CogniFit's Science blog: Laughter Delivers A Peace Of Mind To Mental Health Patients

Laughter Delivers A Peace Of Mind To Mental Health Patients

Millions of Americans suffer from mental health disorders and problems. With varying degrees of severity, treatment varies from person to person.

Some revert to medication immediately thinking this is the route to go. However, sometimes it can be something as simple as humor that can get the job done. Laughter can be considered the best medicine when it comes to mental health and there are countless forms of this.

You can use mind games and brain fitness exercises to lighten the mood. Believe it or not, going to a stand-up comedy act or popping in a funny movie can have just as positive of a result as antipsychotic drugs.

The bottom line is agitation is one of the primary symptoms for those suffering from some form of mental problem. Not only does it become problematic for the sufferer, but for everyone around as well.

The problem with various medications is that they often come with a wide variety of side effects with some being quite serious. By seeking a non-pharmaceutical way to treat the patient, it solves the problem without creating further difficulties.

Numerous doctors have studied the affect humor therapy has on mental health patients. Throughout these studies, they have looked out how humor effects agitation, mood, behavior and the overall interaction between the patient and caregivers around them.

While every study produced varying results, virtually all showed the same thing; agitation decreased drastically. What doctors found was startling. Not only did agitation decrease during the treatment period, but for weeks after as well. Positive behavior and overall happiness consistently improved for patients and gradually declined as the weeks passed following the treatment.

When most people think about humor with treatment, Dr. Patch Adams comes to mind. This was the doctor famous for dressing as a clown in hospitals to lighten the mood and bring a sense of ease and calm to the patients. While this was some time ago, there are a number of Clown Doctor programs spread throughout the world today as it has become an effective treatment method.

The important thing to remember is humor. No matter how you go about implementing the humor to the patient, there will be positive results. Mental health is no joking matter, but applying jokes to the situation can be beneficial. Whether you take on humorous games and mental exercises or check out a funny movie, laughter can change the entire mindset for the better.