The Importance of Taking Care of your Mental Health

If you break a bone, you go to see a doctor. You might need surgery, stitches, or a cast, and you'll definitely need time to heal. It's easy to point to a cast, a bandage, or a physical injury and see what's wrong. But with mental health, it's not as easy to see, and that means that people often hide it, feel ashamed, like they simply aren't "strong enough" to heal all on their own. This attitude can actually make mental health challenges so much harder to heal from, and can even make them worse. Instead of treating mental health like it's something the person did wrong, what if we treated it with the same compassion and care as our physical health?

Physical pain is easy to identify. Slam your finger in a car door, break a toe on a bed frame, or get a blister from hot steam and you'll agree. But the clues our bodies give us for emotional and psychological pain can often be harder to sense, especially if we're used to hearing messages like "just toughen up." It's important to take time and listen to what's happening inside of us, and to acknowledge mental health challenges when they arise, rather than pushing them down, judging ourselves, or pretending they don't exist.

An untreated broken bone won't heal right, and an untreated blister might just get an infection that makes it so much worse. Likewise, untreated mental health can be damaging on so many levels, even leading to thoughts of self-harm or worse. If you are feeling helpless, anxious, overwhelmed, or numb to the things that used to bring you joy, you don't have to "toughen up" and you don't have to just live like that forever. Stress and mental health absolutely affects our physical health, and you deserve to have a happy, healthy life, both inside as well as out.

Your doctor can help guide you to different options that may help you out, if you're feeling this way. The best thing to do is to start now. Don't wait. With your doctor's help, you can get back on the road to wellness