Hello all! This post has been in the making for a while. I had a lot of inner debates on whether I even wanted to post this because it’s probably the most personal post thus far. I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to in just one post.
The reason for this series is to provide mental health awareness and to start a conversation.
What encompasses Health?
There are a lot of discussions and debates circulating that question the definition of health. What is it? What does it truly mean to be healthy? Most of the time when we talk about being healthy, most people are referring to the physical part of health. Eating healthy, working out.. But there is so much more to health than just eating right and staying physically fit. What about emotional, mental, and spiritual health? A person can be super fit physically. But if their mind and soul are not in a good state, what good are those six pack abs?
As an adult, I have learned to recognize many signs that date back to my teen years, indicating that my mental health has been put to the back burner.
Whats the big deal anyway?
Some personal things that have happened to and around me have reminded me how important mental health truly is. One thing I have learned in my own personal journey with mental health, is that when it goes left unchecked, it can feel crippling – debilitating even… It can interfere with even the littlest aspects of your life which is not a great thing to experience…
Mental health is so complex and there are so many layers to it that society is still trying to unravel. Another thing I have learned is that when mental health is left to the back burner, the results can creep up on you and when you least expect it. You may feel fine one minute, but something small can trigger a cataclysmic chain of emotions that can lead to an even darker place if left for too long.
There is still a sigma surrounding Mental Health. There is such a misinterpretation in that mental health is all in your head. “It’s not important and nothing to be concerned”. Society still thinks that if someone struggles with mental health, they are broken. People still feel embarrassed for having to seek help in dealing with it. The reality is that so many people still shrug it off and continue to focus more on the physical aspect of health. If someone is struggling with their mental health, the last thing they want to hear is that what they are experiencing is nothing. If someone wishes to talk to you about their mental health struggles, just sit and listen. Don’t turn them away, you could cause more harm than good.
For Thierry and myself, often a source of anxiety lately has been on the basis of finances and starting a family. We are young and understandably, these topics of discussion are very stressful in themselves. They are new, unfamiliar and scary! But triggers of stress – or stressors as I like to call them – are always going to pop up in life whether we like it or not.
Everyone is different. Plain and simple. Mental health is not a uniform or black and white concept. It is as unique as the people it affects. One person may feel anxious over discussions of money, or change. One might be triggered with issues involving their own appearance. While another person may feel stressed once faced with the decision of what to wear for the day. One person may react to a trigger with anger. Another may react with crying. Another may react with laughter as a coping mechanism..Not one reaction or stresses (aka triggers) is more or less significant than the other, and no mental health condition should be shrugged off as insignificant..
I know for myself, the unknown is scary. It is that fear of the unknown, or not being in control of a situation, that can cause the most stress and anxiety! A lot of problems arise when we come across something that is extremely stress inducing, and our minds give the illusion that it cannot be overcome. Finding coping mechanisms and not forgetting to take care of yourself can make a huge difference in keeping your mental health in check.
In my next post, I will go over a list of things I have learned on how to cope.
Edit: to see part 2 of this series please click here.