Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall human health, but it is still misunderstood and stigmatised by many. Fortunately, there has been much progress over the centuries in terms of humanity’s understanding and treatment of the various ailments that afflict the human mind, ranging from anxiety and depression, to psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (to name but a few). If we all work together, and continue to educate ourselves and each other about this subject, whilst also continuing to improve the available treatments of mental health problems, then we can decrease the prevalence and severity of those afflicted by mental health disorders around the world.
Over the last few years I have given advice and support to people with various mental health problems on a couple of mental health forums that I found. I even set myself a challenge of trying to help over 1000 people during 2020, due to the spike in mental health problems because of the pandemic and lockdowns, and I ended up beating my goal by around 400. 😊 The vast majority of people had positive responses thanking me, and it also lead me to a few conclusions about mental health I wanted to share. I have also included a few relevant links below.
Unfortunately, stigma towards mental health problems has existed throughout all of history, and still exists to this day. Fortunately, things do seem to be changing for the better, slowly but surely.
The important thing to realise is to not take any stigma or judgments from others personally. It is either coming from a place of ignorance, or they may just lack empathy. Speak your truth honestly and courageously, and if others decide to stigmatise or discriminate against you, then that is there problem, and not yours.
2) Talking to others
A common theme is the fear of disclosing mental health problems to others or not knowing how to talk about it to family, friends, or even your therapist.
Your mental health is important and you are allowed to discuss it with others, especially if you trust them or believe they may be able to help or support you.
You should never feel ashamed of having a mental health disorder, as long as you are trying your best to understand and manage it.
If one parent is not responding well, try the other. If neither are, try talking to your most trusted friend. If that fails, then you should consider speaking with a doctor who should guide you in the right direction.
Here are a couple of good articles on talking to others about mental health:
What many people do not realise, or do not want to admit to, is that taking care of their mental health is primarily their responsibility. Your parents, friends, coworkers, and therapist may help and support you, but ultimately your mental health (similar to your physical health) is still your responsibility.
If you do not want to heal or change, then you almost definitely will not, and in the end you will be the one that suffers the most, so it is important that you prioritise and take care of your mental health as best you can.
Your habits are really important. Often, the difference between those who’s mental health starts to improve and those who’s mental health begins to decline is their habits. It is not always easy to switch from bad habits to good ones, but at the very least you should become aware of them and begin to change them when you can.
- Examples of good habits: regular exercise, getting enough sleep, socialising, positive thinking, creativity, balanced diet.
- Examples of bad habits: smoking, alcohol, drugs, not enough sleep, procrastinating, self harm, ruminating, negative thinking, unbalanced diet, overeating.
Here are some posts with tips on common mental health problems:
- Anxiety: Anxiety: an Overview and Ways to Treat It
- Depression: Overcoming Depression
- Self-harm: Self-harm: an Overview and Alternatives
- Suicide: How to Deal With Suicidal Feelings
- General mental health tips: Mental Health Tips and Quotes