Mental Health or Mentally Healthy?
Year 2020 has really seen the words Mental Health used a lot more than in previous years and with good reason in some cases. We all know how important it is to be aware of mental health issues and how crucial it is that they are addressed as soon as possible. However, it seems that of late it has become more prominent in discussions in the media, social media and elsewhere.
I’ve always argued that mental health should be given the same attention and financial support as physical health- although we need to make sure adequate information is given as well as diagnosis and medication appropriate. An example of the “fear factor” is I have clients ask, when they come to see me for help, “do I have depression or am I do I have Bi-polar disorder as my mood is up and down”. People search on-line for a label to their change in mood.
I believe this can lead to over-popularising the phenomenon of Mental Health. It is crucially important to point out that experiencing various emotions, such as sadness, fear, anger increased enthusiasm and many more, is a healthy human reaction that keeps our body and mind working to protect us. Many public figures and celebrities have helped to raise awareness and decrease stigma of mental health and this is much needed to support the people that have diagnosable mental health conditions.
It is my belief at the time of Covid-19, mental health is being offered frequently as a consequence of the pandemic. Does this mean we are not able to experience the above emotions as a natural way of expressing ourselves? Is it not to be expected the unease and fear with the daily reports and social media information of death and suffering will inevitably trigger our inherent fear of death? Insisting on mental health consequences in the COVID-19 pandemic will be a self- fulfilling prophecy, will it not?
Is the question about how overwhelming a person feels and how incapacitated they believe they are over a longer period of time that affects a persons daily functioning, should we then consider mental health? Increased social support and information on how to change lifestyles should be available for those who are struggling to deal with changes and the mental health services to deal with prolonged issues of mood and mental health fluctuation.
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