DF Archive

May is National Mental Health Month: 2006

May is National Mental Health Month: 2006
It’s 2006 and it’s again to celebrate all that is mental health by kicking off the annual campaign to raise public awareness and kick stigma to the curb!
by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Caring for your mental health is key to your overall health.
Your mind is connected to your body, and your body, to your mind. You cannot separate the two, and it’s a little ridiculous to try (imagine Frankenstein, if you will). If you take care of only one (think of all those good folks who visit the gym everyday), but ignore the other, you’re missing half the picture. Yes, that’s 50%. You need to take care of your mind, your mental health as well. Can’t communicate in your relationship? Feeling down or depressed all the time? Having interpersonal troubles with your coworkers? Guess what… These are all mental health issues readily resolved with a little committment and attention on your part. Yes, readily resolved.

Caring for your mind as well as your body will keep you healthier, happier and more productive.
Taking care of your mind in this way will keep problems at bay, just as keeping your muscles in shape and keeping the fat off reduces your risk for many common health problems. You don’t “work out” your mind like your muscles, though. You improve your mental health by learning better techniques for communicating with others, by understanding how stress impacts your life, and learning how your own inner dialogue can keep you from achieving all of your life’s goals.

Most mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety disorders, are as treatable as physical illnesses.
Common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are fairly well-understood by researchers, and the treatments are cost-effective, effective, and usually short in duration. For instance, in depression, most people who receive combination therapy — medications and psychotherapy — will start feeling positive effects of treatment within just a few weeks of treatment. Within 6 to 10 weeks of psychotherapy, most people will report significant strides in their treatment, and within 12-16 weeks, the full antidepressant effects of medications.

Mental disorders are real, common and treatable.
They are as real as a broken arm, as common as the common cold, and as treatable as a simple bacterial infection. There’s nothing magical about mental health issues, and there’s nothing secret about effect treatments for them. Treatments don’t involve “drugging” or locking people or laying on a couch for years at a time.

Leave a Reply