Now more than ever, mental health awareness is slowly but surely becoming more prominent in our society. Unfortunately, there still exists stigma regarding getting help for mental health issues, seeking help from a professional, and receiving medication. A wise person once told me that if a person had a vitamin deficiency and needed to take supplements, why should a person with a medically treatable mental health issue be treated any differently?
This sparked a connection between the body and mind for me. The mind, an entity of its own, really should not be treated as less important than the body. After all, if we are feeling mentally drained, overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, we are not as likely to perform well throughout our day, because we need to treat what is causing us to feel this way. Without a doubt, we take off from work when physically ill, but when we are not feeling mentally well, we often push this aside and go on with our day.
A person who has the flu is treated with lots of fluids, medication, hot soup; the works. Our mental well-being is just as vital as our physical well-being is. It is true, mental health cannot be “contagious” like some physical issues can be, but the focus should be on getting healthy again and reaching a point of comfortable well-being.
Truthfully, I have felt guilty about missing a day of school to prioritize my mental health. However, I know that if I had pushed on, things would have only gotten worse: I likely would not have been able to do my school work or focus anyway.
If society were to stress mental health as much as physical health, we would all likely feel the stronger importance of prioritizing our mental well-being. While there still exists stigma, we can be part of the change by remembering that our mental health is valid and equally as important as our physical health.