I want to talk about mental health and how everyone should take it more seriously. I’m not going to be giving you stats or technical terms; there are plenty of articles you can find if that’s what you’re looking for. What I’m going to talk about is the stigma surrounding mental health, especially mental illness. Although there is more awareness today as a society, I think it’s important to also be self-aware.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a situation that was scary, confusing, and embarrassing. I was pent up with so much stress from life, work, relationships, all of the above, and I completely shut down. It felt so strange because I knew that I needed to work, and I wanted to work, but my mind didn’t allow me. I laid in bed, I cried, I felt alone and I was terrified to talk to anyone. I didn’t let anyone at work know what was going on because frankly, I didn’t even know what was going on. All I knew was that I couldn’t bring myself to do anything except avoid everything and anyone. Work reached out and just seeing them texting and calling on my phone made me feel even worse about myself because I didn’t answer nor respond.
This went on for 3 days. Eventually, I talked to my brother and he helped me build up the courage to talk to work. Luckily for me, Pulse is very understanding and supported me through it all. If I worked anywhere else, I’d probably be unemployed right now. Everything aside, it happened out of nowhere. There may have been some warning signs that I didn’t fully recognize, mainly because I tend to spread myself thin before it finally dawns on me.
I ended up seeing a counselor and he helped me unravel years of unhealthy coping methods and showed me how to deal with stress in a healthier way. Needless to say, it was a tough process to stand back up after being at the lowest point I’ve ever hit. I also want to point out that you don’t need to see a counselor or therapist only when you’ve hit a low point. After seeing mine, I believe everybody can benefit from a professional that can help you develop a healthier mindset.
Mental health doesn’t always mean being officially diagnosed with depression or anxiety. When it is, people tend to avoid conversations or even think the affected person is “overreacting” because they don’t understand. Whether or not you’ve ever thought of working on your mental health, it definitely does not discriminate. People are taking days off of work for a “mental health day” and I encourage every single person to do the same. Taking a day off from life and all the stress and pressure that comes with it is essential to keep your mind balanced and healthy.
For anyone who’s ever been concerned with their own mental health, don’t ever feel bad about it. And for anyone that’s never thought about their mental health, please start. Physical health is such an important thing, and so is the overall well-being of your mind. Find people that support you and encourage you to find empowerment in your journey. Most importantly, be the person that supports and encourages others to do the same and break the stigma behind mental health.