We need to talk about Mental Health.
Let’s compare mental health to Fight Club for a moment; what’s rule number one? What’s rule number two? Many people who suffer are either afraid to admit they are “in trouble,” or are afraid to talk about it. There are multitudes of reasons an individual will refrain from discussing their problems with even their most trusted pals. For one, it’s hard to understand the likes of Anxiety and Depression unless you have gone through it personally. Anxiety and Depression are really just general terms as there are many manifestations of each disorder. John Doe will most certainly not have the same type of anxiety as Jane Doe.
But why DON’T they just talk about it?
Usually, it’s part of the disorder itself. It may be due to the fear of being misunderstood or cut off. Not everyone knows how to appropriately handle someone suffering either publicly or in silence. We all know someone who’s going through difficult times, even if we’re not fully aware of it. It’s a sad, but true, fact about life today that more and more individuals are struggling.
No one is “normal” anymore, our brain chemistry has been altered to the point where there’s probably something “off” about each and every one of us. What matters is how we manage things. A positive attitude towards something negative is always going to make things a little easier. Enlisting the help of close friends and family WILL in fact help. Even if it’s the hardest thing in the world to do. Then again, talking to a complete stranger is sometimes 100% easier, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Support groups and online forums exist for just that reason.
Mental Health Awareness.
The weeks dedicated to mental health awareness are fantastic. Even though this may be a brilliant way for people to communicate with each other either in person or via social media platforms and discuss things, it really should be happening on a more regular basis. Because social media is what it is, national weeks in particular countries have become more worldwide so that everyone (for the most part) is on the same page.
Damn SOCIAL anxiety…
There are still avid users of Twitter and the like who don’t pay attention to the wonder that is hash-tagging and have no clue which week is for which issue. However, that is slowly changing as interaction is becoming more and more important for daily living. Almost everything can be done online these days after all, but it pays to know where to go and what to avoid.
Living in a world full to the brim with discrimination and hate, it’s easy to understand why people find it so hard to communicate their feelings with others. Fear of rejection is a strong motivation to stay in and avoid social situations, and some people cannot simply put a stop to their paranoia. Next time you consider poking fun at that socially awkward chap hanging in the corner, think twice.
If someone you know has been hiding in their shell a little more often than usual, try not to ask them if they’re okay…or tell them that things will be grand. Think about Mental Health and consider this; when someone is dealing with a loss, the last thing they want to hear is the thing that everyone is saying. Do you really want to make things worse for someone? The answer is probably a resounding “Hell No!”
What’s the best thing you can do though?
It is hard for all parties involved. Although anyone with close friends suffering from anxiety will also tell you that it’s not an excuse for your friend to be an asshole. Know their limits, and know your own. Has someone near and dear to your heart has been recently diagnosed with a disorder? Do your best to know about all the possible ups and downs you will both encounter.
Patience, understanding, and honesty are what you need to make it through to the other side with minimal damage. It’s okay to be selfish from time to time, the worst thing you can do is let someone take advantage of you. In dealing with someone else’s issues, don’t lose yourself. It’s easier than you may think to take on characteristics from the people within your environment.
It’s all about Mental Health these days and awareness is a word that carries a lot of weight…but it’s something each and every one of us needs to have.