Catharsis: Unlocking Emotional Healing and Mental Well-Being

In today’s fast-paced world, where stress and emotional struggles are commonplace, finding effective methods to address mental health concerns is of utmost importance. The human mind and body are intricately connected, and emotional well-being plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health. One approach that has gained recognition for its therapeutic benefits is catharsis. This article explores the power of catharsis for releasing suppressed emotions, overcoming traumatic experiences, and fostering mental healing.

In October 2021, Wulan Amiruly sought a solution for her gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and panic attacks. Despite taking numerous medications, her condition remained uncured. It was then that she decided to join a catharsis class conducted by Dr. Gusti Putu Darmika in Bali, Indonesia. Through this experience, Wulan discovered the impact of her suppressed emotions on her mental and physical well-being. Catharsis, a therapeutic practice that allows the expression of deep emotions, became the catalyst for her healing.

Dr. Darmika, an advocate of catharsis, explains that emotional release and processing have been shown to reduce depressive and anxious thought patterns while promoting a more constructive and hopeful worldview. Catharsis involves various mechanisms, such as screaming, crying, or engaging in rage room activities, to facilitate emotional release. Although some may view screaming as a mystical practice, Dr. Darmika’s experience has demonstrated that it impacts individuals uniquely, highlighting the significance of emotional expression.

The efficacy of catharsis finds support in scientific research. According to a study published by Harvard University, crying effectively flushes stress hormones and harmful chemicals from the body. When individuals cry, their bodies release endorphins and oxytocin, the feel-good chemicals that contribute to emotional relief. By embracing authenticity and allowing emotional release, individuals can alleviate mental and physical suffering.

Dr. Darmika emphasizes the importance of being true to oneself and not suppressing emotions to please others. Repressing emotions can lead to depression and hinder personal growth. In a society where mental health issues are stigmatized, it is vital to address the emotional well-being of individuals proactively.

The prevalence of emotional and mental health concerns in Indonesia highlights the urgency of addressing the stigma surrounding these issues. According to the Indonesian Health Ministry, over 19 million people in the country have experienced emotional and mental health concerns, with at least 12 million suffering from depression in 2018.

Depression is a severe medical emergency that, if left untreated, can lead to suicidal ideation and behavior. However, mental health problems can manifest in various ways, such as an individual’s inability to concentrate or fulfill basic tasks. Dr. Darmika suggests that such unhappiness may stem from disappointment within oneself.

Dr. Darmika proposes catharsis as a method for individuals to express their suppressed feelings and begin their healing journey. However, he emphasizes that catharsis alone is not sufficient for complete recovery. After the expression of emotions, individuals must seek further support to maintain their well-being.

Jakarta-based clinical psychologist Yunike Balsa Rhapsodia underscores the importance of seeking professional guidance in conjunction with catharsis. Expressing emotions in the presence of a companion or under the supervision of a psychologist forms an integral part of the overall therapeutic approach. Self-diagnosis should be avoided, and trained professionals should be consulted for appropriate medical attention.