Did you know that at least 1 in 4 people in the world will experience a neurological disorder or mental illness at least once in their life? This means you may encounter a friend or family member who has a mental illness (diagnosed or undiagnosed).
At all costs, we have to take care of our mental health in two ways: have someone to talk to and have someone who listens to us. That is why we all need to get help and talk about mental health. May it be with a family member, friend, or a mental health professional, we should break the stereotypes and stigma around talking about mental health.
The Stigma on Talking About Mental Health
It is undeniable that when someone talks about their mental health, there will be judging eyes and ears. Somehow there is this public stigma of discriminating attitudes when someone talks about their mental health.
There will be many people who will make unnecessary and snide comments when someone goes to therapy; this is just so sad. This is what stops many people from talking to someone about their mental state, and this may lead to depression and other mental health problems.
When a person cannot talk about mental health problems, this may lead to:
- Poor performance at work or school
- Impaired family and social relationships
- Low self-esteem
- Psychiatric symptoms may trigger
- Depression and feelings of hopelessness
- Non-compliance to treatment and medication
The stigma on talking about mental health is not just a family or circle of friends issue, it is a concern for the whole community. We overcome the stigma of mental health illness as a society.
The Importance of Talking About Mental Health Problems
A mental health condition is not a “phase” or “drama”, and it is an existing health condition that goes way beyond “being sad”. There are chemical imbalances and neurotransmitters in the brain that gets affected in some mental illness. That is why it needs intervention because it doesn’t simply go away it may only get worse.
A mental illness is not meant to be fought alone. Imagine if a family member or a loved one is going through a rough mental state. Do you think it is easy for them to battle this alone? NO! We all need to talk to someone and be our support system when we’re going through a rough patch in our life, what more those people who have mental health problems.
A talk about mental health is significant for diagnosis. When someone speaks up about what they feel or what they are going through, this is the key to diagnose the presence of mental illness. Sometimes they do not know that they’re having a mental health problem and are not aware that there are ways to be treated. That is why it is essential to start talking about our mental health to detect the presence of mental illness, how to deal with it, how to get better, and how to be compliant with the treatment.
When one speaks up, others will join in. Because of the stigma around mental health issues, some individuals do not dare to speak up. But when one person starts talking about their mental health, others will feel comfortable talking too. Let them know that it’s normal to talk about mental health. That is how useful a mental health conversation is; you help yourself and the many people around you.
Talking about mental health for depression and suicide prevention. When Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide, what are the thoughts that crossed your mind? Is he going through depression? Does he have a mental illness? We’ll never know the answers to these. But when a person takes his own life without his and friends and family knowing the reason why it can mean they weren’t able to talk about mental health problems. Prevention of depression and suicide is one of the most important goals The National Alliance of Mental Illness reiterates talking about mental health problems.
The 5 Signs of Mental Illness
One of the benefits of talking about mental with someone else is it can help detect mental illness. So how do we detect the presence of mental illness? Here are the five most common signs of mental illness you should look for:
- Excessive anxiety, worry, and fears: When your anxiety, worry, and fears are getting in the way of your everyday life, this may be a sign of mental health problems. This may signify the presence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) that can be easily managed when you talk to someone, especially a mental health professional.
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair: When you see these signs through appetite changes, lack of interest, social withdrawal, or lack of energy, this may be a sign of mental illness. The person may be going through depression. Make sure to seek treatment from a mental health professional.
- Extreme mood changes, rapid mood swings, excessive anger: Try to figure out if the mood swings are caused by hormonal changes, substance abuse, or physical health problem. Rapid mood swings may be a sign of schizophrenia or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
- Social withdrawal: When a person confines oneself for six months or more, with limited communication with many people, this may be a sign of mental illness. This can be a hallmark of different types of mental health problems such as social withdrawal syndrome, depression, anxiety disorders, and autism. Therapies are the known effective treatment for social withdrawal, which involves a talk about mental health to a therapist.
- Dramatic changes in sleeping or eating patterns: You can mostly see this when a person drastically loses or gains weight. When a person eats and sleeps too much, they may gain weight. When otherwise, they may lose weight. The key to detect which kind of mental health problems these many people are going through is to talk about mental health.
Related: How To Help A Loved One With Their Severe Mental Illness
Normalize Talking About Mental Health
When we normalize talk about mental health, start with your loved ones, your friends, and your family members. Be the person they want to talk to, have an open mind, listen, and let them know you’re there for them. When you feel like there are signs of mental health illness in a loved one, get help from a mental health care professional.
Make sure that your loved ones will get the help that they need. Find someone who is professional and is proven to be a vital key in the treatment process. You can start your loved one with telehealth counseling from Kentucky Counseling Center. As they start to have the courage to speak up, you can be hopeful that all will be well.
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