May is National Mental Health Awareness Month in America, and we want to start something here at Trophy Club Family Medicine. Negative stereotypes about mental health are still creating stigmas and preventing people from opening up about their symptoms.
So, let’s start talking!
What is Keeping Mental Health a Secret?
Let’s go through six common reasons why people shy away from mental health care:
1) Fear and shame. Many assume if others knew about their condition, they would be singled out. The number of sufferers are increasingly becoming a larger chunk of the population. So you’re not alone. Mental health issues affect 1 out of every 5 Americans each year. About 42.5 million Americans suffer from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. And only about 4% of the population suffer symptoms severe enough to impede activity. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014).
2) Lack of insight. Mental health is no different than physical health. There is nothing wrong with exhibiting symptoms. If you ran a fever, you would go to your nearest family physician office to get diagnosed and/or treated. It’s no different with mental health. Improvement begins with a first step. Realize that medical intervention is a good thing.
3) Limited awareness. The key to being able to heal is being able to be honest with oneself. A person experiencing mental health issues has to know what to look for and how to seek proper treatment.
4) Feelings of inadequacy/hopelessness. Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “No one can help me.” It’s very common for most people to feel this way, but unfortunately, it’s not true. No treatment is perfect, but there are many options available. The best way to get help is to seek it out.
5) Lack of access to proper care. Despite statistics and treatment options, access to care can still be a challenge. Texas currently ranks near the bottom for access to mental health care and insurance. But, that doesn’t mean that help isn’t available if and/or when you need it. Here are some resources that may be able to help:
6) Dislike of medications/side effects. Not everyone likes medications or the possible side effects. Rest assured, there are plenty of treatment options available. We will be happy to discuss those with you.
Mild & Advanced Mental Health Issues
Complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) can be beneficial with mental health symptoms.
1) Rest – Try not to work excessively (about 50 hours/week max). Fatigue will magnify all issues.
2) Exercise – Walking is good for starters. More vigorous exercise help release powerful endorphins to fight off bad mood. 15-30 minutes every other day to every day is good.
3) Meditate – Prayer, biofeedback, yoga, breathing exercises can reduce excessive stress hormones.
4) Eat healthy– Avoid excessive carbohydrates, processed products. More fruits and vegetables, high in antioxidants.
5) Sleep – Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon/evening and use of media devices right at bedtime.
6) Socialize – Communicate with your close friends and family. Their love and support is key in your recovery.
Possible Treatment For More Advanced Cases
2) Psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy) – physical therapy for the mind.
Contact Trophy Club Family Medicine
For more information or to set an appointment, contact us here at Trophy Club Family Medicine.
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