When we think of health, the first thing that springs to mind is often physical health. However, there are multiple aspects that contribute to our overall wellbeing, including mental and social health, all of which are closely interlinked. Chronic disease and mental health are closely related. For example, those who suffer with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, or cancer are more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.
Many sufferers are unlikely to share their experiences with others. Mental health has been stigmatized for hundreds of years, and it’s only in the past decade that this stigma has started to subside. Despite this, many sufferers are unlikely to share their experiences with others. There are serious complications that can arise from long-term poor mental health, and this is part of the reason why raising awareness about mental health matters
It’s important to inform the general public of the negative experiences that those with mental health conditions often face so that there is a wider understanding within the community. Raising awareness by talking about mental health also reassures sufferers that they are not alone in their struggles. It breaks down some of the pre-existing stigma around depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, and much more.
In the US alone, there are over 50 million individuals who are diagnosed with one or more mental health illnesses with varying severities. And this number only reflects those who have sought professional help. It doesn’t include the potential millions of others who are undiagnosed.
Talking about mental health may encourage more people to speak to their medical doctor, get a diagnosis, and receive treatment. Enhancing awareness may also improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. Current therapies and treatments are focused on medications and psychotherapy to relieve symptoms, manage thoughts and feelings, and change behaviors, with the aim to combat the mental health illness(es) at their root cause.
Many medications are prescribed for comorbid conditions to treat several symptoms at once. For example
Currently, the majority of people with the same mental health diagnosis will be treated with the same conventional medications. But by allowing others to open up and express their thoughts and feelings, it can give healthcare providers to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s truly like to live with poor mental health.
It allows them to holistically treat each person as an individual instead of a collection of symptoms. Treatments can become more personalized to each patient, which may enhance their effectiveness and help to reduce the number of individuals who are struggling with their mental health.
Maintaining good mental health is a key part of living a happy and healthy life. Being able to open up and talk to those around us is vital to this process, and it’s time that the stigma around mental health illness is dampened so that people feel like they can speak to those around them and seek the help that they need.