Millions of people live with mental illness, but unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to it. The stigma of mental illness prevents people from getting the help that they need when they have the symptoms of a problem, and it makes it more difficult for people with mental illness to live their lives. Mental Illness Awareness Week, which takes place during the first week in October, is an opportunity for the public to learn more about mental illness in order to fight the stigma for sufferers. It is the perfect opportunity for mental illness sufferers and their supporters to take steps to reduce stigma with steps like these.
Be open and honest
Much of the stigma of mental illness comes with the fact that it is widely misunderstood. It’s important for people living with mental illness and their advocates to speak up openly and honestly about mental health.
Don’t shy away from sharing diagnoses with people. Talk openly about treatment and the effects of mental illness on your life. These actions will help to educate people, which is a powerful tool in fighting stigma.
Talk about physical and mental illnesses in the same way
People are almost always compassionate to people who are suffering from a physical illness, such as cancer or heart disease, but they treat mental illness differently. Fight back against this by ensuring that you discuss physical and mental illness in the same way.
Setting a standard of equality between these two types of illness will help to show people that they should be treated the same. Mental illness is a health problem, not a character flaw, so set an example by treating it as such.
Don’t stigmatize yourself
If you have mental illness, break the stigma with yourself first. Don’t feel embarrassed about mental illness or withdraw from activities because you’re concerned people will know you have a mental illness.
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers geriatric behavioral health services in Las Vegas and is constructing an 80-bed facility for treating mental illness in patients 13 and older in our continued commitment to be a resource for the community. Please call (702) 916-5023 for more information about our behavioral health services.
Good health is about more than just the absence of disease. It’s about enjoying quality of life, and reaping the benefits of a strong mind and body. Each May is Mental Health Month, and the geriatric psychiatric specialists at Southern Hills Hospital are celebrating by spreading the word about the mind/body connection. If you’re experiencing mental health challenges, consider visiting our hospital to meet with a caring specialist.
The physical effects of stress on your body
Severe or chronic stress takes a heavy toll on both mind and body. Stress can manifest in vague aches and pains. It can also result in the following:
- Excessive fatigue
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in appetite
Stress can even cause a spike in blood pressure.
The behavioral effects of emotions
If you’re having trouble coping with difficult emotions , you might notice that your daily routine is a little off. You might skip breakfast—or you might eat ice cream for breakfast. You might lose the motivation to exercise.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling mentally strong and emotionally healthy, you might decide to join a gym or indulge in a delicious salad. The state of your mental health can influence your physical health by altering your typical behaviors.
The methods of supporting mental resiliency
Mental resiliency and physical health are both essential for good quality of life. If you’ve been struggling with signs of mental health disorders like depression or anxiety, consider talking to your doctor about it. Your doctor genuinely wants to help you feel well, and you won’t be pressured into trying treatments that don’t appeal to you.
You can support your mental resiliency by eating well and exercising, even if you don’t feel motivated to do so. Practice good stress management techniques, like listening to your favorite music, escaping in a novel or getting out on a nature trail.
Southern Hills Hospital specializes in the psychiatric needs of our geriatric patients in the Las Vegas area. We provide compassionate inpatient and outpatient care for adults ages 50 and older, and our community hospital is working on an expansion project to meet the psychiatric needs of younger adults and adolescents. You can direct questions about our geriatric psychiatric services to a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.