Be Vocal: Speaking up is important, just not too much - or too little

Talking about a problem just to talk about it can do more harm than good. Instead of feeling better, a person can be
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

Talking about a problem just to talk about it can do more harm than good.

Instead of feeling better, a person can be overwhelmed by the problem and become depressed, according to a recent study.

Amanda Rose, author of the study, works as an associate professor of psychology at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and published the study in the July issue of Developmental Psychology.

The study found teenage girls and adult women who vented about their problems to each other were more likely to develop depression and anxiety, according to Melissa Dahl, health writer for MSNBC.

Henrietta Whelan, clinical director of Bayshore Counseling Services in Sandusky, said talking about a problem needs to have some resolution.

“Venting for the sake of venting does not help anyone,” Whelan said. “If they’re doing it all the time — if they’re getting together and venting, then that’s likely to happen.”

Whelan encounters this problem among women more.

“Males don’t verbalize as much and don’t process as much as women,” Whelan said. “They don’t think about the problems as much either.”

But when men keep their emotions and problems under wraps, it can cause just as many problems as when women talk too much about a problem, Whelan said.

“If you bottle it all up inside that doesn’t help either,” Whelan said. “If you understand what you’re feeling and can verbalize it then you can work toward solving the problem.”

Whelan said a trusted friend or family member can often help with coping and resolving the issue.

Professional help can also assist people who have trouble talking about or solving a problem.

“Counselors can help with that and get you started in the right direction,” Whelan said. “We teach people and facilitate people to learn some coping skills so they can resolve some of the issues.”

Whelan said it’s important to set goals because they can give a sense of accomplishment.

“Talking with someone whether it’s a parent or counselor can give you a new perspective,” Whelan said. “It’s not getting any movement to resolve the problem is when they might get depressed.”