There are four keys to our overall health; physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. When all four of these keys are in a state that you are happy with, then one can achieve the ultimate goal of holistic healing which is wholeness. Three things are needed to accomplish that wholeness: time, knowledge, and self-reflection. The third key requires much of the latter due to it being the hardest to detect out of the four. There are many myths about mental illnesses that we are going to debunk quickly before talking about what constituted mental illness is. The other three keys all contribute in the management of this key as well.
Debunking common myths about mental health
Surprisingly there are a few ever growing myths about mental illness that needs to be addressed first before you read any further. The following sentences hold no truth whatsoever:
*Mental illness is rare.
This sentence couldn’t be any further from the truth, in fact, citing NAMI, “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year”. The chances are, as you are reading this, you can name three people with a form of mental illness right now!
*Mental illnesses are not as serious as physical illnesses.
Quite the contrary as mental and physical illnesses both do the same thing which changes the life course of someone you love. Under no circumstances should one be treated with more or less care than the other.
*People with mental illnesses cannot be productive members of societies.
Just as being wheelchair bound does not keep a person from being a productive member of society so do mental illnesses too. Of course, the two have their respective extremes of amputees and schizophrenia, but these are the outliers to both cases.
Are you mentally unwell?
Now that you are more aware of the facts about mental illnesses, how can you know if someone you love has one or not? This just covers mental illnesses in a general case and if you have high enough suspicion, then please send the said person to a psychiatrist:
Now, this should not be the only sign that you should judge someone’s mental health on, as this could easily be an emotional issue, but if it lasts over two months, then it is a mental issue. To clarify, that means two months without a single happy day.
*Extreme low/high on feelings
These feelings can range from anything to sadness to happiness, but the key to look for is if these emotions are intense. The difference between this, being an emotional problem is if they switch between two clashing emotions strongly.
Social withdrawal does not mean that they will spend a week avoiding friends, but if they reject every possible social opportunity for weeks.
You will never know this unless you take your time to know the person and they tell you. Any talk of suicide should be treated seriously since most times suicidal people say nothing before they commit the act.
Just look for the obvious signs where you notice they are leaving to go outside more often or smell differently because they most likely won’t tell you.
Improving mental health
Sadly there are not many solutions to mental issues besides having a good social network of friends/family that will keep your mental health in check and a therapist. A therapist isn’t for the crazies as we all just need someone that we can talk to, and it is doubly nice to have this person when you are married or dating since you cannot afford to make a bond that could lead to an affair.