Last week was mental health awareness week. Hopefully, you have seen some posts on your social media. And maybe you have found the time to share one or two of them. Talking about our mental health is important.
Why is it mental health so important
Suicide rates are on the increase. This is especially true in young adult males where there is still a perception that men are weak if they talk about their feelings. Strangely there seems to be an increase in high-functioning depression suffering women who take a very similar approach and don’t want to talk about how they feel because it is perceived as a sign of weakness. So yeah, mental health is important.
What can we do about poor mental health?
You may well be a sufferer of poor mental health yourself, even if you aren’t there is a statistical likelihood that you know somebody who is. Here is the thing though you may not know who they are. Some people are open and upfront about their mental illness but not everyone. Can you blame them? There still seems to be a stigma about conditions such as depression and anxiety.
It’s nice to be important…
With that in mind, a general mantra of just being kind to people seems reasonable. Empathy is hands down one of the most important abilities we have as human beings. If someone is not at their best, put yourself in their shoes for a while. Try to realise that we all have different stresses and strains.
And if you know somebody is suffering?
We previously ran a story detailing what not to say to somebody struggling with their mental health. This is a good starting point as sometimes it’s a case of figuring out what is going to make the person worse. Don’t try and fix somebody with a mental illness. You can support somebody but you cannot fix them. Doctors can sometimes help, as can therapists but ultimately, and in general, depression isn’t a condition you just fix.
How do people recover from poor mental health?
Sometimes it takes time. On other occasions, medication can offer some respite. Sometimes people just learn to manage their conditions. Living with mild and moderate depression isn’t fun but you can do it. It is a condition where you can help yourself but if a loved one is suffering there are things that you can do to help.
Read, read, read
There is a wealth of information on the internet to help you become more au fait with the various mental health problems and how they affect people. The key here is to support people. Thinking that you can help make them better will ultimately not end well. You can, however, make individual moments better for them and you might help them overcome a depressive spell. That’s one way in which people start to heal. If there are lots of little moments that are less sad a person’s mindset can start to change.
And if it is me
Don’t suffer in silence. The hashtag goes #itsoktonotbeokay and that is important. Talk to people and reach out to them. If you are worried about being a burden on one person then share it out. Meet with multiple friends. Where you can say yes to life. This is as important as it comes. Often, especially if we are suffering from anxiety, we will have a tendency to shut ourselves off from people. More often than not if we step out of our comfort zone and try and be around people we will see that they are good for us. Time spent with the people you love will help you to get better. If you are really struggling and feel there is nobody don’t suffer in silence get in touch with the Samaritans or try Mind for more self-help.