October 4-10 marks Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020. Today, more than any other time in recent history, Mental Illness Awareness Week has taken on greater importance. Recent events have thrown our country into turmoil and uncertainty. Even those who never experienced a mental health disorder are facing depression. The loss of jobs and homes due to the pandemic, rioting in the streets to address a long-standing problem, and uncertainty on where our country stands with the rest of the world all add to the chaos. Depression disorder already affects more than 300 million people throughout the world. The suicide rate and the number of drug overdoses are increasing. Mental Health Awareness Week is taking on new importance.
You Aren’t Alone
It is important that people with mental health issues realize that they are not alone. Times like Mental Illness Awareness Week helps get that message out. When you know that others also experience the same feelings, it is easier to put down your guard and look for help in finding a way out of the pain that mental illness can cause. When you know you aren’t alone, it is easier to hold on and have hope for a brighter tomorrow. Too many people end their lives because they feel they are less than others and not worthy of love because they can’t talk about their feelings. They feel that everyone else has such control over their lives that something is wrong within them. These people never realize that so many others are hiding the same feelings behind smiling masks.
Stigma Needs to be Eliminated
With so many people having some type of mental health issue, stigma needs to be eliminated. Mental health issues are still considered subjects for a private conversation. Having a mental illness is still thought to indicate some type of deficiency or weakness in a person. This can’t continue. By devoting a whole week to understanding what mental illness is, people can better understand it. Understanding eliminates the fear that creates the stigma. Being able to talk with others about what you are experiencing helps you deal with things in a more productive way than trying to self-medicate or giving up.
Understanding Needs to Increase
We have come a long way in understanding the causes of mental illnesses. Some, such as personality disorders, can be prevented in many instances. Others are genetic conditions that have been passed down for generations. Still, others are created by trauma that is too much for the mind to deal with. As our understanding increases, so do our chances of fighting these issues. We grow in knowledge and skill follows. Instead of hiding away a loved one who is experiencing a mental health issue, we can better understand how to treat the ailment and help our loved one thrive. We understand ourselves better. Life is something that is fragile and the human mind is one of the frailest. We need to increase the understanding that something wrong with the mind is no more worthy of hiding than something wrong with our heart or a limb.
Treatment is Necessary
Untreated mental illness becomes greater and can reach a crucial point where there is no return. If your mental health has always been shaky, or if this is all new to you, reach out to us at 855.746.3633 and ask for help. It is our goal that one day it will be as easy to ask for help for a mental health issue as it is to ask a doctor to fix a broken bone. Mental Illness Awareness Week gives the staff at Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center hope that that day is near. Reach out today.