Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a given year?
…Mental illness seems to be this generations, “epidemic”, if you will. It is everywhere, and not just in adults. Statistics go to show how each and every person on this earth is filled with his or her own inner world. A world of values, cares, feelings, and struggles. We are all unique and have something individual to contribute; yet we carry so many similarities. We are just trying to live to the best of our ability, make sense of everything, & be happy…and in a world that seems to be drowning with chaos and mental illness, those hopes can seem far…but I’m here to remind you that they aren’t.
Mental illness might sound scary and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Because it is so prevalent in today’s world, helping hands and resources are everywhere…and they can help you! There is NO SHAME or embarrassment that needs to be felt when it comes to having a mental illness. EVERYONE STRUGGLES—and even though we might not experience it in the exact same way, we all experience it. So don’t be afraid to ask for help! We ALL need it. Throw away those negative thoughts about mental illness, as well as pride, and get the help you need. You will soon see what a relief it is, and how invigorating it can be. Even just talking to a professional and being understood can bring a huge amount of relief. There is magic in reaching out.
For a long time I felt embarrassed, dumb, and shameful of the mental things I went through…and sometimes I still do. But I KNOW that that is just my brain feeding me lies. I am gaining so much strength, control, and understanding in the mental things I go through, and a lot of that comes from therapy, medicine, and The Lord. You are not alone.
If you or someone you know struggles with mental illness, now is the time to reach out and get help. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. If you had diabetes or a broken leg, you would need specific medical care….and so it is with mental illness.
-Be in tune with yourself. Does a dark cloud seem to take over from time to time, or almost consistently? Sure we all have bad days, but mental illness can feel paralyzing. Like all of the things you “should” be doing, you can’t…and you aren’t sure why. You feel numb to everything. Everything feels dull and distant… don’t worry. There are answers and things that can help you….
-Ask for help. My family and friends have been a huge support to me. If it weren’t for my parents literally driving me to my first psychiatrist appt, I don’t know if I ever would’ve gone. I have found a few friends that just “get me”, and even though it’s sometimes hard to open up, every time I do, I end up feeling so much better. I can’t always explain exactly what is going on with me, but when I try to talk it out, I get empathy and understanding.
-Ask for professional help. Seriously my psychiatrist/doctor has been amazing. She gives me understanding and peace. She reassures me I am capable of much, and that I can continue to change. She gives me daily brain exercises to work on and teaches me how to be gentle with myself through the process. I have seen so much growth because of her counsel.
-Serve others. Take the time to get all of your thoughts away from yourself and what you are going through, and go help someone else. Sometimes it’s just best to step away from it for a little while, and in a world that is so self-focused, we could all do a little bit more selfless serving. We could all be a little bit more aware and kind.
-Learn to understand and know your limits. Maybe there are certain things that can trigger your mental struggles or insecurities. I know for me, when I am tired or hungry, everything around me suddenly seems harder! Or when I am on my period…and when I am already feeling these things or just a little low, jumping on social media isn’t going to make me feel any better about myself. Know your limits.
-Pray for help. If it’s one thing I’ve learned, God is always there. When I am in the thick of a mental moment, He can seem so distant and I can feel so alone…but deep down I know that I never am. It is in those times that I know I need to hold on with every ounce that I have left and listen to my heart…not my head. I have really tried hard lately to pray for more specific help, and I can feel the difference. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is so real, so personal, and I have 100% felt it in my life. Because of it, and of God, we can totally CHANGE and “our weaknesses can become our strengths” and blessings for us.
To learn more and for ways to help visit:
Mental illness doesn’t have to rule your life. You CAN change, control, and live in joy. Be patient with yourself through the process and know that you are stronger and more capable than you ever thought possible.