Being diagnosed with a mental illness or experiencing poor mental health is not as uncommon as you would imagine. Annually, every 10th of October, Mental Health Day is recognized with the overall objective of raising awareness on mental health issues around the world. According to a report issued by the World Health Organization, “One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.” Based on these statistics, it is safe to say that if you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or are experiencing symptoms related to any such disorder, you are not alone.
Mental health issues need immediate attention as it predisposes one to further problems such as all sorts of addiction, among others, and one will end up having more issues to deal with – needing help with addiction and the primary mental health issue, to begin with.
Encouraging Understanding through Awareness
Commemorating World Mental Health Day is designed to create public awareness and educate communities on mental health related issues. Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, states that “Unfortunately, there is still a stigma against mental health disorders in general.” Mental disorders encompass a broad range of illnesses, each presenting with different symptoms and their own set of challenges. Most importantly, in raising awareness, people can be encouraged to acknowledge the challenges they face, to seek out assistance for any mental health disorders they might have, and to understand that in most cases these disorders can successfully be treated. According to Dina Alkhoury, PsyD, “Mental illness is treatable, and help is available. Mental health services can include individual therapy, family therapy, group counseling, parenting classes and couples therapy.” It is also vital to remember that if you have been diagnosed or are experiencing symptoms related to mental health disorders, you are one of the millions of people experiencing the same challenges and there are a number of support networks available for you to lean on and seek assistance and support from. Your diagnosis is not as uncommon as you would imagine.
Taking Your First Step Toward Freedom
There are millions of individuals who daily face the challenges of poor mental health. Statistics reflect that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders. According to Danna Costa-Sahs, PsyD, “Depression is common. It affects nearly 1 in 10 adults each year, nearly twice as many women as men. It’s also important to note that depression can start at any time, but on average, it first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Depression is also common in older adults.” Take a look around you. Those statistics are made up of the people you pass on the streets, share an office with or go to school with. You are not alone in your diagnosis and there is no reason for you to isolate yourself or to feel isolated. Acknowledging your illness and the challenges they present with is your first step to taking control and joining a global community of people for support. Do not allow your illness or the challenges you might be facing take away your freedom or the right to live a happy, productive, and healthy life.
Life with Mental Health Disorders
Being diagnosed with a mental health disorder does not mean that your quality of life has to change. You can continue to grow, achieve and live your life to the fullest. Sheryl Crow is a Grammy-award winning singer who has been battling the challenges of depression for as long as she can remember, yet she went on to achieve stardom regardless of her struggles. Popular author J.K. Rowling who has millions of adoring fans experienced clinical depression when she wrote the first Harry Potter book. Realizing that you are not alone is an important part of acceptance. The only obstacles you cannot overcome are the ones that you create for yourself.
Always Remember This
Join the millions of people around the world that battle the same challenges and struggles, and accept that you are not a different person. You are simply a person who has to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate the need to maintain good mental health. Mental disorders are treatable and there are a number of effective treatments, programs and strategies available to alleviate the challenges they present. People with mental health disorders can go on and lead normal, fulfilling lives, just like millions have already done. Find a support pillar and start the journey to reaching your potential.