Tackling a Mental Monster

Information on how to properly address/conquer mental illness


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Understanding mental illness is a necessity

As mental health awareness spreads and the world gradually grows more understanding of those struggling with mental disorders, there are still multiple issues that need to be addressed. A negative stigma of mental illnesses and their treatment still remains, and needs to be abominated. We need to start recognizing mental disorders as valid conditions, not as mere excuses or exaggerations, so that the people dealing with them are able to accept themselves and recover. We need to cultivate a broader reach to those in desperate need of help.

If you or someone in your life is battling a mental illness, you know how hard it can be. Please encourage those around you, validate their pain, and be supportive during their recovery process, even if that involves medication and/or therapy. What they need is love, not criticism or mockery. As someone with personal experience, I cannot emphasize this enough. If someone opens up to you about their mental disorder, be sensitive to their needs, but do not treat them like they are any less of a person. Do not belittle or patronize them. Do not assume they are telling you to gain attention, but because they need your help.  Lift them up so they can better gain control over their life. The last thing they need is to feel ashamed of themselves and their mental health journey. 

Many people are discouraged from taking medications that they may be in need of, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication or mood stabilizers because others will tell them it is an unnatural route to take. On the contrary, if someone was told that he or she was diabetic, they would not refuse to take insulin. Mental disorders are often caused or at least amplified by a chemical or hormonal imbalance that can only be regulated by the use of medication. However, that does not undermine the importance of therapy. If meds are prescribed by an expert (such as a psychiatrist), and their necessity is verified, they should be taken and accompanied by therapy for the best results. Taking medication does not make one inferior if it is necessary. It is important that if you or someone you know is prescribed with medication for their mental health, that you keep this in mind. 

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