Mental Health Problems are, even in these supposedly enlightened times, still often seen as something shameful. It is estimated that one person in four in the UK will suffer from mental health problems at some point in their lifetime – and that´s a lot of people. Yet many are still worried about seeking treatment, or telling people that they area sufferer. Here are some excellent reasons why you shouldn´t be ashamed if you experience mental health problems.
As I mentioned above, mental health problems are actually pretty common, so if you experience them then you have plenty of company. Of course the term ´mental health´ covers a very wide range of disorders, but even though it may feel as though you are alone in your experience, that is far from the case. Friends, family, co-workers and people you pass in the street may also be sufferers – and it must also be remembered that in the vast majority of cases, people with mental health issues are not a danger.
People with mental health problems often feel that they are not believed, because their illness is not visible. Or they are made to justify why they feel bad, and yet it is something that can be very hard to explain. Mental health issues are every bit as real as physical ailments, so if it happens to you don´t feel that you do need to justify your situation.
Nobody asks for mental health problems, or does something to bring them on themselves. It´s one of those mysterious things that can be down to a reaction to circumstances, physical reasons, or other, less easily explained reasons. Often sufferers are seen as weak, and yet coping with mental health problems takes a great deal of strength and effort.
Mental health problems are health problems, just as are those with a physical origin. Depression may be brought on by circumstances, or by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Either way, it´s every bit as real as any physical illness and if you experience any mental health problems, see it as a health problem first and foremost.
Fortunately there are a wide variety of treatments for mental health problems these days, whether it requires medication or talking therapy. New medications are being made available, and can help people to lead a normal life, or get them through a difficult patch. It may be difficult to access some treatments, depending on where you live, but don´t be put off seeking help, as it is out there.
If you wouldn´t judge someone else, then it´s not fair for them to judge you. Don´t be ashamed of having mental health problems, as the negative attitude of others says more about them than it does about you. In addition, you shouldn´t judge yourself. We often feel that it must mean that we are somehow weak, yet it requires great strength to acknowledge that a problem exists, seek help and see it through.
Perhaps the main reason for the stigma attached to mental illness is that the mind is still little understood. It´s hard to examine from a scientific point of view, and medicine is very much about science. It´s well known that we only use a small percentage of our brains, so perhaps it´s not so strange that we still don´t know that much about it.
I hope that if you suffer from mental health problems, or know someone who does, that this has helped you feel a little bit more positive about it. Attitudes can, even in this modern age, be very lacking in understanding towards anyone with mental health problems, and this really needs to change. If you have a mental health problem, how have you been treated by others?
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