If you look around you, you’ll notice a growing trend of people encouraging one another to speak freely about their struggles with mental health. It’s become increasingly normal for people to share their experiences with mental illness in an attempt to let others know that they are not alone while striving to normalize mental health conversations in the long term.
For many generations, it was considered taboo to discuss any form of mental or psychological challenges you were facing. Suppose you did attempt to open up to your loved ones about issues like depression, anxiety, or hopelessness. In that case, you might have been told to just “suck it up,” and as anyone who struggles with mental illness already knows, “sucking it up” doesn’t work. If only it were that easy!
It can help to know that we have come a long way since then. These days, people of all backgrounds and identities are working together to spread the message loud and clear that it’s okay to not be okay. Life is hard, and the myriads of challenges you may face can become overwhelming, making you feel completely out of control. At one point or another, every single person faces low points where they feel consumed by negative emotions. These feelings are normal, and they can be addressed. Having the ability to talk openly about your destructive emotions is a necessary component of long-term health and happiness.
The Benefits of Sharing Your Struggle with Mental Illness
The National Alliance of Mental Illness reports that one in five adults in the United States will experience mental illness each year, yet fewer than half of them will seek treatment. Chances are that someone you know has or will struggle with some form of mental illness in their lifetime – it might even be you.
The more we talk about mental illness, the more acceptable we make it for people everywhere to open up about their issues without shame. When high-visibility spokespeople like celebrities discuss their personal experiences, they invite a throng of commentators online to share their stories as well. Never underestimate the power of sharing your journey, no matter who you are. Choosing to open up about your struggles with mental illness can cause a powerful chain reaction effect. Some of the benefits include:
- Helping reduce stigma: the more people speak up about their history of mental illness, the less fear someone else may have when admitting that they need help for similar reasons. This can empower people to get assistance and change the course of countless lives.
- There is power in numbers: The more we make mental illness a genuine part of the national conversation, the greater comfort others will feel in talking about it. Together, we can create a supportive community. Feeling alone can keep you from opening up about important challenges. We can work to eliminate those feelings of loneliness by taking the first steps towards honesty.
- We feel heard: Being listened to without judgment can relieve our stress, alleviate negative emotions, and inspire us towards positive change. Though our loved ones may not be mental health professionals, they can support you by making you feel heard and trusted in a major way.
No matter how well your life is going, you’re going to have hard days. When they arise, you should be able to share your feelings without being received in a way that lacks support or empathy. Being unable to speak freely about mental illness contributes to the greater stigma that surrounds it. This stigma can have wide-reaching negative consequences, including:
- Being subject to discrimination
- Lack of understanding by friends and family
- Fewer opportunities in your career, education, and social activities
- Being bullied or harassed
- Long-term negative emotional issues like depression and isolation
- Lack of services made available by healthcare providers
- Lack of services covered by health insurance
How Can We Help Normalize Mental Health?
Learning is a powerful tool that can allow us to eliminate judgment and reverse incorrect assumptions. Take the time to educate yourself about mental illness and share that information with others. If you are already comfortable talking about your mental illness struggles, share them with others. Although your story is unique, you may be surprised by its ability to touch the lives of numerous people by helping them feel comfortable enough to open up about their own experiences.
Remember to be conscious of the language you use when speaking about mental health conditions. Use care when considering calling someone “crazy.” We live in a world that is quick to judge in the absence of facts. Try to take a step back and actively treat other people with kindness. The reality is that we don’t know what someone else may be going through, so don’t make hasty assumptions for the negative.
We all face challenges throughout our lives that impact our mental health. Having a place to speak freely and honestly about your struggles with mental health is a vital part of a successful recovery. The human race is continuously growing, and our society is beginning to realize that one of the most powerful ways to improve our collective mental health is to normalize the fact that we all struggle with it. We are not always okay, and that is okay. Make it a personal goal to do your part in destigmatizing mental health. Having a trusted support system is an integral part of mental wellness. If you need to speak with someone about your struggles with mental health, reach out to Achieve Concierge as soon as possible. We are here to listen, understand your circumstances, and connect you with effective treatments to find relief and clarity. You don’t have to grapple with the challenges of mental health on your own. Call Achieve Concierge today at (858) 221-0344.