The Realness of Mental Illness

The realness of mental illness. It’s a real condition. There is no shame in it. Don't suffer quietly because of what others may say or think.
The faces of mental illness are real; they are our parents, our siblings, our spouse, our children. It is a real illness just like cancer; no one is immune to it.
Why do so many sweep mental illness under the rug as if it isn’t a real medical condition?

The realness of mental illness. It’s a real condition. There is no shame in it. Don't suffer quietly because of what others may say or think.
When you hear the word, cancer, you quickly head to an oncologist. Or when you hear heart disease, you go to a cardiologist. But when it comes to seeking help for the brain, we shrug it off. Why?
Our brain is an organ just like the heart, the liver, and the kidneys, etc. And just like the other organs, the brain can also malfunction. Sure, it is the most complex organ in our body and doctors are still learning new things about this wonderful creation of God, but it can fail to work.
Mental illness and brain disorders are not the same. There are differences.

WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS?

Mental illness affects emotions, thinking, or behavior.
Anxiety Disorder – the feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety that interferes with daily life.
Bipolar Disorder –  is also known as Manic Depression.  Having mood swings that range from depressive lows to manic highs.
Clinical Depression – a persistent depressed mood or a loss of interest.
Hoarding – a persistent difficulty in getting rid of random possessions.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – develops because of shocking, scary, or dangerous events.
Schizophrenia – hallucinations and delusions cause reality to not be able to to interpret normally.

WHAT ARE BRAIN DISORDERS?

Changes to the brain itself are disorders.
There are many disorders, just to name a few:
Concussion – minor head injury that results in severe headache and dizziness.
Dementia – involves memory loss and eventually the ability to perform daily tasks
Epilepsy – abnormal brain cell activity that causes repeated seizures
Hydrocephalus - excessive cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain
Parkinson’s Disease - a neurodegenerative disorder that effects the dopamine-producing neurons. This causes the slow movement, tremors, and rigidity.
Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – when the blood flow is interrupted by either a blockage or opening in a vessel. Brain damage is done by the lack of blood and oxygen. Resulting in weakness or paralysis of limbs and speech problems. TIAs are mini strokes that normally don’t cause permanent damage.

WHEN TO SEEK HELP FOR MENTAL ILLNESS?

There is no shame is seeking help for a mental illness. It is better to seek professional help than to sweep the issues under the rug because you are worried what others will think. Your peace of mind is more important than that. Don’t suffer quietly!
It is not a “heart problem” as many Christians believe. It is not because of sin in your life. While God didn’t give us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), He gave us the wisdom to know when to seek help.
A primary care physician can give a little insight to a prognosis, but a mental health professional has the skills to diagnose a mental illness. And just like with other health issues, you may have to take your mental health into your own hands. If the doctor won’t listen, find one who will.
For many sufferers, they are in denial.
If you are a family member or a friend who suspects a mental illness. Discuss it with your loved one, encourage them to seek help.
Be supportive. A listening ear. LET THEM TALK! Don’t over react!
When communicating, talk to them on their level; it has nothing to do with their intelligence.
If all else fails, seek the professional help for them. It is better to “cross that line” than for them to harm themselves.
Mental illness is not an easy thing to accept. Everyone wants to be thought of as sane and having it together. And that is okay, there is nothing wrong with wanting that. But there may come a time when you are affected by a mental illness and there is nothing wrong with that.
If you missed my first posting on mental illness, The Day I Could Do Nothing to Help, you can find it HERE.

The realness of mental illness. It’s a real condition. There is no shame in it. Don't suffer quietly because of what others may say or think.

2 comments

  1. Thank you! Thank you for sharing about mental illness, Lori. I don't understand why so many people think it is best to ignore the subject. You are right, it is real just as cancer and diabetes. No one should have to suffer quietly. I hope others will realize how important it is to seek help. Thanks again for sharing this.</

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    1. Thanks, Denise. After sharing this and the other post, I have seen more and more people talking about mental health. It is important for all!

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