We R S.H.E.Talks

We R S.H.E.Talks

Mental Health Awareness – S1E7

October 14, 2019

Mental Health—no longer a taboo subject 

For many years mental health was considered a taboo subject. Even though, in 1949 the month of May was designated Mental Health Month by Mental Health America. Also, October 10th, 1992, was chosen as World Mental Health Day to bring awareness to mental health issues around the world. Indeed, mental health awareness is at the forefront now more than before. 

In fact, we have been witnessing the result of untreated mental illness in the headlines. And sadly, it has been the cause of horrific loss of life through shootings in schools, churches, workplaces, malls, theaters, and nightclubs.  

Who does mental illness affect?  

Believe it or not, most people have had moments of not feeling mentally healthy. For example, that moment when you felt like you were about to lose your mind. Yep, that moment right there--the moment or moments that just popped into your mind. Now when we break down some of the different mental health problems, we will better understand why mental health awareness is so important. 

According to mentalhealth.gov, there are several different types of mental health issues that can affect a person’s thinking. And therefore, affecting one’s mood, and behavior. Such as the following disorders:

Anxiety - a fear or dread response to situations or objects. This can include phobias, panic, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Behavioral – a pattern of disruptive behaviors that last for at least six months in young people. It causes problems at home, in school, and in other social situations. Behaviors such as Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), and Conduct Disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – repeating upsetting thoughts [obsessing] and doing the same actions repeatedly [compulsions] to appease those thoughts. Personality – distressing personality traits that cause problems for the person. It can happen in school, at work, and or in social relationships. This can include borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Eating - extreme emotions and behaviors concerning one’s weight and eating habits. The behaviors can include binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia. Mood – persistent feelings of extreme sadness, extreme happiness, or shifting between the two. This can include depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), self-harm, and bipolar disorder. Trauma and Stress-Related – can occur after experiencing or seeing a traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) makes a person stressed out and, in many cases, afraid long after the danger has passed. Psychotic Disorders – this can include delusions and hallucinations. An example is someone with schizophrenia. 

When looking at the above disorders, mental health problems are more common than people realize. Actually, one in five American adults has experienced a mental health issue (Mental Health Myths and Facts).  

Our thoughts are directly linked to how we view life 

On the Mental Health: Cyber Bullying, Depression, and Suicide episode, Lady V and I discussed how our thoughts are directly linked to how we view life. We also discussed the connection between cyberbullying, depression, and suicide with our special guest and resident millennial Alexis. She shared how she has witnessed people cyberbullying others on social media because of their opinions or artistic expression. 

This week our special guest and resident counselor Melinda Fields, who has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Human Services and Counseling, shares some clinical insights on mental health awareness.