The people you meet everyday may or may not be dealing with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Your neighbor with the idyllic home, the celebrity with the perfect lifestyle, the individual at the gym who is the “picture” of health and self-care. These people face the same challenges as every other individual. No one is exempt from mental health challenges. The isolating thought that you are alone in dealing with your problems leads people to consider suicide rather than help and self-improvement.

While pharmaceuticals have proven to be effective to in certain circumstances, they are over-prescribed and purported to be the panacea for mental health issues. Though the physiological impact of medication is undeniable, the efficacy of therapy, where an individual actively works through their specific issues, has proven to substantially improve one’s mental health and quality of life.

While this week we lost two notable people to suicide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one million people die from suicide each year.

Being a psychologist and in the mental health profession after a national tragedy or incident of public mental health attention is always difficult. I’m often asked “Why?” and “What causes this?”

What I’ll say today, after two untimely and shocking losses of public figures in the last week, is that we need to pull our heads out of the sand about mental health issues. The stigma attached to these very real & biological disorders leaves people feeling alone, ostracized, afraid, marginalized & reluctant to seek help.

Imagine having uncontrolled diabetes and feeling shameful of presenting to a doctor to get lifesaving insulin. Mental health disorders are just as real and just as life threatening.

Some Statistics:

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.
  • 43.8 million ADULTS (not including children) will be diagnosed with a mental health condition in the next year in the US.
  • Suicide rates are up 25% in 20 years. And…60% of adults with mental illness did not seek treatment last year.

Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate

Mental illness impacts all of us. Mental illness can happen to any of us. Mental illness can be silent or quiet. It can be present in your doctor, teacher, cashier, attorney, police officer, husband, children, wife, parents, favorite handbag designer, favorite singer and today, favorite enlightened traveling foodie.

What Can You Do?

So maybe instead of asking why, we should ask what? What can we, as a society, do to change? What can I, as an individual, do to be more sensitive, to be more open-minded & nonjudgmental?

The Reality of Mental Health Care

Calls for improved access to “mental health care” are well-intentioned, but here is the blunt truth: Psychotherapy is what works and what is needed – not just psychiatry. More than ever, people are turning to medications without engaging in psychotherapy to treat mental health difficulties. The trouble is that your psychiatrist will see you for fifteen minutes every one to three months. The drugs he or she will put you on probably don’t work any better than placebo. Your psychiatrist might not remember your name or much about your life. This is the end result of the flawed and dehumanizing biological paradigm. Suicide rates have never been higher. Get yourself into psychotherapy.

Medications may be needed, but it is human connection, empathy, and love that cures.

If you’re struggling, please ask for help. If you know somebody struggling, please ask how you can help. Keep asking. The storm will pass. Your life is worth living. You are loved.

WE CAN HELP

We are here to listen. We are here to help. Whatever the reason, give us a call. Remember, there are many reasons why people seek therapy. Professional mental health assistance can greatly benefit you in many ways, even if it is just having an open, non-judgmental listening ear.

We are committed to providing therapy and counseling services in a comfortable, relaxing, encouraging, and non-judgmental environment to yield the most realistic and best outcomes.  Give us a call or email us today to schedule an appointment.

 

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