Imagine living in Australia in the mid-1940s when doctors performed lobotomies, severing connections in the brain as a last resort for psychiatric patients struggling with severe symptoms. Fortunately, we have made strides between conventional therapies and education on mental health, but we still have a long way to go. Sadly, people will continue to suffer in silence if we don’t discuss mental illness and recognise that our voices can make a difference as a society.
1. We can’t wish mental illness away.
People often avoid talking about mental illness because they fear it will become concrete if they do. However, we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist or wish it away any more than we can the common cold.
Mental illness is a physical illness that requires treatment, just like going to the doctor’s office for a lingering fever. The only difference is mental illness resides in the brain. However, like any other bodily organ, your brain can experience healthy or not-so-healthy changes.
2. Mental illness can happen to anyone.
Mental health has no biases and can impact anyone regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status. Yes, certain circumstances can place an individual at a greater risk for depression or anxiety, such as those who’ve experienced childhood trauma. However, that isn’t always the case.
In other words, one may have experienced school bullying, a parent with mental health issues, or grown up in a violent community and yet adapt to life. In comparison, another individual may be financially stable and have a great career and family relationship but is highly depressed.
3. Suffering in silence can lead to suicide.
Far too many individuals appear to function well, appear happy, and go to work daily while suffering from mental health issues. Sadly, many will hide their struggles due to stigma, fear, shame, etc. Still, hiding what one feels inside is a dangerous situation that often leads to suicide. Then we find ourselves in shock and disbelief because they appeared perfectly fine.
So, what can we do to change how we address mental illness?
4. Those with mental illness deserve to know people care.
How often do we ask someone how they’re doing to be polite and not because we want to know? Yes, we’re busy, but being there for our loved ones to the best of our ability is vital. So, if they are struggling, take the time to contact them and ask them what they need.
You don’t need to have the answers or fix your loved ones. Often, they just want someone to listen to them without feeling judged.
5. Knowledge gives us a better understanding.
Many people fear mental illness due to a lack of knowledge on the subject. Still, it’s never too late to learn.
Just as some people read their new vehicle’s manual to understand their car better, the same is true about mental health. Essentially, the more we educate ourselves, the more equipped we’ll feel.
6. Spreading awareness decreases stigma.
The more we open up about mental health, the better it can be for many people. And though we can’t eliminate mental illness, we can save more lives by talking about it. People need to know that mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of.
Our younger generation needs to know that they’re okay, too. Therefore, educating kids on mental health in their schools or as family members can help normalise their experiences. We want to show them that receiving psychological help is as routine and vital as going for a physical.
By openly discussing it, we open the door for others to come forward by showing them they’re not alone. Plus, helping others might be the greatest reward for you.
You Are Not Alone
It’s vital to know that you are not alone. Having someone who can relate to your issues and listen without judgment can help relieve your sadness or loneliness. One such place is Barty’s Adventures, where they hold special events and adventures to help men feel better about themselves by keeping active, thus improving mental health. Barty – We Are A Mental Health Initiative
No matter what you’re going through, you deserve to be supported.
Why Not Try Online Therapy?
Hopefully, these points could give some comfort, but sometimes just reading quotes isn’t enough. Online therapy can be a great option if you or a loved one is looking for more support.
Therapy through BetterHelp.com/Barty can be more affordable than traditional therapy and allows many options to communicate with your therapist from the comfort of your home. Most importantly, remember that it is okay not to be okay, and you are no less of a human for feeling your emotions and being vulnerable.
To receive 25% off your first month, head to BetterHelp.com/Barty
Feel free to drop by if you’d like to chat and just say, ‘Hey Barty,’ in strict confidence, and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or do not hesitate to leave a comment below.