Today is World Mental Health Day and as it stands, mental health concerns are still pushed aside by society as unimportant or irrelevant. Mental illnesses and concerns are just as valid as physical illnesses. The stigma that society has created around mental health, due to pure ignorance, has caused those who suffer from mental health problems to retreat and hide, bottling up their problems which leads to an eventual downward spiral. In order to help those who need it, or even help yourself, here are somethings you should know about mental health.
It is nothing to be ashamed of
Having a mental illness is not something you should be ashamed of; 1 out of 4 people have some sort of mental illness. People get diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, heart problems, etc. You may have ADD or depression, the only difference with those illnesses is that yours are harder to detect with a medical eye, but they are 100% valid and, just like the others, they can affect how you live your everyday life.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or offer it to someone who needs it
Don’t bottle up your problems for fear of being judged. What you are going through can happen to anyone, and asking for help can help you how to take back control of your life. Recognizing that we need help is a big step, but if you do you will be able to get a weight off your shoulders you have been burdening for a while on your own. Sometimes just talking about it to someone you trust can make you at ease. For those of you who know someone who is struggling with mental health problems, hear them out. Sometimes just offering support and taking the time to listen to someone can make a difference. Don’t judge them, criticize them, or diminish their problems just because you don’t know; take the time to listen and educate yourself so that you can be a better support system for those who need it.
It’s okay to not be okay
People feel like they always have to be happy and wonderful to keep up appearances. Thanks to the world of social media, nowadays we are always concerned with showing a happy demeanor and wonderful life to followers who may or may not even really know who we are, let alone care. Newsflash: everyday is not going to be sunshine and roses, and that’s okay. Sometimes your mental illness will bum you out and make you unable to really do much, so don’t pressure yourself to put on a show for the sake of other people. It’s okay to not be 100% all the time, you just have to take things one day at a time and know that those who love you will be right there to get you through it.
If you are someone who needs help or know someone who needs help, head over to https://www.mentalhealth.gov/index.html where you can find several sources on how to handle mental illness for parents, friends, family, young people, for yourself and more, as well as resources on clinics and contact info for services such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Mental Health is important, and as soon as we can all recognize that, the more we can help others in our community.