In the US, one out of every five adults will experience a diagnosable mental health illness at some point during their life. Unfortunately, mental illness is often misunderstood, which may prevent individuals from receiving necessary assistance.
Stigmas surrounding mental health issues can be a huge barrier, keeping people silent, ashamed and misunderstood. Dispelling misconceptions and eliminating stigma are the best ways to break this cycle.
It’s not normal to struggle
We all experience sadness and worry from time to time, but when those feelings become excessively frequent and persistent in comparison to your daily life, they could be indicative of a mental health disorder. Other symptoms may include feeling overwhelmed, having difficulty concentrating, being teary all the time or losing interest in hobbies and activities you used to savor.
People suffering from mental illnesses may have difficulty sleeping, eating and managing daily stresses. They may feel like their lives have spiraled out of control, lose interest in friends and family, or struggle with work or school tasks.
Genetics, an early life environment and traumatic experiences can all increase the likelihood of mental illness. Other risk factors like drug or alcohol abuse or certain medical conditions may also contribute to mental illness. It’s essential to remember that it isn’t your fault if you struggle with your mental health – and it is never too late to seek help.
It’s not a weakness
Women’s College Hospital and Shoppers Drug Mart conducted a survey to explore why mental health conditions remain so widespread, yet they often carry with them an unspoken stigma that makes it difficult for those affected by them to seek help. This may be one of the primary reasons why one in five Canadians is currently struggling with mental illness, according to this new survey from Women’s College Hospital and Shoppers Drug Mart.
The survey revealed that many people mistakenly assume having a mental health condition is indicative of weakness, when this simply isn’t the case.
Mental health problems require tremendous strength to conquer. Consider someone suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and their daily struggles.
These individuals have developed a range of coping mechanisms (both healthy and destructive) in order to get through each day. Some might even be incredibly resilient, having learned how to fight their illnesses by remaining strong and surviving.
It’s not dangerous
Mental illness is an unfortunate but necessary part of life, and most people who experience these issues eventually recover.
Mental illness is a perplexing disorder that can have an immense impact on all aspects of your life, from mood and thinking to behavior and relationships. There are various types of mental health conditions, and some people struggle with multiple disorders at once.
Risk factors for mental illness include inherited traits, early life experiences and environmental stressors like abuse or neglect. Furthermore, certain medical conditions or hormonal changes may increase your likelihood of developing a mental illness.
Treatment for mental health issues can range from psychological treatments and medications, to lifestyle modifications and changes.
It’s not a choice
Mental illnesses differ from physical illnesses like cancer, depression and heart disease in that people do not choose them. Instead, genetic predisposition and environmental influences combine to form a mental illness.
Mental health conditions can have a profound effect on your thoughts, emotions, feelings and behaviour. Medication or counseling may help manage symptoms while enabling you to live an enriching life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which an individual recognizes his or her abilities, is able to cope with life’s stresses, works productively and fruitfully, and contributes to their community.
Mental disorders and psychoactive substance-related disorders are major causes of morbidity, disability and premature mortality worldwide. Unfortunately, countries’ efforts to combat this burden often fall short, are unevenly distributed or used inefficiently. Furthermore, stigma surrounding mental illnesses and treatment prevents many people from seeking necessary assistance.