Robert Rigo’s article, titled “Let’s Talk About Suicide” in the New York Times, inspired me to write a blog post about mental health. Rigo explained how more people should be discussing mental illness, as nearly 350 million people suffer from depression, world-wide.
Rigo mentioned how throughout his schooling, mental health was never discussed. While physical health was also taught, like nutrition and exercise, he was never informed about mental health, including illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Since my aim with this blog is to promote a healthy lifestyle, I wanted to speak a little bit about mental health, and also provide additional information on the topic.
What Mental Health Is
Mental health is just as important as physical health. We take care of our bodies by making sure we are eating right and receiving enough exercise, however, we often overlook another important aspect of our health: our minds.
MentalHealth.gov defines mental health as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health is influenced by several different factors. Among those can be your family’s history of mental illness, trauma or abuse, and biological factors like brain chemistry.
There are several different types of mental illnesses, just like there are different types of physical illnesses. Some mental illnesses you may have already heard of may include eating disorders, anxiety, and bipolar depression. There are several more, and for additional information on specific illnesses, please see “Additional Information to Read” below.
Early Warning Signs
These are warning signs, provided by MentalHealth.gov:
Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
Help is Available for Everyone
Mental health can effect anyone at anytime in their life. In fact, Rigo mentioned in his article that 50 percent of mental illnesses develop as young as 14 years old.
To view the steps and suggestions recommended by MentalHealth.gov, click here. It is important for everyone to receive help if he or she thinks he or she has a mental illness. Below are additional help lines:
- National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
- National Eating Disorders Line: (800) 931-2237
- SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline: 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727)
Additional Information To Read
Mental health is a large field and area to keep learning about. Below, I am providing you with some of the best websites that touch on this topic that also speak about mental illness and help.
- For all-around information on mental health, what it is, help, and specific illnesses, see MentalHealth.gov*: mentalhealth.gov
- For more information about mental health, what it is, help, and specific illnesses, see National Institutes of Health*: https://www.nih.gov/health-information
- For additional information about mental health, including help and specific illnesses, see Mental Health America: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/anxiety-disorders
- For information on eating disorders, see National Eating Disorders Association: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
- For information about suicide prevention, either to call or learn more about, see Suicide Prevention Line: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
*You may search about more mental health illnesses and statistics under these websites
I hope this blog post was not only helpful and resourceful, but will promote mental health education. Make sure to check out the additional links provided above for more information about other types of mental illness and advice for how to get help.
Please share this post with a friend or family member who may not be well-informed about mental health, or who might benefit from learning more.
Have a wonderful week! I will see you next Wednesday for another post! Subscribe to get my blog post every Wednesday emailed straight to your inbox.