Mental Health: The Forgotten Subject

Alejandro Betancourt
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Mental health is a topic that is not often discussed openly in our society. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses affect 1 in 5 people in the United States (according to the National Institute of Mental Health), which means it's essential to talk about this with our loved ones and communities. Mental health should be discussed more openly, but unfortunately, society has created an environment where mental illness is seen as a weakness or inability to cope with life.

There are many reasons why people are reluctant to discuss this freely. We need to open spaces for everybody to discuss mental health—mainly men since it's not very common. Given everything we have gone thru in the past year and a half with the pandemic, the number of people that have their mental health in distress has gone thru the roof. Just look at the numbers of people dying by suicide in every corner of the world.

Let's start talking about this from a very early age with our children. Mental health is not something you can see; it's not even like the flu, where if you don't have symptoms and get vaccinated at least once in your life, then maybe when an epidemic breaks out, it will protect you, mental health is different.

Mental health is defined as "well-being and successful adaptation to society's demands and everyday strains of life" in the Oxford English Dictionary.

I am willing to bet that most of us, if not all of us, have problems adapting to those demands at some point in our lives. Mental Health needs to be thought of as an ongoing process, not something you have or don't have. It's not a static thing.

Mental Health Disorders

Mental Health includes all aspects of our lives and society's demands, which differ from person to person depending on their personality. Have you ever wondered why some people are successful at managing their emotions and others aren't? It's because mental health issues are more common in some people. That doesn't mean that if you don't manage your emotions well, you cannot lead an even better life than those who do!

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a guide published by the American Psychiatric Association that explains the signs and symptoms of hundreds of mental health problems, including anxiety, sadness, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia, for you to know if you have any of these you need to be evaluated and diagnosed by a professional.

Talking to our children

I like to talk with my children about their feelings and how they deal with them. I've always wanted to know how my kids were feeling about something; I'd assist them in naming it, and we'd discuss it. It wasn't long before they began asking me the same questions.

Recently they experienced their first loss. However, they had lost their nanny before they were too young even to notice. I let them and helped them share their grief as much as I could. I am not sure if this will help them with their mental health as adults, but I believe it could. Mental Health is something that we should talk about in every age.

We learn how to deal with stressful situations from a very early age.

Some of us may have been fortunate enough to learn from our parents. Some children, on the other hand, never do.
Photo by Varun Gaba on Unsplash

The best day to ask for help is today!

Today is World Mental Health Day! If you're having issues with your mental health, you must confide in someone you can trust. Talk to a professional or a close friend about it.

When is the best time to seek assistance? I believe that today is an excellent time to ask for help.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists are wonderful people that dedicate their lives towards helping individuals with their issues. However, there may be times when it's just easier to talk to a trusted friend or even a stranger.

Mental Health is a delicate subject for most. If you're not comfortable talking to somebody, there are anonymous hotlines that can help guide you in the right direction. Mental health issues must be taken seriously, and it's essential to know when your mental health needs attention. Unfortunately, Mental Health has been deemed less relevant than physical health by most people worldwide.

I believe that with education and good communication we should be able to open more spaces for it. Mental Health is essential, and we need everybody's contribution to make it better.

Pandemic Stress

The previous year and a half have been challenging for everyone; I'm sure most of us have had some form of mental illness. I certainly have. Many of us are finding ourselves in these tumultuous times because things changed so rapidly, and there is so much uncertainty about so many things. Today may be an opportunity for everyone to take action and, if necessary, make improvements and get the help you need.

Mental Health is just as important, if not more than our physical health. Mental illness should be treated with the same level of attention and respect that we treat Physical Illness. Left untreated Mental Illness can lead to much bigger problems in society; this is why I think everyone must create a better world in which Mental Health will finally get its place.

It has been shown time after time where mental illnesses go unnoticed or unattended. They tend to grow progressively worse until there are no other options but let them run their course, which typically leads people into distress, depression, and even suicide attempts when these disorders are left unchecked.

Mental illness can affect anybody at any time in their life — including children! We should educate ourselves from very early on how Mental Wellness works, what Mental Disorders are out there, and the importance of not judging somebody who has one because Mental Issues do not discriminate against age, race, or gender.

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Bringing you local news with my writing. Business, sports, economy, weather, local crimes - I cover it all. Each day is curated for different topics, so there will always be something new to read!

Los Angeles, CA

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