Millions of people are affected by mental health issues, including depression and anxiety disorders, and if you are experiencing any of these, you should seek help (if you haven’t yet done so) for your condition.
The sooner you do, the sooner treatment can begin, be that via therapy or medication delivery (or a combination of both).
Opening up to your doctor or a therapist is just the start. You should also talk to those friends or family members that you can trust. With their support, you can benefit from the knowledge that somebody knows what you are going through.
These are just some of the reasons why talking matters. If you were to keep your mental health condition hidden, even from your doctor, life could become worse for you. Depressive disorders can lead to suicidal thoughts and unhealthy behavior patterns, and anxious thoughts can affect your day-to-day living, perhaps causing you to avoid situations that would otherwise be useful to you.
So, don’t suffer alone. Therapy for anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders can provide you with some relief. And the support from your doctor can also help you manage your condition.
However, beyond getting the help you need, there is another reason why you should talk about your mental health to people other than your treatment providers. We have already suggested talking to friends and family members, but it might be that you could talk to selected people at work too.
If you can build up the courage to do so, you will…
Remove the stigma of mental illness
People are often embarrassed to talk about how their mental health as they are afraid of looking weak and fragile in front of others. They are also afraid of the responses they may get from others, especially those who are prone to snap judgments and derogatory comments. As a result, myths around mental health continue to circulate because people don’t have the chance to hear the truth about certain conditions. And people who have mental health issues of their own are less inclined to open up because they feel that they are alone.
If you can talk to others about what you are going through, you will cut through the stigma of mental illness.
Those who are ill-informed can be put right as you will have first-hand experiences to share with them. And any judgments people have will hopefully be laid to rest when you begin to debunk the mental health myths that some people are beholden to.
Such myths include:
- Only weak people suffer from mental illnesses
- Mental health disorders aren’t legitimate illnesses
- People with mental health issues are dangerous
- People with mental health disorders aren’t intelligent
These myths are preposterous and by sharing your experiences, you can teach people the truth about mental health issues.
When you open up, you will encourage others to open up too. There could be people that you know that are currently experiencing a mental health disorder but due to embarrassment and fear, they may be hiding what they are going through. Not only will you encourage them to share their experiences but you might also be the incentive they need to seek help from a professional if they haven’t already done so.
So, don’t be afraid to talk about your mental health. Do it for your own needs and do it for the needs of others. You do need to be wise, of course. Don’t share with people you can’t trust to treat you fairly. Be selective and look for (or make) opportunities where mental health can form the basis of a healthy discussion.