Mental Health Chat 2

by Dr Makini McGuire-Brown

Today is #BellLetsTalk day, a day to encourage conversations on mental health. Of course we started the conversation earlier this month, see that here, so today we continue!

Mental illness is pretty difficult to comprehend at times if you haven’t seen it or experienced it first hand. You always hear “It’s an illness just like a physical illness” or similar comments that rightly attempt to reduce stigma and educate folk about the organic nature of mental illness. However, it can still feel difficult to understand for some so here’s an attempt to make it feel more real.

Mood disorders such as Clinical Depression or Bipolar Disorder Type I are disorders in which extremes of emotion incapacitate you; emotion limiting your ability to function at work, school and in social circumstances. Imagine being so sad (for no particular reason) that you can’t perform everyday tasks at work that you would otherwise be great at. Imagine having to overcome your emotions (for no particular reason) to be able to function. Similarly, in the manic phase of Bipolar Disorder Type I you have to fight against a constant high. Imagine having uncontrollable energy like a toddler to the exponent, while trying to focus on finishing a monthly project report.

Psychotic disorders such as Schizophrenia are even more ominous. Imagine waking up in a hospital one day to realise you’ve done something terrible. Imagine being told about your disheveled clothes, poor hygiene, incoherent speech and delusional ideology that culminated in a terrible irreversible act. Schizophrenia takes over every part of you that you know to be you and you have no control.

I give these explanations to bring across one point: Help, don’t hurt. People with mental illnesses need significant support to beat their illnesses. In the same way that cancer fighters need everyone in their corner so too do those with mental illnesses. Being alone is the enemy of recovery from mental illness.

Finally, let’s remember that anyone can suffer from mental illnesses. Although there are familial associations and socioeconomic correlations, ANYONE can suffer from a mental illness. Therefore it is always important to take your mental health seriously and foster it avidly. See tips for this in our first article! #BellLetsTalk! #ReducetheStigma #HelpdontHurt.

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Published by Dr. Makini McGuire-Brown

God-Lover, Mother, Wife, Physician, MBA, Language-Lover, Arts-Lover, Happy Caribbean Girl!

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