Mental Health Awareness Month
May is just right around the corner, which means mental health awareness month is near. According to recent statistics, about 21 percent of adults in the US experienced some kind of mental illness. This means 1 out of 5 adults in the US are fighting various mental issues. However, less than 50 percent of these adults receive proper treatment.
And if this isn’t enough to show why talking about mental health is so important, it is critical to note that deteriorating mental health comes with a ripple effect. For instance, people who undergo depression have a 40 percent higher risk of developing metabolic and cardiovascular diseases than the general population.
The rate of unemployment is also greater for adults with mental illness (about 6.4 percent, compared to 5.1 percent of adults who don’t have a mental illness). When it comes to the younger population, high school students are twice as likely to drop out if they suffer from depression than their classmates.
Why Celebrate a Month for Mental Illness?
Each year, millions of people around the world are diagnosed with a mental illness. And each year, the month of May brings a chance for people to actively create awareness about mental health, educate the public about the topic, and advocate for policies that support people undergoing mental health challenges.
Observing Mental Health Awareness Month in May may reassure individuals with mental health challenges that they are not alone. The awareness effort is also about educating others.
Mental illness generally refers to a group of illnesses that affect an individual’s feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and perceptions. Mental illness can make it very difficult for some people to manage their relationships, complete everyday tasks, and manage their responsibilities.
Different Types of Mental Illness & Their Effects
There are various types of mental health issues and illnesses recognized worldwide.
One of the most common illnesses includes anxiety disorders that include social phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorders.
Mental illness can affect people of any age. For instance, behavioral and emotional disorders are quite common in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Bipolar affective disorder can affect teenagers and may cause an individual to experience psychotic symptoms.
One of the most common mental illnesses experienced worldwide is depression, which is a mood disorder resulting in loss of interest, reduced energy, and overall poor mood.
The Positive Side
On the bright side, with recent advancements and research, treatments can help individuals cope with various types of mental illnesses. For instance, psychotherapy is a well-known therapeutic treatment that can help individuals explore their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. In this way, a trained mental health professional extends their support to individuals experiencing mental health challenges, helping them to improve their overall well-being.
Although medications cannot cure mental illness directly, they can still prove effective in managing different symptoms. In some cases, hospitalization is necessary for individuals, so their conditions can be closely monitored, diagnosed, and treated by healthcare professionals.
However, besides these treatment methods, many people experiencing mental health challenges require a support group. Simply having friends and family members who understand the challenges they are experiencing and why they react, think, or act in a certain way can go a long way in supporting them.
Mental health is an important topic to discuss. But the month of May, with its status as mental health awareness month, provides a chance to remind yourself that mental health issues are all around us. Hence, it is important to take some time to educate yourself about various mental illnesses, their symptoms, and the support available.
This May, read up on mental health and try to understand how mental health challenges can affect you and the people around you. Please visit our Think Before You Sleep resources page if you want to learn more about the subject and get professional help. It’s important to remember that there is no harm or shame in asking for help, regardless of your condition. Support can come in various forms, after all.