Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It's Mental Wellness Awareness Week Be Educated and Be Well

 It is Mental Illness week and there are still far too many people who believe that the term itself is some kind of profanity as if speaking of it can expose you to a contagious infection. In fact if people were more aware, less judgmental and bigoted then it would be possible to promote mental wellness and recognize the ways that mental illness AND wellness effect us all. In the 21st century many people still discuss Depression as "an excuse for a self pity party" or as self indulgence. "Just snap out of it! Take a walk, get some fresh air and smile and you'll be fine. Don't be so negative all the time." This kind of ignorance and stigmatizing are dangerous and counter-productive to individuals who suffer from mental illness and to the wellness of society as a whole. So educate yourself and help end the stigma.

You may think that no one you know struggles with mental wellness issues but I can guarantee you that whoever you are you absolutely, positively, definitely, and without doubt know someone who is struggling and wrestling silently but valiantly to overcome some disorder categorized under the large umbrella. At times in my life I have struggled with Depression and anxiety that has varied in intensity from extremely bleak to merely mildly disruptive. However my mother has struggled with crippling Depression for 30 years. Like any other disease mental illnesses have genetic factors too. 

But one's challenges to mental wellness need not be the definitive trait to describe one's character, talents, goals and life. Most important of all be proactive in regard to your wellness - you keep your teeth clean and visit the dentist regularly right? Then damn skippy seek professional support and assistance for your mind as well! Psychology and psychiatry are not voodoo science no matter what Tom Cruise tells you. Be healthy. Be brave. Be smart and educate your brain so that you can always take care of your own mental wellness. False courage, fear, stigma and embarrassment intimidate people who need help from seeking it and avoiding doctors who can help one heal costs lives everyday. Don't let someone you love become a casualty to diseases that can be treated -- don't let yourself be a casualty. 

End the cycle of shame and help usher in an era of hope, awareness and wellness!! Pass it on!!

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