Prior to my diagnoses, I didn’t know anything about mental health. It wasn’t something I had ever had interest in or cared to learn about. If someone I knew talked about their mental illness, I chalked it up to them being weak and thought they should “snap out of it.” Awful, right?
It comes as no surprise that this is also how the Filipino culture viewed mental illness — weak, crazy, something you can snap out of, unacceptable, stigma. My views were presupposed even before I could come to my own conclusions. I will discuss this view later on in my blog. For now, I wanted to give a simple understand of mental health and mental illness.
What is mental health
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices1.
What is mental illness
Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities2 .
Myth vs. fact
Why you shouldn’t be ashamed of your mental illness
One of the first YouTube videos I found on mental illness was of Kristen Bell. She talks about her struggles very openly and an amazing advocate. I have said many times that I wanna be her when I grow up. In this video she explains perfectly why you should not be ashamed about your struggles.
Did you know that Kristen Bell had mental health issues? Does it make you think of her differently?
I am deep into my mental illness journey and have a new found respect for those suffering with any illness — mental or physical. Managing any illness daily is exhausting. I regret anything I have said to anyone prior to managing my own depression and anxiety. There have been opportunities in my life where I have apologized to those I have hurt with my words because of my lack of knowledge on mental health.
Next week, I will share how I ask for help from my husband and simple screenings for mental illnesses. So be sure to come back and continue the discussion.
Remember, it’s ok to not be ok, tomorrow is a new day.