We are not silent about Mental Health, but are you Listening?

mental health
picture by Pixelgraphy Zimbabwe

Let’s start the conversation about mental health. We can do this and we should create supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. By talking about it, we can support ourselves and others. Most people at some point feel worried, stressed or even down about things that are going on in their lives. There are a number of factors in life that can have an impact on our mental health. These factors can either pose a risk to, or protect, your mental health and wellbeing.

Remember there is no template for everyone as each person is different and we all live in varying circumstances. However, regardless of age, location or gender, amongst other factors let’s live each day together. Let us chat / talk about mental health using available media including physical interaction, social media, telephone etc. No matter how small the conversation will be, it is a worth a while step towards “normalizing” mental health conversation in our society. We have put down some ways to do it below;

Ways to Normalize the Mental Health Conversation

  1. Talk Openly About Mental Health

It is perfectly normal to talk to friends, family, and coworkers about seeing a doctor if you have the flu or a broken leg. Why not do the same when you are going to visit a therapist because you are depressed? For how long shall we keep it under wraps and perpetuate the notion that mental illness is a taboo while we suffer silently as a society? Just be direct and non-hesitant and together we can change our narrative.

  1. Educate Yourself and Others

Do your own research about mental illness and share that information with others. Most of us know the differences between physical ailments such as a cold, a sprain, cancer, etc. We don’t refer to them under a singular umbrella term “physical illness.” Similarly, there are various types of mental illnesses, each with their own unique symptoms and behaviors. Sharing information eliminates misconceptions that contribute to stigma. 

  1. Be Conscious of Language

Mental health conditions are often used negatively as adjectives, which is problematic (for example). Try to be conscious of the words you use to describe people, things, and behaviors that you think are different. 

  1. Symptoms of Mental Illness

Each mental illness is different, though some have overlapping symptoms. There are some warning signs that could indicate a need to see a medical or mental health professional. These early warning signs include:

  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to handle daily activities
  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Abusing alcohol, drugs, or tobacco
  • Fighting more with friends and family
  • Considering harming yourself or others
  • Feeling fatigued with low or no energy
  • Feeling apathetic
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Feeling sad or irritable for long periods of time
  • Experiencing excessive amounts of anger, anxiety, confusion, fear, forgetfulness, and worry
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings that negatively impact relationships
  • Experiencing unexplained physical pain
  • Hearing voices or having delusional thoughts
  • Withdrawing from other people and social activities
  • Being unable to do your daily tasks

You May Also Like

More From Author