Monday, July 6, 2015

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July has been dubbed National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.  With more and more people, both famous and in our own communities, succumbing to various mental health conditions it is becoming more clear that we cannot take mental health conditions lightly. 

Today's stats say that one in four people have experienced a mental health condition, and those numbers are even higher for minority groups often due to lack of access to care, beliefs passed down about mental health from generation to generation, and other factors.  

Mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, etc. are very serious and should be treated as such. The problem is that most of us do not know what mental health problems look like.  

Some of the symptoms include:
  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide 

  • For more info about mental health symptoms and where to get help

    I am not by any means saying that if you have one or more of these symptoms that you for sure have a mental health issue but, it is a red flag to go and seek help in getting a diagnosis.  Knowing is the first step to coming up with a plan and remedying whatever your situation may be.  

    I say all of this from personal experience.  I have battled depression for some years now and it has been an uphill battle at times but, there is hope! I am a living example. I have written about some of my experiences here and there but, you can read some of my story here.  In addition to seeing a therapist in the past, I also supplement with Vitamin D (shown to help with mood/depression), try to exercise regularly and eat a diet chock full of fresh foods and veggies whenever possible.  Juicing and making smoothies are my go-to's!

    If you or someone you know needs help, please do not ignore it.  You were created for a purpose and we need you here.  

    Check out these resources for more info about mental health conditions and for tips on where to get help: 

    Do you or someone you know live with a mental health condition? What do you do to manage your symptoms?

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