Mental Health: The Secret Killer
A fight that is not easy to win
"I wish that people could understand that the brain is the most important organ in your body. Just because you can't see it like you could see a broken bone doesn't mean it's not as detrimental and devastating to a family or an individual" - Demi Lovato
What exactly is Mental Health? Well, it is our social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Through our younger years up to our adult hood, mental health plays a key factor. It affects the way we live our lives - the way we make choices and decisions, how we interact with those around us, and the way we cope with different situations. Your mental health can be caused by biological genes, traumatic experiences, abusive relationships, drug and alcohol usage, and even family history can contribute.
It is estimated that over 50% of people are diagnosed with some form of mental issue or disorder within their lifetime. Suicide, which can be an associated symptom of mental illness, is one of the top ten causes of death in the United States among those aged from 13 to 60. But those who fall as victims to these illnesses are at risk for more health issues, such as an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, migraines, and even HIV.
Did you know that there are over 200 types of mental disorders? The most popular one that begins in the youth years and lasts through adulthood is ADHD. Alongside ADHD, we have anxiety, depression, eating disorders, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Schizophrenia, and Substance abuse. The list, however, can go on forever. These disorders and illnesses can be lifelong and recurring.
Recognizing that you or someone you love is suffering from mental health issues is not always an easy task. Some of the warning signs can include: either sleeping too much or not at all, isolating from those around you, low motivation, trouble staying on track, feeling emotionless, becoming forgetful, increased frequency of arguments and yelling, mood swings, replaying memories inside your head, hearing voices, and suicidal thoughts. A person can have all or just a couple of these at one time. It can be overwhelming for the individual themselves but, also for those around them. Suffering from bad mental health is almost like being possessed by a dark spirit. You lose yourself and it's hard to find that path that takes you back.
"I'd like to be my old self again but, I'm still trying to find it" - Taylor Swift
So how can we work towards good, positive mental health? Well, first thing first - it is OKAY to ask for help. Fighting by yourself can be even more detrimental. Get connected with a therapist, counselor or psychiatrist. They are trained professionals and that is their job. They want to help you reach a safety ground. They will also help you to find your coping skills. These skills can include exercise techniques, coloring, listening to music, meditating, journaling, and so on. Depending on the illness (or illnesses) diagnosed, medications might be an option. Anti-depressants, however, might lead to worsening conditions, like: an increases in depression, increased suicidal thoughts or actions, impulsive behavior, or an increase in violent behavior.
All in all, please do not give up the fight. You CAN do this. You WILL win. We are all fighting battles that no one else knows about. But it is up to you to WANT the help and support. It will be the best thing you will ever do, because we all know that it is not fun to constantly put on a mask each and every morning. We want to reach that point where we can be happy and show our true emotions.