Let's Talk About Mental Health
Updated: Jun 25
Let’s talk about mental health.
Forget about the statistics, figures and numbers. This is about you.
Mental health is a really important conversation to have. It deals with your mind and your mind controls your life.
Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It determines how we handle stress and all that life throws at us. As young people, we have to navigate through our studies, our careers, friendships and relationships and just existing. This can be an alarming task.
How do you go around dealing with life, people and things in a way that will ultimately not mess with your mental and emotional well-being?
Truthfully, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ method to tackle this, but there are pointers that can help us to curb and deal with this nicely.
Life can get overwhelming, tricky even –one minute it seems fine and the next it’s all haywire. You get anxious, depressed even. Life has no colour or meaning, and this may migrate into self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Please don’t give into it. You can get through it, and you will overcome this.
First off, let’s start with something interesting; the myths of mental health.
So, I might bring in some statistics now, purely for context.
Having emotional instability is not uncommon. In 2001, the World Health Organization estimated that 1 in every 4 persons are affected by mental disorders. That’s roughly about 500 million people.
Even with these staggering figures, there are still many misconceptions about mental health, some of which include;
It’s a sign of weakness and you can snap out of it
You only need to take care of your mental health if you have a mental health disorder
Mental health problems are permanent
People who are smart, wealthy and have lots of friends cannot have issues with their mental health or have depression
It is easy to spot someone going through mental health issues
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are personality types. This is untrue as these require a medical diagnosis.
Young people don’t have mental disorders; they just have mood swings.
Here are a few things you can do if you’re going through mental health issues.
1. I need you to know and understand this, you are unique and you matter.
No, not in a cliché way. Think about it for a minute. Discard comparison. Don’t you see it? You are passionate, you are resilient, brave, capable, an amazing human – a unique breed. The world needs you. Please remind yourself of that every day. Understand that you are wholesome and unique, don’t let the voices or anyone tell you otherwise. I know that it can be overwhelming when the stress comes, and you hope for better, nevertheless everything will work out, and if it hasn't then it's not over yet.
2. Talk about it.
Get a therapist, talk to people you trust, journal. It’s okay to seek help. Join a support group or community. Speak to people that make mental health talks their priority. Educate people about it. Connect with people rather than disassociate yourself.
3. Recognize the problem.
What do you feel? Is it stress? Anxiety, tiredness, all of the above? Recognize it first. When you get overwhelmed you don’t think straight. But take some time out and recognize what the issue is.
4. Take care of your physical health
The brain is wired in a unique way. Even a cluttered space can trigger negative emotions. So, eat healthy, exercise – go for walks or a run. Sleep well. Do the things you love.
5. De-clutter your mind
Instead of having your head full of lists and all, jot things down, close the tabs in your head. Free up memory space
6. Prioritize and establish boundaries
Don’t be afraid to say no to things you do not or cannot handle.
There is no shame to mental health. Know your situation-own it. Deal with it. Stigmatizing mental health issues is as silly and absurd as shaming a bodily sick patient. Don’t fall in the trap that mental disorders should be shamed. Normalize talking about mental health problems by seeking help and support on it. Give distance to anybody who makes you feel otherwise and never forget that you are needed, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes.
WRITTEN BY Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest.
Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest is a writer, reader, serial volunteer and a few more things in-between. She is passionate about writing and speaking on social education, for children, teenagers and young adults because she believes 'our psyche is our life'. She detests hurtful societal stereotypes and hopes to change it, ten words at a time. When she's neither writing, reading nor volunteering she's trying to figure out life and living, overthinking or speaking her messy Spanish and pretending like she can act.
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EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
Zulu is a writer, self proclaimed bibliophile and lawyer passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities.
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