Feeling pressure to come out with ones sexual orientation is extremely common, although it is not an option for many LGBTQ+ people due to their community consisting primarily of homophobic individuals. The discrimination faced after coming out in a prejudiced town is mentally scarring and has lead to lifelong depression and anxiety in myself and others. Of course, this is not the case for everyone, but being surrounding by homophobic behavior conditions one to be scared of coming out, as was such within my community.
Gender roles are the characteristics and interests that are expected for boys, girls, men, and women within a culture. Gender roles go hand in hand with gender role socialization or the concept of learning expectations about gender roles through social information inside the environment. (Grison, 2021) . For example, in my intolerant community, the social information I was exposed to heavily enforced stereotypical gender roles and sexual orientations. I was conditioned to follow these stereotypes due to them being the most common idea and something that was rewarded with tolerance. Differing from the norm led to discrimination, resulting in an extreme loss of self-confidence. The concept of following set roles places strict limits on an individuals personality and allows no room to explore the self, an integral part of life.
A constant goal I have set for myself is to become someone who helps a child in need work through their struggles by counseling them. Being a struggling child my whole life without guidance has motivated me to become the person I needed. The purpose of psychology is to better understand all aspects of why we are how we are, which is essential to becoming the best person one can be. I want to be there for people, to help guide them through challenging times in their life and push them to become more compassionate towards themselves and others. When people are more comfortable around themselves, they are more likely to act the same towards others, and there is hope that it will spread globally.
In order to spread change as a therapist, I need to better understand the concept of Developmental psychology or the study of how one grows and changes throughout each stage of life. (Grison, 2021). Comprehending what causes aspects of the personality to develop is crucial when trying to help those struggling to understand it themselves. Adolescents aged 10 to 18 years old may have a difficult time grasping their emotions, or immediate and specific responses to external events or internal thoughts, that motivate our behavior. (Grison, 2021). Such emotions often lead to stress or other long lasting feelings, which can be overcome by speaking to someone who knows what factors into being developmentally challenged.
Adolescents face many difficult challenges, one of which is how to develop an identity as a growing adult. This concept is called identity versus role confusion, one of eight stages of psychosocial development according to psychologist Erik Erikson. (Grison, 2021, p.153) This state of confusion includes addressing questions about who the person is, which one learns based on viewing the environment around them. For example, a teenager may begin acting out or going against boundaries set in place by parents and teachers in an effort to discover their true identity. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, yet it brings frustration to the teenager and those who expect their rules to be followed. It is common to seek therapy to help remedy an individuals identity versus role confusion, as a therapist can help one better understand the reasons for such emotional and physical changes.
Within the report “Treating symptoms or assisting human development: Can different environmental conditions affect personal development for patients with severe mental illness?” by A.Lauveng, a study is done that seeks to understand how differences in social-environmental conditions affect development within mentally ill adolescents. It was found that “early developmental trauma may negatively affect cognitive development and that play is important for repairing the impacts of trauma and reestablishing the conditions in which the brain can again learn and develop” (Lauveng,2018,p.10) After taking this into consideration, it is clear that there is a correlation between childhood trauma amd cognitive development. In order to repair the impacts of trauma, work must be done with the individual to find the specific cause and effects of their stress. This work would be done with a counseler, someone specialized in helping people overcome mental and emotional issues.
To conclude, psychology is an extremely important topic of study, and is the key to better understand ourselves and others. It may not seem clear why people behave the way they do, or show tolerance to some and not others, but the answer almost always has to do with psychology.
The study of the mind allows one to go throughout life with an inquisitive thought process, constantly wondering how one aspect of something will affect another. Everything around us has an impact, and adds information to our ever growing and changing brain.