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The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Did you know that 1 out of 4 Americans suffer from a mental illness? As you pull into the parking lot at your favorite grocery store, your church, the stadium at a sports complex, or the building that you work at and count the vehicles, now imagine how many people’s lives are impacted by mental illness. During mental health awareness month, it is important to acknowledge the reality that millions of Americans are affected by a mental health condition. First, let’s define what is a mental illness and common mental health conditions that as a society we may often overlook. A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that may cause disturbances in behavior, thinking, or emotions that make it difficult to cope everyday life demands. There are multiple factors that may play a role in having a mental illness such as genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, medical conditions and/or trauma. Thankfully, In the last decade, we have experienced an increase of mental health awareness because of public knowledge which has led to more support and care for those that need it.


Some have asked what is mental health and how does it connect all of us as individuals? Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we cope with life, relate to others, and make healthy life choices. An important fact about our mental health is, that it can change overtime depending on life demands or when we are facing significant life changing events. For example, becoming a caregiver, managing a chronic illness, loss of a loved one, divorce, money issues, abuse among other life challenges. It is important to keep in mind that we all struggle with life challenges and at some point, will need help from a professional that can come along side individuals and families to help with navigating through change and adversity.


When it comes to our emotions, often it can be difficult to acknowledge when significant changes occur and what is normal. Let’s go through some signs that can help you determine if you are struggling with your mental health and discuss most common mental health illnesses.


Signs you might be struggling with your mental health:


  • Feeling helpless and hopeless.
  • Having low or no energy.
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters.
  • Thinking of harming yourself and others.
  • Having severe mood swings that cause problems in your relationships.
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, angry, worried or scared.
  • Not being able to perform daily tasks like getting to work, taking care of your children, or attending school.
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual.
  • Hearing voices or believing irrational thoughts.


Two most common mental health conditions: 

 

  • Anxiety Disorders- More than 18% of adults each year suffer from an anxiety disorder, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (panic attacks), and generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Mood Disorders- Nearly 10% of adults each year are affected by mood disorders such as depression and bipolar depression, which are characterized by difficulties in regulating one’s mood.

         

 As we continue to come together as a community with the efforts of raising awareness around the importance of mental health, we will witness more individuals seeking and getting the help they deserve. If you think you and/or a loved one might be struggling with your mental health contact me for a free consultation at www.diannebrown.live . It is important to take care of your mental health.

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