If I break my arm I am hurt. I take a trip to the hospital, get all fixed up and work on healing. Breaking my arm is something you can see; you can see the physical break or take an x-ray to see the break. Once they see it all of the doctors believe you. They know it’s real; the break can lead them to believe that you need medical help. Now if someone goes and says that something is wrong in their head they don’t quite get the same medical attention.
Mental health awareness is something new and continues to progress every day. While most people do understand mental illnesses now there are still many who believe the person is “overdramatic” or other people who claim to have it all too. May is national mental health awareness month so here are some facts you should be aware of. I am not going to go through the science of it, but merely just explain it in a way that can help everyone understand.
Just because you get anxious before a test does not mean you have anxiety. Anxiety as a mental illness means you are continually anxious to the point where it comes in the way of life. Having anxiety is a normal thing for almost everyone, but some people have a little extra in their brains. Sitting down and relaxing can suddenly turn into heavy breathing and negative thoughts. Feeling unsafe or as if something may be wrong can occur when actually everything can be okay.
Being sad is also completely normal. You can cry and feel not 100% and not have depression. Depression is what I describe as too sad to be sad. Sometimes you just feel sad or negative and other times you can feel nothing. It can be really scary to lose all energy and motivation and feel as if you’re a hollowed out version of yourself.
If you have mood swings that can be natural. Bipolar disorder is often thought of as mood swings when actually it is severe like changes. Severe depression for a certain amount of time or being manic for around 7 days are all instances of bipolar disorder. This one can be difficult to understand and has varying ways to help.
Those three are some of the most commonly misinterpreted illnesses on social media platforms. Remember that your words can hurt and make sure to use them properly. If you think you may have a mental illness contact your doctor and discuss it. The best way to better yourself is to find help and support. You don’t have to be alone in this fight.
Visit https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth for more information, tips, and support networks.
Suicide hotline- Call 1-800-273-8255 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week