Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

May 1, 2014

May is Mental Health Month

Seek help and return to good mental health

What is mental HEALTH? How do you know if you have mental health issues? Mental HEALTH is is a state of harmony in the way you relate to others, the way you make decisions and the way you grow through life to be a productive citizen in society.

Mental ILLNESS is a state in which you are either temporarily or permanently unable to relate well to others, make responsible decisions for yourself or others for whom you’re responsible, perceive things around you to be other than what they actually are and are impaired from growing as a responsible, productive citizen in society. Depending on the severity of mental illness, one or all these areas may be affected.

Do you know someone with mental health issues? Mental illness may be manifested by feelings of depression, anxiety, dependency, eating disorders, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia from medical causes and many other conditions outlined in reference books of the American Psychiatric Association. Some conditions are permanent and cannot be changed. Others are temporary and may change as one’s life conditions change; however, some may persist and become more debilitating. Many are known to result from chemical imbalance. Most mental illness is quite treatable which makes it possible to live a more normal life. Most importantly, mental illness that impairs your daily life’s relationships need medical attention. Sometimes medication may be needed. Mental illness is a disorder just as physical illness is and needs to have the same concern shown. Those who have mental health issues do not discuss them as readily as perhaps knee replacement, cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

Mental health problems have a stigma attached and to admit to mental health problems is looked upon as an embarrassment. Why do we think it’s OK to have a broken arm or leg but not a broken brain? Those who have mental health issues need compassion, acceptance and assistance.

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