Mental health is the foundation of our thoughts, feelings, self-esteem and behaviors and how each (or all) affect our life. Having good mental health provides a feeling of general well-being, helping you make better decisions and coping with everyday stressors. Sometimes, you may need assistance from a professional to take care of mental health — especially if emotions or problems seem beyond your control. I have a family history of (mostly undiagnosed) mental illness and have been personally treated for my own anxiety issues (a cluster of social anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD and panic disorder).
Being open about mental health can often lead to even more anxiety because of the stigma, rejection and lack of empathy or understanding for those of us living with mental health issues. Before you judge, educate yourself.
Some mental health facts:
– One in four Americans experiences a mental health disorder every year, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health.
– Chronic stress can affect both our physical and psychological well-being by causing a variety of problems including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.
– Research published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior finds that 68 percent of Americans do not want someone with a mental illness marrying into their family and 58 percent do not want people with mental illness in their workplaces.
Congress designated May as Mental Health Month in 1949 to illustrate the importance of mental health issues to the overall health and well-being of American citizens. Each year, bloggers will join APA for a Mental Health Month Blog Day to educate the public about mental health, decrease stigma about mental illness, and discuss strategies for making lasting lifestyle and behavior changes that promote overall health and wellness.
Stop the stigma of mental health disorders — and don’t hesitate to get professional services if and when you need help.