With all of the progress we have made in today’s society there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental illness. The negative view surrounding mental health has come from multiple sources including society, the media, and unfortunately the church. The church has sent the message that if you suffer from depression or anxiety then you do not have enough faith or you are not praying enough. But the truth is that mental illness is something that can affect people just like any physical illness including diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer. These are illnesses that we cannot ignore because to do so would compromise other areas of our lives. This same concept applies to our mental health. Our mental health determines how well we manage our daily lives and the stress that comes along with it.
Mental illness refers to an illness that affects the mind and can be due to a number of factors including genetics, life circumstances, loss, ongoing medical problems, drug/alcohol use, relationship problems, or trauma. It is important for us to keep up with our mental health and we can start by being knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms that can signal mental and emotional distress. These can include, but are not limited to:
Change in mood
Change in hygiene
Withdrawing from others
Not going to work or school or not being able to function well while at work or school
Being easily irritated or annoyed
Having anger outbursts
Conflict in relationships
Lose of appetite
Lose of sleep
Hard time concentrating
Difficulty making decisions
Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, powerlessness, or hopelessness
Thoughts of wanting to end your life*
Treatment can range from individual counseling to group counseling to medication or a combination of the two. It may feel overwhelming to know where to start. But there are several things to consider:
1. Your mental and physical health can effect each other. If you haven’t had a physical in a while then contact your doctor and schedule one. This will help your healthcare provider rule out any physical ailments that you may be having that could account for some of the symptoms you may be experiencing.
2. Talk to someone you trust and share what is going on, which could include your healthcare provider, a trusted friend or family member.
3. You can also go to www.psychologytoday.com and connect with a therapist in your area. Having mental and emotional challenges is not something to be ashamed of. It is a sign that something may not be in alignment in your life and it is calling for your attention. There may be some things you need to confront so that you can take back control of your life. Address it so that you can live in abundance.
*If you feel like you cannot keep yourself safe. Go to your nearest emergency room or call 911 for immediate assistance. You can also use any of the numbers listed below to get the help you need.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 National Crisis Text: HELLO to 741741 TN Crisis Text: CONNECT to 741741
This post is not intended as medical advice. It is intended for educational purposes only. Please see your healthcare professional or find a therapist in your area to discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing. They will be able to provide more information that pertains specifically to you.
Until next time….