The Stigma of Mental Health
Mental health has always been a taboo topic for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to; fear of rejection or lack of understanding from others. If we fall and break an arm, we have no problem telling those close to us we’ve visited a physician, so why do we have reservations about telling our friends and family members that we are receiving help for our mental needs, not just our physical needs? Not a single person will pass from this life unscathed by some sort of struggle, this is something that we all have in common.
Friendships are a crucial part of our life and can be incredibly healing. Friends can be our closest allies who keep us grounded, they can increase our sense of belonging, increase happiness and decrease stress, and encourage us to recognize your self-worth.
This doesn’t necessarily mean telling our friends every detailed issue we are currently facing, but it can mean having a topic out in the open so that it isn’t stumbled upon by accident. Try going into these conversations with a goal in mind. It can be as simple as letting them know the status of your mental health or sharing your recent mental health successes. You can even let your friends know if there are specific things you need from them or ways they could best aide you. You might be surprised by just how understanding, helpful, and considerate your friends are about your mental health.
Noam Shpancer said, “Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going,” and it’s always more enjoyable to drive with companions.