Advice, Advocacy, Advocate, Empowerment, Inspiration, Mental Health

Confronting Real Life Challenges

Fasten your seat belt. Things are going to get real. This post is all about mental health!

Despite being a global epidemic, many people endure their mental health challenges in silence. Callous imagery in the media, combined with the chatter of ignorant folks, have hindered hurting people from speaking up due to fear of being labelled and stigmatized – watch Dexter or Monk, and you will understand what I mean. Even glamorized movies such as Black Swan breed a culture of victimizing and shaming that increases incidences of poor mental health among folks from all walks of life.

As you read this post, can you recall a time when someone was put down and talked about because of their struggles? In the case of a woman, it usually involves calling her crazy. Judgmental idiots boil down things down to PMS, mood swings, and menopause. Given such nasty behaviour, it makes sense why individuals would shy away from vocalizing their issues. I cannot even imagine the hardships for young girls – and young guys – in high school, who have to manage the complexities of their mental health while facing mind-blowing pressure from peers. Without a doubt, this is not the time to trivialize the matter.

Statistics show that people openly seek cancer treatment, not mental health (Allison Abrams, Psychology Today, 2017). A common misconception that aids in people not seeking help is the belief that mental health only affects “crazies.” As I know some of the “prettiest,” most affluent individuals who suffer its effects, this is a lie. Often they go unnoticed because their condition is “invisible.” Of course, there are symptoms where a person may be reactive, but if they decide to hide it, they can. Depression, for example, is often masked as tiredness, stress, and sadness; and as they bottle up their feelings, the severity of the disease increases, which many times include drugs, alcohol, sex or even suicide to alleviate the pain.

While mental health is considered a “dirty word” (watch how on edge people get about the topic), it doesn’t necessarily equate to a disorder. For example, it could mean feeling depressed after the death of a loved one or a divorce or maybe anxiety due to problems at home or work. I remember at the age of 27, stressing because my life was the opposite of everything I expected (check out my post called A Place for Us to understand why). At that age, I thought I would be married with two children, but I was single, and my dream job hadn’t materialized. I remember feeling purposeless and depressed. Those days lasted well over a year until I spoke with a psychotherapist, which helped reveal my desire for perfectionism. It was the best decision that I made, as it placed me on the path to self-care.

Beautiful person, you may be in a dark place but are too scared to ask for help. You’ve heard the comments that you shouldn’t be depressed, stressed or anxious. They say you need to change your mind and stop feeling sorry for yourself. But I’m here to tell you to forget people’s opinions and seek the help you need. Many people will give out advice without any insight into your problems. There’s no cookie-cutter fix. It would help if you had individuals who can empathize, without judgement, to be a part of the solution. Stop listening to negative folks – not everyone should have a say in your journey.

My hope for you is to be courageous and share your story. Find someone that is trusted to support you on the road to wellness. Develop a healthy lifestyle, eat right, be productive, eliminate stress, and, most of all, be happy. Even if this post doesn’t ring true for you, I’m positive that you know someone who does. Be an advocate of the cause rather than the problem.

In the words of Jonathon Harnisch, “the strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world but those who fight and win battles that others do not know anything about.”

***If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide; please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

Lastly, I use a fantastic tool called Online Therapy.com. It offers confidential therapy online. If interested, feel free to use my affiliate link, and you will receive 20% off their services when signing up: https://www.online-therapy.com/?ref=189704

Be safe 💫

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