Reaching Out for Help Is Not a Sign of Weakness
Updated: May 5, 2020
Many people think that mental health is an issue that they need to handle on their own. With just a little bit of positive thinking, they should be able to snap out of depression, anxiety, and other issues. Culturally, there has also been a sense of shame around mental illness. People with a family history of mental illness sometimes treat it as their family’s deep, dark secret. In recent years, society has begun to see the importance of treating mental illness like other illnesses of the body. There is no shame in going to your doctor when you have flu symptoms. Similarly, there should be no shame for seeking help with your mental health.
Seeking Professional Help
There are many factors that lead to mental health issues. There can be a genetic component that predisposes a patient to a particular type of mental illness. There can be a stressful event that becomes the starting point for a mental health issue. In some cases, something as small as a fender bender can cause post traumatic-stress disorder or other mental health problems. Whatever the cause, a mental health professional has the training to help patients through it. While traditional talk therapy is still a common practice, new therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, are growing in popularity. Often, the goal of therapy is to get a patient to carefully examine the thought processes that contribute to a mental health issue.
Some mental health disorders are not so much the result of thought processes as they are chemical changes in the nervous system. In many of these cases, a doctor can prescribe medication to help deal with the issue. Sometimes, thought processes and chemical changes build on each other. A stressful period leads to depressive thoughts, which leads to changes in the way the brain processes neurotransmitters, like dopamine. These chemical changes then encourage more negative thought processes. This pattern is the reason that patients are often prescribed both medication and one-on-one counseling to deal with mental health issues.
There is power in knowing that you are not alone. Most people know about the many support groups that are available around different kinds of substance abuse. A little research will show that there are support groups available for other kinds of mental health issues. Some therapy sessions are also done in a group setting. Although mental health can be a very personal issue, a support group can provide you a lot of benefits. A group can help patients be accountable for their own treatment and serve as a sounding board to voice frustration. Mental illnesses often make people feel isolated. A group setting can be a safe space to share struggles with people who are going through similar issues.
If you are struggling with a mental health issue, it is important to realize that you are not alone. There is help available in many different forms. Dealing with your mental health when issues are at a low level makes it easier to treat them. Taking care of your mental health is an important piece of taking care of your overall well-being.
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