We Need to Talk about Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

For many years now, there has been a stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness. The subject has been relatively taboo. However, thankfully, we (as a society) are becoming more understanding and accepting of mental health conditions. This increasing acceptance means that we can now openly talk about our mental health and wellbeing. If you feel that you may be experiencing symptoms of mental health problems yourself, here are a few steps that you might want to consider taking in order to improve your quality of life!

Actively Seeking Help

So many people avoid seeking help when they are experiencing symptoms of mental illness. There are various reasons for this. Some may be in denial, and seeking help from a professional would inevitably lead to a diagnosis that they don’t want to accept. Others worry that it may affect others’ perception of them. They think that it could affect their relationships, their work, or other aspects of their life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. When you seek help concerning your mental health, doctors and other professionals still abide by the same rules of patient confidentiality as they would in regards to any physical illness. Your consultation will be private and you needn’t tell anyone else about it if you don’t wish to. This may be an intimidating process, but seeking professional help can dramatically improve your quality of life. A doctor will be able to determine why you feel the way that you do, and will be able to recommend an appropriate course of treatment. This may comprise of medication, or it may comprise of therapy. Most often, you will receive a combination of the two. If you are worried about not being able to attend your therapy appointments, you might want to consider an online therapy option, that will see you speak to a professional from the comfort of your own home.

Broaching the Subject With Your Employer

It would be impossible to look at how every given mental health disorder could potentially affect your performance in the workplace. So for now, let’s focus on one of the most common as an example. It is estimated that around 18 percent of adults suffer from anxiety at some point or another during their working lives. So, if you are suffering from anxiety, chances are that you’re not the only person in your workplace in your position. While general anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, nervousness, or unease in logical situations, individuals suffering from anxiety as a mental illness feel this way without any particular logical cause. However, there are certain things that your employer can do to help ease your symptoms and accommodate your condition. Various workplace problems can emphasise your symptoms. These can include an excessive workload, high pressure presentations or meetings, and conflict with other employees. These problems don’t tend to go away of their own accord. They can’t be brushed under the carpet and expected to disappear. Only through effective communication with your employer can you make problems known and pave way for the opportunity for circumstances to be rectified, or for you to receive help. So, book a private meeting with the HR department of the company you are working for (if you are working for a large company), or your employer themselves (if you work for a small business). If you feel that you are not being fully supported by your employer, or that you are being discriminated against in the workplace due to a mental illness, you should also bear in mind that you are covered by the law. Familiarise yourself with your rights to understand what course of action you should pursue next.

These are just two steps that you can take when it comes to understanding your own experience of mental health issues, broaching the topic of mental health with significant figures in your life, and taking steps to improve your overall quality of life around your symptoms. Sure, there may have been significant prejudice surrounding experiences of mental health in the past, but society is moving forward. Actively engaging with the topic and seeking help if you have concerns yourself not only improves your own life, but can help to provide a positive example for others in your position too!

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