03 Oct Why Is It Important To Talk About Mental Health?
Depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide. The suicide rates keep climbing among adults, adolescents and even children. Every year we lose celebrities and other prominent figures because of mental health issues. However, we are still not brave enough to talk about mental illness. This is exactly why it is important to talk about mental health
The topic of mental health albeit important has been extensively stigmatized. This has led to a lack of discussion on a crucial topic which has had some extremely detrimental effects on our society. The continuously increasing cases of mental illnesses are just one of the reasons why it is important to talk about mental health.
People are quick to notice any physical discomfort in their lives. Whether it’s a minor cough or a fever we hastily pop some medicines or talk to a doctor. On the contrary, the same energy is not witnessed for our mental health concerns. Why is that?
One of the major problems is that we don’t realize that we might be suffering from a mental illness. If not that, then perhaps that our mental health is declining. How come that the same person who can identify their feverish condition or feel an oncoming cold is not able to realize that they are in a mental health crisis?
This problem is birthed by the lack of discussion about mental health. As a community, we are not aware of the basic signs of mental illness. Unless in extreme cases where the condition manifests physical signs as well, we are not able to identify when we are undergoing a problem associated with mental health.
Why Is It Important To Talk About Mental Health?
Normalize Talking About Mental Health
Albeit extremely important, mental health discussions are considered taboo and often hushed if not ignored altogether. This is mainly because of the fear of judgement that surrounds this very important topic.
Mental disorders are more common than we think and most are treatable as well. However, people are often reluctant to seek help because of the fear of the said judgement. This can isolate the subjects and even worsen their condition.
If we openly start talking and have a more accepting approach towards mental health issues, people would be more confident in asking and reaching out in times of need.
Mental Health Awareness
One of the reasons to talk about mental health is that the lack of awareness usually hinders people from asking for help. As mentioned before, people are not aware of the signs of mental illnesses or signs that they are doing well mental health-wise. This is because as a society we are not completely equipped with the knowledge about this topic.
When we start to talk about mental health in a positive light that is when we have created a safe environment for those who are suffering.
Mental illness patients are often unaware of when they need help and if they even need it in the first place. With the open discussions and more people starting to talk about mental health we can assume that people would be able to recognize when and from where to ask for help.
It might seem repetitive, but it is arguably the most important reason why we need to talk about mental health. People believe that mental illness is something like a curse yet, nothing can be further from the truth. People refuse to get treatment because of the taboo which inevitably worsens their conditions.
Due to the untreated illness sometimes, the consequences are severe, and the situation leads to the person attempting suicide. Because of such unfortunate events, it makes sense that we talk start to talk about mental health now more than ever.
What Are Some Common Signs Of A Mental Illness?
Although each mental illness is different than the other, they do have some common characteristics.
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Considering harming yourself or others
- Feeling fatigued with low or no energy
- Experiencing extreme mood swings that negatively impact relationships
- Abusing alcohol, drugs or tobacco
- Feeling sad or irritable for long periods
- Experiencing excessive amounts of anger, anxiety, confusion, fear, forgetfulness, and worry
- Feeling apathetic
- Withdrawing from other people and social activities
These are not the only signs of mental illness, however; they are some of the most common ones. If you or someone close to you experiences these it’s advised to go to a medical professional and get proper help.
How To Help Someone Who May Have A Mental Illness?
Identifying basic signs of depression, anxiety and other common mental health illnesses will help you spot potential mental issues.
During overwhelming situations, everyone needs a shoulder to lean on. Try to listen to them, loneliness and isolation can cause depression. If you believe that they might harm themselves or someone else encourages them to call a mental health helpline.
Mental health is not a taboo. It’s essentially your mind’s health. Shouldn’t we be as concerned about our mental health as we are for our physical health? It’s high time we escape from the negative connotations of mental health. Acceptance is the only way forward. As the phrase goes “It’s okay to not be okay”, we need people to realize that it’s okay even if they are struggling with mental health issues.
Only when our society has an open dialogue about mental health would we be able to heal. We need to come together, take proactive measures and create an environment that is safe for our loved ones to get the help they deserve. The help they should get before it’s too late.