(yes, it's possible!)
Anyone can suffer from mental or emotional health problems—and over a lifetime most of us will. This year alone, about one in five of us will suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Despite how common mental health problems are, many of us make no effort to improve our situation.
We ignore the emotional messages that tell us something is wrong and try toughing it out by distracting ourselves or self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, or self-destructive behaviours. We bottle things up in the hope that others will not notice. We hope that things will eventually get better on their own. Alternatively, we simply give up—telling ourselves this is “just the way we are.”
The good news is: you do not have to feel bad. There are things you can do that can help you elevate your mood, become more resilient, and enjoy life more. However, just as it requires effort to build and maintain physical health, so it is with mental health. We have to work harder these days to ensure good mental health simply because we do so many things that can take a toll on our emotional well-being.
Why are we often reluctant or unable to address our mental health needs?
Our inability to address our mental health needs stems from a variety of reasons:
- In some societies, mental and emotional issues are seen as less legitimate than physical problems. They are seen as a sign of weakness or somehow as being our fault.
- Some people mistakenly see mental health problems as something we should know how to “snap out of.” Men, especially, would often rather bottle up their feelings than seek help.
- In the modern age, we are obsessed by finding simple answers to complex problems. We look for a connection with others by compulsively checking social media instead of reaching out to people in the real world; to boost our mood and ease depression we take a pill, rather than address the underlying issues.
- Many people think that if they do seek help for mental and emotional problems, the only treatment options available are medication (which comes with unwanted side effects) or therapy (which can be lengthy and expensive). The truth is that, whatever your issues, there are things you can do to improve the way you feel and experience greater mental and emotional well-being. Moreover, you can start doing them today! *
Take action, connect and speak up
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., Lawrence Robinson and Jeanne Segal, PhD.
*Find the 6 Life-Changing Strategies to Boost Mood, Build Resilience, and Increase Happiness while working in the fashion industry in the next articles.