Understanding Mental Health: 'What Does it Feel Like?'
Symptoms of mental health conditions are not apparent like a rash or a fever. It's about changes in feeling and behaviors.
So, what does a mental health condition feel like? It can be a lot of things: sad, anxious, upset, tired, distracted, exhausted. Everyone has those feelings at one time or another. But when those feelings won't go away and affect day-to-day life, that could be a sign of a mental health problem.
Mental health conditions can be tricky to recognize and tough to define outside of the clinical terms used by doctors and mental health professionals. It's also not a subject many are likely to raise in conversation, but that's one way we understand situations that affect us: We communicate about them.
Another way? We look for information.
The Mental Health America (MHA) organization is working to help with both. In addition to a website full of information on common mental health conditions, MHA is also starting a national conversation about them. Through social media like Facebook and Twitter, they are opening a dialog through a hashtag (#mentalillnessfeelslike) that aims to neutralize the stigma around "mental illness" and engage people through open sharing.
This is a great resource for anyone who's unsure if their own feelings or the behaviors of someone close are definable as a mental health condition. It's important to know what to look for and speak up in real, relatable terms. Talking about mental health can help us feel that we're not alone and open doors to feeling better.
May is Mental Health Month. Behavioral Health Partners (BHP) is raising awareness of the importance of speaking up and making conversation about mental health comfortable. Diagnosis, treatment, and recovery are possible — they come with sharing and seeking help. For information on how YOURhealth can help University employees, contact BHP or Strong EAP.
Steven P Brown |