Did you know that according to Mental Health America, 1 out of every 5 people suffers from some sort of mental health condition? That means that just about every family in America has at least one person struggling daily, perhaps just to survive. Mental illness does not discriminate. It affects children, adults, the elderly, single and married people, gay or straight. Sometimes marriages end because one partner simply doesn’t have the patience, strength or desire to support his or her loved one through the treatment needed to successfully live with mental illness. Thank goodness May is National Mental Health Month!
Mental [Illness] is a sickness just like diabetes, heart problems, eye problems, we all need help.~ Bettie Jordan
Once we get past the stigma and address mental health issues with our loved ones, it’s important to remember they are not defined by their illness, any more than those with physical sicknesses are. They are the same people we have known and loved all our lives and, while their mind sometimes may be affected by their disease, their hearts are just as open and loving as we have always known them to be.
You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle. ~ Julian Seifte
As with any disease, mental illness often has physical symptoms, classic signs that something may be wrong. A recent Harvard Health Publicationdiscussed ways these symptoms can even manifest differently in the workplace than they do at home. The key is to be alert and be proactive. Mental illness is real, but it doesn’t have to be scary.
Let’s each of us do our part to break down the barriers of discussing, treating and living with mental illness. We have the chance to positively impact and improve the lives of each person we meet, including and perhaps especially, those living with mental health issues.
Mental health…is not a destination but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going. ~ Noam Shpancer, The Good Psychologist: A Novel