Mental Health – Know the Facts
We British have long been known for our ‘stiff upper lips’ and our ability to ‘just get on with it’, even during the most challenging of times. Whilst this quality is admirable to a point, there is a downside. We tend to ignore early warning signs of mental health issues in the hope they’ll just go away. We think that by asking for help we’re being ‘weak’, and we tell ourselves to ‘pull ourselves together’. Unfortunately, the reality of mental health problems is that unless they are dealt with head-on, they’re unlikely to go away by themselves. In fact, left untreated they’re only liable to get worse. So, if you’re worried about either yourself or a loved one, don’t suffer in silence. Read on, and if you recognise any of the behaviours mentioned, it might be time to ask for help.
Recognising Signs and Symptoms
There are many different kinds of mental health disorders, some more debilitating than others. Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness. This is much more than just feeling a bit ‘blue’. Depression is a feeling of hopelessness and feeling persistently sad for a period of more than a few weeks. Manic Depression, or Bipolar Disorder, is also becoming increasingly common. This illness is defined by extreme mood swings and erratic behaviour. If you recognise any of these behaviours in yourself or a loved one, it may be time to consider getting help.
Asking for Help
This takes a lot of courage and is usually the first step on the road to recovery. As a society, we’re now much more understanding and accepting of mental health issues. The stigma surrounding them isn’t nearly as bad as it used to be, largely thanks to education. Your first ‘port of call’ should be your GP. However, if you don’t feel comfortable discussing mental health with them, there are some fantastic organisations that can help. The organisation ‘Mind’ is full of useful information, helplines and support.
Getting the Right Treatment
Although many people are treated with antidepressant medications, there are other alternatives. One being cognitive behavioural therapy. When it comes to bipolar, natural treatment is often best. Remember, what works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for you. Knowledge is power, so educate yourself as much as possible. Get the opinions of different health-care professionals, read up on the various forms of treatment. Once you’re properly informed, then you’re better placed to make a decision about your long-term care.
Having a mental health issue isn’t something to be ashamed of. As many as one in four people will experience mental health problems at some stage throughout the course of their lives. Whatever your issues are, the thing you must never do is suffer in silence. So, if you’re worried about either yourself or a friend, have courage and ask someone for help. That’s the most important step in the journey to recovery.