Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Raising mental health awareness will help you identify your symptoms, seek out professional help, and most importantly, break down the mental health stigma that keeps so many of us suffering anonymously. Millions suffer from some form of depression or anxiety. In America alone, depression affects one in four adults and one in five adolescents. Only about half of those individuals seek treatment. This is shameful, and this has got to change.

With the strides we have made in treating other physical illnesses, now it’s time to focus on mental illnesses too. Every year, one million people in America suffer from one type or another of mental illness. The two most common categories are bipolar disorder and clinical depression. Approximately 13% of the population suffers from one or another form of anxiety disorder. And just as alarming is the fact that suicide rates have steadily increased in recent years.

With this kind of alarming statistic, it’s important to raise mental health awareness in order to treat the symptoms and prevent more serious complications. So how do we know if we’re dealing with a disorder, or if our symptoms are pointing to something else? Our symptoms are actually our bodies’ way of telling us that something isn’t right. It may be hard to believe, but our thoughts can sometimes be our bodies’ true voice, telling us that we need help.

Awareness is the first step in combating mental health disorders. You might think that there are no mental health resources available to you–that there is no need to educate yourself more about this condition or to learn more about the resources you already have. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to the Internet and other media, you don’t have to go looking for resources in your local library or bookstore anymore; you can access information and advice from doctors and mental health specialists anywhere you are.

Aside from gaining mental health awareness, you also need to break the mental health stigma around you. Because of the negative connotations surrounding mental health disorders, many people avoid seeking help out of fear of being judged or talked about in public. This stigmas can keep people who suffer from these conditions from getting the treatment they need, and it can even cause them to be less effective at treating their disorders. Don’t let the mental health stigma stop you from doing what you need to do to get better.

Many people also have a tough time acknowledging their symptoms because of their fear of what others will think. With so many people walking around with mental health issues, it can be easy to convince oneself that they’re okay, but they’re not. Break the mental health stigma around you by talking to your doctor about your symptoms and any treatments you’re using. Many doctors offer therapy options for those suffering from different psychological disorders.

Being aware of the stigma can be an important step in breaking down the mental health awareness you’ve built up over the years. However, if you’re suffering from a disorder, don’t allow yourself to be limited by it. Reach out for support at local support groups or online forums. Treatments are available for anyone struggling to cope with their mental illness.

It doesn’t matter how you’re feeling. Being aware of what you’re going through and learning more about the disorder you suffer from can make a big difference in your ability to get help. It’s never too late to get help and get back on track. You deserve to feel comfortable with who you are. Take advantage of ongoing programs and support groups to help make yourself feel more confident and successful with your mental illness.

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