If you struggle with a mental illness of any kind, you can take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. And this is evidenced in a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed 1 in 25 Americans live with a mental illness. Considering that Mental Health Awareness Month, which runs from May 1st through May 31st, is right around the corner, this is an opportune time to discuss why mental health awareness matters.
What You May Not Have Known About Mental Health Disorders but Definitely Should
Something to note relative to mental health disorders is they come in many different flavors, and all of them can dramatically affect someone’s life. To that end, some of the more commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in the U.S. include the following:
- Substance use disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Suicidal ideation
While most people struggling with a mental health disorder are in the care of a physician or therapist, some are not receiving treatment at all. There are several reasons why that is the case, but one of the most concerning, however, is some people with a mental illness don’t realize they have one. Thanks to campaigns like Mental Health Awareness Month, more people have become adept at recognizing some of the telling signs of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and the like. As a result, more people are being officially diagnosed and getting the treatments they need to improve their life. Some of the signs synonymous with most mental illnesses include
- Abusing drugs, alcohol, or both
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Feeling hopeless
- Impulsive decision making
- Loss of appetite
Stigma and Mental Health Resources: Feeling Judged and Not Knowing Where to Go For Help
If you suspect that you might be struggling with anxiety, depression, or a similar disorder that affects how you feel about yourself or the world around you, there are two things you need to know. Firstly, thanks to 2021 Olympian Simone Biles, tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, and other athletes, not to mention A-list celebrities, there is less of a stigma surrounding mental illness these days. Second, there are countless resources available to those who need help, including mental health hospitals when things get especially scary.
In summary, life is unpredictable and downright intimidating sometimes. But it can be that much more unpredictable and intimidating when you have a mental illness. If you suspect you have a mental illness, please don’t suffer in silence; get the help you need today.