May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we want to provide some insight and advice on various mental health topics. I cannot emphasize this enough: we are a niche staffing organization, not trained professionals. These are meant to be thought provoking posts rather than concrete advice, always seek professional advice in regards to your health. With that said, asking for help on your mental health can be challenging and sometimes scary. Here are some things I found helpful and effective when I was in need of help.
- Take the stigma out of the diagnosis
- 1 in 5 Americans have some type of mental illness. That is 20% or a quarter of all Americans who have been diagnosed; the actual percentage is most likely higher. It is more than okay to have a mental health diagnosis. Think of diagnosis as like looking at an x-ray. You know you are in pain but cannot figure out what is wrong, so you get an x-ray. You get the results back and are able to move forward from there. A mental health diagnosis is just more insight into why you feel or react the way you do. ‘
- Research what your diagnosis means
- Oftentimes, when you get diagnosed with something, the doctor will provide a rapid fire summary of the results and get on with their day. For me, I was usually left with more questions than answers after I received certain results. Google is your friend in these instances. Learn as much as you can about your diagnosis, but be careful of going down a rabbit hole of distress. Knowledge is power!
- Listen to your loved ones
- If your loved ones are concerned about you and mention that you may need some help, then it is ok to listen to them. Your loved ones know you, and it is helpful to listen to their concerns as they can often see things that you cannot.
- Look up ways to seek therapy
- Therapy is not for everyone. I personally do not get a lot of value out of talk therapy. However, there are so many innovative ways to get help these days. For example, you can receive dance movement therapy where you express your emotions through dancing. You can receive art therapy where you express yourself through illustrations. It is important to note that this is merely a starting point. Looking up ways to get help is a great step in the direction of treatment. You are under absolutely no obligation to follow through, but if you want to, then you have the right resources at your disposal.
- You are not alone
- It is okay to need help. So many people need it that there is a whole profession devoted to helping you. There is a sense of common humanity when it comes to dealing with your mental health because at some point, everyone has needed to. Mental illnesses can feel isolating, but remember, someone out there is going through what you are going through.