May is Mental Illness Health Month
May 1 kicked off National Mental Health Month (NMHM), continuing the long-standing tradition of encouraging awareness of mental and emotional health.
It’s important that we do focus on mental and emotional health, especially since one in four adults live with a diagnosable, treatable condition, including bipolar disorders, depression and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Though more today is known about mental and emotional illnesses, those who suffer from diseases and disorders still have trouble finding support for their needs. That’s because many people who have been diagnosed, even some who have not, use illnesses as excuses to behave a certain way or do certain things. By exploiting the effects of any mental illness, these people make life more difficult for those who actually struggle with emotional problems. Furthermore, the media has helped portray mentally ill people as dangers to society and themselves, when that is not always the case.
So many people today truly are suffering from mental and emotional problems. Science has proven that some mental issues are genetic, therefore passed down through generations. Others simply have bodies and brains that fail to produce healthy levels of chemicals that regulate mental and emotional activity, much like a pancreas might not produce the correct amount of insulin.
It’s important for the public to remember that mental and emotional illnesses do exist and do cause legitimate problems for those experiencing the effects. Just like some patients struggle to control blood pressure problems or frequent headaches, mental health patients deal with those same problems, only regarding their brains and emotions. But just because someone struggles emotionally, that does not mean they cannot be helped.
If you or someone you know has mental health issues that need to be addressed, talk to your doctor. Not every case is identical. While some patients may be required to take medication, others might simply need to change dietary and exercise habits. Others may be referred to a counselor who can help them open up. Really, no case is the same, but luckily there are options for every person who battles those health issues.
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