Mental Health Awareness Month

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I am so sorry that I went this whole month without writing about this topic. It is May 30th so I guess I’m still in the clear. I’ve been passionate about mental health for some time now and I don’t really know how or why that started but I’m very passionate about it. In fact my interest and passion on the topic has forced me to want to work in a Psychiatric Hospital and I have to say it isn’t anything like the movies depict.

Depression, Schizophrenia, Bi-polar Disorder and PTSD are just like any other physical disease you can acquire. They demand treatment and attention. Although I’m not huge on pharmaceuticals unless absolutely needed, treatments and therapy are crucial. People who suffer with these illness literally have a different chemical make up in their brain.

So no, people who are depressed cannot just snap out of it, people with PTSD and Schizophrenia aren’t just faking it and they definitely are not “crazy”, they’re suffering from something that everyone should take the time to understand. That’s like telling a cancer patient or diabetic that they are ugly. No they’re, dealing with a disease process.

Imagine not being able to trust your own mind, at any given time it could act up and go into an episode of hearing voices, hallucinations, or just feeling like you literally cannot get out of bed. Imagine being triggered by certain smells, colors, voices or locations. When I say triggered I mean in a state of panic, an anxiety attack because of what you’ve seen or has to endure in your past. Sometimes people endure such hardship in life that they are not able to fully equip themselves to live normals lives because of the traumas they have endured. These are the most beautiful people. Take my word for it.

The stigma behind drug addiction and mental illness is a challenging one to fix. People don’t even like to admit that drug addiction has a disease process. Someone people can try a drug and walk away, others cannot because their brains are chemically wired differently. Some don’t even survive it. Many times drug addictions and mental illness go hand in hand. Victims of mental illness may want to “escape” their reality only to find out that being addicted to drugs doesn’t help but instead puts them in a place that is way worse than when they started off.

People who suffer with drug addictions don’t want to do it anymore. Once addiction sets in the drug is something they need to survive. In Psychiatric Hospitals prescription drugs are prescribed to help addicts get off of the street drugs they may be on. Withdraw is real and is NO JOKE. Medical attention is needed in these situations for the person to become sober.

So instead of looking down on those who suffer with mental illness or drug addiction, we should ask what we can do to help. What kind of resources can we help create? If you know someone struggling from depression or any other mental illness you should talk with them the best you can. They need our support, they need to know that we are there for them even when their own brain is not. I’ve learned so much from being in this field a short amount of time. The most important thing is that we treat people the way THEY want to be treated. Always have a listening ear, and before you judge someone with a mental illness or someone suffering with addiction, try to understand them, get educated on what drug addiction actually is and see what you can do to help!

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