It seems our world only continues to grow more chaotic. For many of us, that chaos can place a weight on our shoulders that feels extremely heavy to carry.
Though mental health has become a far less taboo topic than it once was, with options available such as life insurance with depression, it can still be difficult to admit that you are struggling and need help.
Often people feel that because mental health problems cannot be seen, it means they are not as serious as people make them out to be. Someone who is struggling with depression should just do more things that make them happy, and suddenly they will be cured.
If only it was that easy. This stigma that surrounds mental health is the reason many may struggle with speaking up about their needs.
Though the idea of admitting you may need help could seem terrifying, you cannot ignore your mental health needs.
Why is mental health so important?
Our mental health is in charge of so much more than we think. It is the center of our emotions, thoughts, and feelings. It is the control center behind our behaviors. This is what makes mental health so important.
When our mental health declines, that means our productivity follows. This doesn’t just apply to things like work, either. Taking care of children or loved ones who rely on us, general upkeep of our homes, and even self care will all be put on the backburner if our mental health is suffering.
You may struggle to maintain relationships even if they are extremely important simply because you cannot bring yourself to put in the effort it takes to maintain them. If you don’t speak up about what you are struggling with, the people closest to you may think you don’t want to see them anymore rather than responding with understanding and compassion if they know your situation.
Allowing your mental health to worsen without help will only cause a spiral that continues to go down.
You Are Not as Alone as You Might Think
Your mental health struggles may cause you to feel as though you are on an island all your own. But did you know that one in five adults in the United States will experience some form of mental health struggle?
The island doesn’t seem so lonely when you think about the fact that a large percentage of the population has also struggled with their mental health in one way or another.
Because this number is so high, there is no reason to feel as if we have to ignore our mental health needs. You may be surprised if you voice a concern to learn that someone very close to you is also struggling or has struggled with their mental health.
What are the warning signs?
There are some common symptoms or actions that are associated with a decline in mental health. If you begin to notice these warning signs in yourself or even in someone you know, it may be time to look into getting help or at the very least speaking up. Some of the most common signs are:
- Pulling away from people you care about
- Little to no interest in usually enjoyable activities
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Having minimal energy
- Sleeping much more than usual
- Strong and unexplained mood swings
- Struggling to perform typical daily tasks
These warning signs are not to be confused with simply having a bad day. We all have a tendency to struggle sometimes. That is no cause for concern. The concern lies with these feelings happening on a consistent basis for multiple days in a row.
How to Get Help
Mental illness, if left untreated, can have detrimental results. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. For each suicide, studies have shown that at least six people are directly and deeply affected, and the number can rise to 135 people who can be affected.
Your mental illness may make you feel as if no one cares, but those numbers beg to differ. You matter and you will be missed immensely.
So if you feel as though you are struggling, here’s what you can do to get help.
The first and most important step will be to speak up about your mental health. You may find the most comfort in doing this with someone you know well and trust. Speaking the words out loud to another person can create a sense of realness to the situation.
You may also find empathy from the person you speak with. Don’t forget about the high number of people who struggle with their mental health in one form or another. The person you find comfort and admittance through may also have their own mental health issues and could offer advice or at the least an empathetic ear.
Therapy or counseling can be an incredible resource for those struggling with mental health. If you feel you need help, find someone who fits your needs and makes you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that it is okay if the first therapist or counselor you see does not feel right. Sometimes it can take several tries to find the person who makes you feel at ease.
The important part is not to give up hope and not to stop trying. There is someone out there who will be able to help you.
Check your insurance and see if mental health visits are covered. There are many insurance options that will allow you to see a mental health professional in the same way you would visit your family doctor. You will simply pay your copay after your session and insurance will cover the rest.
If you feel perhaps you are not quite ready for a therapist or counselor, you can always look into support groups. These often undervalued places are safe spaces for people who are having the same struggles as yourself. They can be a great place for you to go and speak freely without fear of judgment.
You can also gain advice and wisdom from others in the group, which can help you in your own journey.
Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health
Your mental health is one of the most valuable things you have. Without it, so many other aspects of your life will begin to deteriorate.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, especially in these current times. The world feels heavy, but you don’t have to carry that weight alone. If you find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your mental health is important, and so is getting the help you may need.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, QuickQuotes.com and knows the consequences of ignoring mental health firsthand. She is a strong advocate for breaking the stigma that surrounds mental health.