Seeking professional help for your mental health can be life-changing, but it can feel like a scary and sometimes bewildering process for those who've never been through the system. Luckily, it's a lot easier than you'd think to get started on the right path. Here's what you need to know.
Tagged With anxiety
The unfortunate truth is that we’re all going to deal with hard times, whether it’s reliving trauma, losing a loved one, dealing with a physical illness, suffering from depression, and on and on. So, what are your strategies for dealing with times of high stress or anxiety? It could be things you’re doing this week or methods you’ve used in the past to overcome hard times.
When you’re depressed, any little thing — from filling a prescription to making yourself a sandwich — can seem impossible. Writer Molly Backes recently tweeted about what she calls “The Impossible Task”, and if you’ve ever struggled with your mental health, you probably know exactly what she’s talking about.
After his third daughter arrived, Matt Villano was trying to keep his career afloat while helping his wife manage her emotional transition to becoming a mum of three when he suddenly found himself “completely underwater.” For the 42-year-old freelance writer in Sonoma County, California, it felt difficult to even get a full breath. “Everything was upside down,” he says.
There's still a lot we don't know about mental illness, but medical professionals are starting to place more importance on factors like diet and sleep in the treatment of these conditions. A review of the literature has identified some of the best nutrient-rich foods that can aid sufferers of depression and anxiety.
If you've ever been in the hospital recovering from a surgery, you know the health care providers will ask you to "rate" your pain on a scale of one to ten, so they can administer pain relief if you need it. But assessing mental-health distress doesn't have a simple scale, because mental health isn't as straightforward as physical pain.
Almost all parents worry about the health and safety of their newborn children. In fact, we're evolutionarily programmed to scan our environments for any potential threat to the little life we are now charged with preserving. You might worry that your child will stop breathing in the night. That a car might leap onto the footpath and mow down you and your stroller. Or, even, that you could do something to harm your new baby, like drown her during those awkward newborn sponge baths.
The numbers and icons displayed on our device's screens are meant to be useful; they tell us how much battery is left, how many unread messages we have, and when we need to update something. But more often than not, this data just nags us, constantly poking us like a toddler who wants their mother's attention. It doesn't have to be that way.
When I hear from adults who live with anxiety, many say that the only thing that helps is not trying to get rid of the anxiety completely, but learning to accept that it's going to hang around, maybe forever. They begin to see it as just a thing, neither good nor bad. On a recent episode of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, one guest said she deals with her anxiety by naming it "Steve" and then imagining Steve as this dumb friend who shows up once in a while. So whenever her anxiety acts out, she can say, "Oh, Steve. Cut it out."
Anxiety in adolescents is on the rise, reports the New York Times: It is now the most common reason university students request counselling services, and numerous surveys indicate that kids in high school and university are feeling overburdened and overwhelmed. Hospital admissions for suicide attempts in the US have doubled in the last decade, and Times describes in-patient facilities for severely anxious teens.
We spend almost half of our waking hours at work (how's that for a depressing thought?) so if your workplace is stressful, or if it's full of bullies and harassers, your mental health can suffer. For World Mental Health Day, the World Health Organisation put this together so your employer knows how they can and why they should keep you mentally healthy.