National Mental Health Month
May is National Mental Health Month. It’s never been a better time to learn and think about our mental health.
What exactly is “mental health”? Mental health is our psychological, social, and emotional wellness. Mental health has an impact on everything in our lives. How we think, feel, and behave is affected by our mental health. It also influences our relationships, work, and school. Even how we make choices, from the small stuff to the major life decisions, depends on our mental health.
What Affects Our Mental health
Just like our physical health, our mental health depends on a variety of factors. Our genetics, the chemistry in our brains, and our life experiences all play a part in our mental health. Also, similar to our physical health, we can get help from health professionals when our mental health isn't well.
What Is Normal?
First, we need to know what to look out for. If you’ve wondered what “normal” mental health supposed to be like, you’re not alone. The truth is there is no “normal.” Having a mental illness is not normal or abnormal. It’s a human condition that can occur with anyone.
We all get physically ill sometimes. The same goes for our mental health. There will be times throughout our lives where we may find ourselves depressed, anxious, or distracted -- not functioning at our mental best. Sometimes the illness goes away on its own. There may be other instances, however, where you may need a mental health professional to get better.
When to Seek Help for Mental Health
The following are four significant signs indicating that you may need help getting your mental health back on track.
Is your mental health affecting your relationships, your work, or school?
When you become unable to control your emotions, your life can become upended. If you find yourself unable to get along with your family or coworkers, or if you can't complete your responsibilities at home or work, then it may be time to talk to a professional therapist or medical doctor.
Are you starting to see, hear, or believe things that others don’t?
It's tough to realize that you are starting to hear or see things that other people can't. For some people, when visual or auditory hallucinations occur, they try to reason it out as paranormal or religious. This phenomenon is also known as "magical thinking." When events like this start to happen, the best thing to do is to get help.
Are you turning to drugs or alcohol to deal with your mental health?
If alcohol or drugs are negatively affecting your relationships, work, or your ability to take care of yourself or your loved ones, you need to seek assistance.
Do you feel like life is not worth living?
Lastly, if you start to think about hurting yourself or others or if you start to feel like life is not worth living, then it's time to get professional help quickly. When someone starts to think that life is not valuable, it can result in decisions that can hurt them or others.
Taking Care of Our Mental Health
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. It helps us to cope with stress, create meaningful relationships, and enjoy life. Finding ways to take care of our mental health, and seek professional help when necessary, should be a priority.
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