Most recently, mental health issues have been one of the most talked about topics in our community. Celebrities are even sharing their stories of depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, and some have even talked about the need for medication. Two people who were well-known to the world committed suicide in one week. The world was shocked, and some of us even questioned why. We looked at those two people who were extremely talented as well as admired and loved by so many. We felt they had everything to live for, and couldn’t imagine why they could have been so unhappy. Of course various stories, speculations and assumptions have come out, but does anyone really know about the fight they had within themselves?
Let’s make this a little more personal. I shared in one of my earlier posts how I was depressed day in and day out for many years, and not one single soul on the face of this earth knew about it. I was extremely well at hiding my feelings. However, I was in excruciating pain. No one could run to my rescue because they were clueless. I was too ashamed of myself and the suicidal thoughts I had on a regular basis.
When I looked at the graphic above, it described my exact feelings back then. I wanted to give up. I absolutely hated myself. I felt useless and the list went on and on. Most of us have come in contact with people who have felt the same way. It hurts our hearts to see them suffering because looking from the outside in, they have everything to live for, and we tell them as much.
What is the definition of mental health illness? Mental health illness are disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Under this umbrella falls: depression, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviors, eating disorders and schizophrenia, etc.
DEPRESSION: Depression is a common medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, think, and act. Depression causes feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, sleeping too much or lack thereof, increased fatigue or loss of energy just to name a few.
ANXIETY DISORDER: Anxiety disorder is worrying about things all the time, and fear of life in general (always thinking something is going to happen).
ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS: Addictive behaviors are actions beyond conscious control that are constantly repeated by a person who is dependent on a chemical substance or activity (even when you know it’s not good for you and even when you tell yourself and others you are going to stop).
EATING DISORDERS: Eating disorders are illness that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
SCHIZOPHRENIA: Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can affect how clearly you think, how you relate to others, and how you handle your emotions. Some of the symptoms of schizophrenia are: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, social withdrawal, flat affect, loss of pleasure, inability to focus, troupe processing information, and learning difficulties.
- National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): You may reach the NEDA Helpline Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET at 1-800-931-2237.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: They provide free and confidential support 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET at 1-800-950-6264.
If someone you know is suffering from any of the above listed illnesses, I implore you to encourage them to seek help because it could be the difference between life and death.
Please don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to get assistance if you’re suffering. You don’t ever have to suffer in silence because you are not alone, though it may feel that way. We are in this together. Your friends and family are fighting for you. Now, it’s time for you to fight for yourself. Get the help that you need so that you will be whole, healthy, and happy. We want to keep you around for many years to come.
Surround yourself with a good support group. Talk to your family. You may need to see a therapist who can give you some thoughts on how to manage your feelings or you may need both a therapist and a psychiatrist (who helps with medication). The only way to get help is to seek it. Some people are opposed to medication, but you have to do what’s right for you. I know someone who once thought that if they didn’t take their prescribed medication that the diagnosis would magically disappear. It didn’t, and they suffered.
I don’t care what you’re going through currently or what your past looks like, I want you to always remember that #GurlYouGotItGoinOn. NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER GIVE IN. NEVER STOP BELIEVING IN YOURSELF.