Meena's Musings

De-stigmatize Mental Health


You are mental!

Many of us may have heard this or we may have said this to someone else. It loosely meant you are being crazy. It meant no harm. We didn’t think much about it at least till we started to notice mental health challenges around us or experience it ourselves – and we started to hide our challenges – we didn’t want to be labelled actually “crazy

Herein lies the need for greater awareness and understanding of mental health.

We don’t think twice for going to the doctor for physical ailments but somehow think that when it comes to something as complex as our minds we should be able to handle it ourselves.  We can’t as we have seen.

Is it okay to take Medication?

Not all mental health challenges can be completely overcome by meditation and lifestyle changes and not all need prescription medications.  Mental health challenges are as varied as people, no two cases are the same; ranging from normal, mild, manageable to severe and debilitating. There are countless ways to overcome mental health challenges and that may include taking medication for a short term period.  And some need to take medication for longer periods or for life as that’s the only option they feel they have to  manage their symptoms.

Is medication a real solution to any problem?  No.  Neither is meditation or making life style changes.  We don’t meditate for one day and expect all of our challenges to disappear; we have to make it part of our lifestyle.  In the meantime, we may need medication so we can think straight.

In the long run, you are better off learning to meditate and making lifestyle changes even if you have no mental health challenges.  It makes life better, enjoyable and meaningful.  Nothing is a one shot deal when it comes to overcoming any health challenges; the biggest struggle for some of my clients is the stigma of taking medication even when it is helping them.

What’s Normal?

Those with severe mental health challenges don’t seek help as they are consumed by their challenges and don’t even know there is a way out.  Many think it must be this way so they resolve to live with the challenge.  Others are discouraged or ridiculed by their loved ones for seeking help but ironically are periodically reminded to get a physical exam or breast examination by the same family members.

Not all anxiety is the same. It can range from mild to totally debilitating.  Not all depression can be solved with pep talk and meditations – for so many as we have seen, ending life was their only solution.

Take a Stand for your own Well-Being

It isn’t our job to convince anyone or to change their mind but it is our job to take a stand for our own health and well-being.  Only you know how you feel, function and if it feels okay or not.  Only you know your inner struggles and it is up to you to reach out for help even if you are discouraged by others.

If we don’t value the state of our mind and recognize that it’s the foundation of how we function, then we will continue to undermine our struggles thinking it is normal and we will equally undermine the value of the help of an expert.

Chronic Mental Health Challenges

Three out of four people suffer from some form of mental health challenge and the numbers are increasing quickly. Most common mental health challenges I see in my practice are anxiety, depression, fear, panic attacks and if untreated can turn into severe challenges.  Common does not mean “normal” and that we have to live with it.  It’s very difficult to live a meaningful and joyful life with these challenges.

So, the value of our own health lies within each one of us.  How much do you value your health?  Most importantly, how much do you value your life?

Mental does not mean “Crazy”; Mental Health is part of our Whole Health

The point is to stop equating mental health challenges to being “crazy” and secondly stop thinking that to reach out for help means you can’t handle your problems.  It isn’t that simple.   When someone is telling you they are anxious or a little depressed, ask them to share more and listen.  Listen with the intent to understand and listen with compassion.  It does not matter who it is.  If you know someone is struggling, reach out, lend your ears and open the doors of conversation and keep them open no matter what.

If you or someone you know is struggling with any chronic mental health challenges, please schedule a free consultation with me Here

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #mental #health #stigma #thinking  #HealthyLiving #Ayurveda #India