It is no news that mental health has become a popular topic of discussion across several social platforms. Although it has been sidelined for years, it is now considered important as a result of the alarmingly high rates of depression and suicide which were further propagated by the impact of the pandemic and the changes that accompanied it.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Simply put, mental health refers to a state of emotional and cognitive well-being where an individual can cope with the normal stress of life, work productively, and can make a contribution to his or her community. It is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities; it also involves overall wellness and happiness. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in your daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships and recover from life’s hardships.
It should be noted that mental health is a very important part of an individual’s overall functioning. It is equally as important as physical health and should be treated as such. Mental health and physical health are closely linked together in fact, research has shown that poor mental health can increase the risk of physical health conditions such as heart and vascular diseases as well as lead to diminished immune functioning. So, it is paramount that as we care for our physical health, we also take good care of our mental health.
MYTHS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
1 Mental health issues are incurable and lifelong
FACT: Mental health issues just like physical illnesses can be cured through medication and treatment. Recovery is possible with the right support and people can go on and lead rewarding and fulfilling lives
2 Having a mental illness means you’re crazy
FACT: While mental illness might skew your perception of reality, it does not mean you’re crazy it just means you’re human and you’re prone to illnesses just like any other person
3 Physical health problems are worse than mental health problems
FACT: A mental health problem can feel just as bad as, or worse than any other illness and requires just as much support. Just because it can’t be seen doesn’t make it any less painful or debilitating
4 Mental health illnesses like depression are a sign of weakness:
FACT: Suffering from a physical injury doesn’t make you weak. Neither does living with a mental health problem. They can happen to anyone from any walk of life.
5 Mental health illnesses are rare:
FACT: They are more common than you think and although they are not talked about as much as physical illnesses, one in five people experience a mental health illness in their lifetime.
By Inioluwa Amu
Picture Credit- Freepik