24/05/2012

Your Mental Health Awareness

This week is just another week. Well, for most people it is. For some of us it's Mental Health Awareness Week. But this is something that we all should be aware of - and not just this week.

An article published on Young Minds this week makes a very valid point - just because you haven't been diagnosed with a mental illness, does not mean that, at some point in your life, you haven't sat somewhere on the spectrum. It talks of the importance of eradicating the 'us and them', and think of mental illness as more of a 'variety of experience'. Did you know, for example, thinking that a random coincidence is full of meaning is one symptom used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illness? It's a topic that is far from being black and white - so don't assume that you don't need to be aware of your mental health. 

Just like our physical health, everyone is responsible for their mental wellbeing - and for the lucky ones who have control over it, being mindful of your mental health is imperative to living to your full potential.  

We all get stressed, we all feel a bit down sometimes, and we all worry about things that we have no control over. We also have the ability to target our negative thought patterns and make them more conducive to living happily.  It's the everyday things that niggle away at us that we can control how we respond to. An annoying colleague or a rude neighbour is only a problem if you let it be one - and it will only have a negative impact on yourself if you do. In terms of the impact it has on our bodies, stress is malevolent.

Mental Health Awareness week is more relevant than every before. Mind has reported an 18% surge in the number of calls they've been getting over the past year, and the amount of anti-depressants prescribed to patients has increased. We're back in a recession and our Prime Minister doesn't know what LOL means. These are tough times, and there's no getting around that. But we need to look at the bigger picture when little things get us stressed.


For the three quarters of you who won't directly experience a debilitating mental illness in your lifetime, you're still responsible for your mental health. In turn, your mental health is responsible for how you perceive the world around you and how much you can enjoy it. 

2 comments:

  1. "... thinking that a random coincidence is full of meaning is one symptom used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illness" I think you just described most organised Religions right there. Others call it the Cambrian explosion. But seriously, it always strikes me that its OK to say that you talk to 'God'. Because it is accepted for some reason by society. I know people who 'talk' to 'people' I cant see. But they are derided and considered 'mad' or 'crazy'.

    I really do Thank You for being so open and continuing to talk about this subject. Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of. As debilitating, if not more, than a broken bone, but not as apparent. Thats why we need to be more aware of those around us and ourselves.

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  2. Hi...Your post really got me thinking man..... an intelligent piece, I must say. Health Awareness

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