Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mental Illness and Shame

Having a mental illness or diagnosis of some mental condition can be a source of shame for anyone.  What mental illness actually is can be a vague subject at times.  Is it caused by biological and genetic factors, environmental and cultural circumstances, a combination of many external and internal factors?  I do think that the model and understanding of what mental illness is needs to be updated and reviewed, but that is not the point of this entry.  My main intention here is to not be ashamed if you have a mental illness, and to seek out help when you need it.  Going to a therapist, psychiatrist, mental health professional etc. does not mean you are crazy, insane, dangerous, etc.  In fact, when you are dealing with mental, emotional, or cognitive illnesses, seeking out help is a sign of sanity.

Just like our bodies can be injured or endure illness, our minds, our brains, our neurological "equipment", can falter and become damaged or ill as well.  How this happens is a matter to be researched and looked into, but when you need help, seek it.  Don't feel bad if you need to be hospitalized, or prescribed medications.  You have to take care of your health and be safe to yourself and others, before you can be any use to yourself or anyone else.

I also would encourage, in addition to taking care of your physical and mental health, to pray for help in finding the right doctors, the right course of treatment, the right medications, diet etc.  Pray for those who are treating you, and ask God to guide them.

And also remember, that no one is perfect, and no one can read your mind, so be honest about what is troubling you or going on in your life.  But never feel ashamed for seeking out mental health.  Not everything in our lives, including our own minds and emotions, can be controlled completely.  Seek help when things which are out of your control begin to overwhelm your life and your ability to function.  A lot of people who need mental health help don't look for it, and the ones who do look for help are usually the most healthy because they are cognizant that they need help and recognize their own limitations.  Again, it is a sign of sanity to seek professional help when you are having mental struggles.  Don't let anyone put you down for seeking help.


At June 22, 2016 at 1:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joshua you always amaze me with your honesty and caring. I am so proud to call you my son.


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