Mental health, or the lack thereof, is a form of disability. It is one disability that probably carries the most stigma. The National Institute of Mental Health (nimh.nih.gov) reports that 1 in 5 or 21 % Americans suffer from some sort of mental health issue. Mental Health issues impact females at 25.8% and males at 15.8%. Anxiety disorders are some of the most common impacting 41 million adults annually and 25.1% of children ages 13-18. These statistics along with ones for depression are staggering. Add to that the addiction issues in this country and mental health can no longer afford to be a stigma. People need help
Are you struggling?
There are not too many people that can say they have never suffered from anxiety or depression. I myself have struggled with bouts of it. Being a parent of a child with disabilities creates huge amounts of stress and I think if people are honest, there are some days when it is hard to get out of bed to face the day. In addition, by the end of the day, we lay in bed numb or overflowing with every kind of emotion. Most of these emotions are not healthy and can compound into more severe issues. More and more I see mom’s struggling on Facebook and it breaks my heart. It is time to talk about it. This is not only true for us but for our children with special needs.
The first step in dealing with mental health is to become aware of your emotions, fatigue, and stressors. Don’t bury them and become numb to them. Don’t be filled with denial and let them compound either. Look at what the major causes of these issues are. Begin to write down the things every day that caused you anxiety, anger, depression. Look for patterns and where some of the things are ruling your life to the point where you feel you are in a spiral downward that you can’t seem to stop.
Become aware of the warning signs like, “ I feel I have lost myself and don’t know who I am anymore.” Do you lack of enthusiasm for life, feel isolated, have bouts of anxiety and fear? What is the root of some of these emotions? Do you have the tools to deal with them, outlets to express them, and are you actively getting the help you need for them?
Do not become an ostrich with your head in the sand or hide from the stigma of getting help for your mental health problems. Awareness and acceptance are the first steps toward defeating the stigma and beginning to get the help you need. Over the next few weeks, I will share things I have done, what I have seen others do, and what the research says can help us all improve our mental health
This week begin to take the time to care about your mental health and start paying attention to the things that drag it down! Become aware of your emotions. Some of you may be overwhelmed with emotions and anxiety and some may even feel numb like you have lost who you are. Start paying attention to and guarding your mental health as your most valuable asset!
Share below about mental health, where you have struggled, and what you have done to strengthen and keep you mental health a priority.
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