Mental health retreat centers is not a phrase that is protected by the law, which is why retreat centers differ so wildly. For example, there is a retreat center in the darkest corners of Europe where traumatized people are encouraged to feed endangered baby wolves. There are centers that cost thousands to attend and centers that are paid for by the government. Sadly, since there is such a wide gap in terms of quality, it is hard to offer pros and cons based on the merits of health centers alone, so this article covers the personal health benefits of retreat centers, rather than covering things such as the quality of care, healing rates, etc.

Pro-Test Your Mental Limits

It sounds a bit false and phony, but some people are able to use retreat centers to test the limits of their mental calm. Some people that are able to visit these centers are able to stay calm, stay relaxed, and learn about themselves. On the other hand, there are some people who are a mess when they walk in and a mess when they walk out. If you are able to sit, be still, be calm, and feel even or normal, then maybe your psychological problems have less to do with your brain, and more to do with your home/work environment and/or your coping skills.

Con – Time Spent Is Time Wasted

Not everybody gets “something” out of visiting a retreat center. In fact, two people with the same history, same condition, same lifestyle, same age, sex, and background may enter a retreat. One may walk away with a new outlook on life and a fresh attitude, whereas the other person may leave feeling the same as when they entered, and the whole experience may have been a complete waste.

Pro – Identify Your Poor Coping Skills

Some people use retreat centers to test their coping skills. There are some people who are great at functioning in a work environment but do not function so well in a romantic setting, in a large group, in a room full of strangers, in open spaces, and so forth. While at a retreat, you may examine your feelings about different scenarios. Consider how you feel and act at home and work and see how it differs when you are in a retreat and/or during retreat sessions. Is your mental issue a result of poor coping skills in a very specific environment?

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Con – You Are Able To Hide Away

We all feel like hiding away from time-to-time, and the problem with mental health retreat centers is that they allow people to hide away. There is nothing wrong with hiding away for a little while in some circumstances, but part of being human, and part of managing your mental issue is to manage and deal with problems as they arise. Getting into the routine of running away when things get tough is a very poor habit to get into.

Pro – You Are Able To Hide Away

One cannot push the negative side of hiding away without touting the positive side too. Even Bill Gates is known to take two weeks away in his cabin once per year so that he may think. There are times when you cannot see the solution to your problems because you are too close to them. If you are able to take a break and retreat away somewhere, you may be able to refocus your thoughts and see your problems for what they really are. Many times, our problems only seem so big because we are too close to them. Moving away and going to a retreat will put some distance between you and your problem (physically and psychological) so that you may deal with it in a more calculating and less emotional manner.

Mental Health Retreat Centers Allow People to Drop Their Characters

Before closing this article, it needs to be pointed out that these centers give you an opportunity to drop your character. It sounds odd, but we all create characters that fit the people we exist around. Before long, you find that you cannot cry in front of your family, and maybe you are overly domineering around your friends, and overly needy with your partner, and so forth.

When you visit one of these retreat centers you are around new people and new surroundings, which means you may drop your character. You do not have to pretend to be tougher than you really are, nor do you have to pretend to be dumber, needier, or more submissive than you really are. Whatever your character is, you are able to drop it.

Some people find that their mental illness becomes less pronounced when they visit a retreat center. There are plenty of reasons for this, and one of them is that you are no longer acting a character. You are a different version of you where you do not feel the need to “Act Up” or “Play Down” your psychological issues. You may drop the lies and the fake faces and be yourself for a little while.