Many people who struggle with mental health disorders feel a sense of shame or embarrassment. That is a natural result of the stigma that society has often attached to mental illness. Fortunately, that stigma is slowly but surely being met with common sense, respect, and kindness as more and more people recognize that mental health disorders are not something that should be hidden and ignored. Rather, they should be acknowledged and treated.
A Much Needed & Long-Awaited Shift in Thinking
Part of this positive shift is, at least in part, due to the wise words of prominent figures who have reminded us that mental illness is best addressed with honesty and courage.
Let’s listen to some folks who have pushed the conversation around mental illness in the right direction.
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” – Fred Rogers, children’s television host
Mister Rogers continues to be a guiding light for many well beyond his passing in 2003. The beloved host of the children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood had a gift for talking to children about difficult topics in helpful and compassionate ways. And those lessons for children remain touchstones for many, many adults. The quote above highlights the importance of talking about our mental health as a first step to addressing it effectively.
“I finally realized that owning up to your vulnerabilities is a form of strength. And making the choice to go to therapy is a form of strength.” – Lizzo, musician
Lizzo is a musician who is known for a kind of brash fierceness. You have no doubt heard her sing about her tossing her hair, checking her nails, and assuring everyone she is “feeling good as hell.” But as this quote demonstrates, sometimes even the fiercest of us needs help.
“If you break your leg, you’re going to go to the doctor to get that leg healed. If…something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help. There’s nothing weak about that. It’s strong.” – President Barack Obama
The former president makes an important point here. The most important word in the phrase “mental illness” is “illness.” When we are ill, we seek out help so that we can move toward wellness. We should get as good at remembering to do that when a mental health disorder is in play as we are when a physical disorder is impacting day-to-day life.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about illnesses that affect not only individuals, but their families as well.” – Glenn Close, actor
Glenn Close is a star on both the screen and the stage, but that has not prevented her from advocating for mental health causes. She was a founder and chairperson of Bring Change to Mind, an organization with a powerful mission statement—Our mission: To end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. She also spoke at the White House in support of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which became law in 2014.
We share Close’s quote above because she touches on an essential point: mental health disorders affect more than a single individual. Whole families (whether biological or chosen) are impacted when a member of the family is struggling with their mental health. So the decision to get help is a decision with significant ramifications for many people.
“There is no health without mental health.” – Former Surgeon General David Satcher
There it is in a nutshell, right? No matter how physically healthy you might be, if you are not mentally healthy, you are not healthy overall. Dr. Satcher, who served as Surgeon General of the United States under President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, understands just how completely intertwined physical and mental well-being are. When you understand and acknowledge that interconnection, it can be a lot easier to seek out and accept the help you need.
Get Headed Toward Healing at Peak View Behavioral Health
If you are struggling with a mental health disorder and are ready to take steps toward improving and maintaining your mental well-being, Peak View Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs, CO, can help. We know that each individual has a unique story and unique needs, so we prioritize listening to you and then developing a personalized treatment plan. You can count on us for evidence-based, compassionate care that can help improve your quality of life.