Why do people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety keep their symptoms hidden from the public eye?
Mental health is generally considered a taboo subject, but it is a subject we need to start discussing more freely.
Mental illnesses are on the rise worldwide, but many of the diseases go undetected due to the stigma associated with them. Although it is easy to talk about physical health, many hesitate to talk about mental health because they are unsure whether they will receive the necessary assistance. Coping with mental illness alone could make you feel even more isolated and unpleasant.
What is mental health and why people don’t talk about it openly
Mental illnesses is often seen as a taboo subject, but it is a subject we need to start talking about more openly. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects the way we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we manage stress, relate to others, and make choices.
The psychotherapist suggests three of the most common mental disorders that often go undiagnosed:
Depression is a common but often misunderstood mental health disorder. Symptoms of depression can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness for prolonged periods. Some people may also experience changes in sleep, appetite, and energy levels. While it is normal to feel down at times, if these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, it could be indicative of a more serious problem.
Anxiety is another common but often underdiagnosed mental disorder. Symptoms of anxiety can include persistent worry, complete avoidance of certain situations or activities, and physical symptoms such as sweating and a rapid heart rate. Like depression, anxiety can range from mild to severe and, if left untreated, can damage every aspect of a person’s life.
- Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. People with bipolar disorder can experience periods of highs (mania) followed by lows (depression). While the highs can be pleasant, the lows can be very debilitating, making it difficult to function in everyday life. Bipolar disorder often goes undiagnosed because symptoms can be mistaken for other mental health disorders or simply attributed to “a bad day”.
Reasons Mental Health Disorders May Go Undiagnosed
Mental health disorders can make it difficult to maintain relationships, get a job, or perform well in school or work.
Mental illnesses often go undiagnosed because the symptoms may be hidden. For example, someone struggling with depression may not express their feelings of sadness or hopelessness. On the contrary, they may appear withdrawn or disinterested in the activities they once enjoyed. Likewise, someone with an anxiety disorder may not show signs of distress but may instead avoid situations that trigger their anxiety. As a result, mental health disorders can go unnoticed for months or even years.
Another reason mental illnesses often go undiagnosed is that people are reluctant to seek help. Many people are ashamed or ashamed to admit that they are struggling. As a result, they may suffer in silence or try to hide their symptoms or minimize severity.
“Mental health disorders can also be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. This makes it difficult for friends and family to know when someone is really in pain. Doctors can also have a hard time diagnosing mental illness, as there is no one – one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, “says the expert.
How to ask for help
The best way to get a correct diagnosis is to consult a mental health professional who can assess your symptoms and provide you with appropriate treatment. If you suspect that you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, it’s important to ask for help. Early intervention can make a huge difference in the course of a mental illness.
Simple ways to keep your mental health in check
There are a variety of strategies that can be used on a daily basis to reduce stress and promote mental health. Here are some expert-approved tips.
Stress in the workplace, bereavement, separation, and financial hardship are all factors that can lead to poor mental health. Mental health problems in children and adolescents have grown dramatically, possibly due to the growing use of electronic communication and digital media.
On a daily basis, there are a variety of actions that can be taken to reduce stress levels and promote mental health. Exercising, getting enough sleep (8 hours), eating healthy, meditating, and talking regularly with a friend are all good strategies for taking care of your mental health.
Genes or brain chemistry, trauma, and even a family history of mental health disorders all play a role in mental health.
Simple ways to keep your emotional well-being in check
- Keep a record of the wonderful things that happen to you
Keeping a gratitude notebook could help you reinforce the positives in your life. You can go back and remember them when you feel down. Each day, make a list of three things you are grateful for.
When you exercise, you release endorphins, which makes you feel good. Also, when you look good, you get a boost in self-esteem and feel good.
- Check your diet
Hand in hand with exercise, your diet can change the way you feel. Eating fruits, vegetables, and getting enough water can serve as an easy cure-all.
Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to relax your mind and not think about anything. Leaving your thoughts at the door can help you deal with them one at a time.
You heard the expression “sleep on it”, well, that’s what you should do. Lack of sleep contributes to depression and poor decision making.
- Talk to your friends and family
If you are struggling with something, don’t be afraid to share it with someone close to you. Reach out to friends or family for support and advice.
- Invest in your hobby
Chances are you have something you love but never do. So, take some time off for your hobby, be it reading, art, sports, or even crossword puzzles. Your hobby, even if you’re not good at it, can boost your self-esteem.
- Do something for someone else
Whether it’s helping around the house or cooking a meal for your family, when you do something for someone else without expecting anything in return, their gratitude can make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
- Listen to relaxing music
Listening to calming sounds like nature sounds, instrumental music, and peaceful singing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and even change your mood.
- Get help
If all else fails and you can’t manage your mental health, contact an expert. Don’t be afraid because you are not alone.
It is estimated that one in four adults suffer from a mental health disorder at some point in their life. Despite the high prevalence, many disorders go undiagnosed. In some cases, people are simply not aware that they have a mental health problem. In other cases, they may be reluctant to seek help due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.