At first glance you wouldn’t notice what all those letters mean so allow me to decode it for everyone.
D is for Depression
AD is for Anxiety Disorder
BD is for Bipolar Disorder
S is for Schizophrenia
ADHD is for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Ladies and gentlemen, all the above mentioned are mental health disorders. Some, depression, are more common than others, schizophrenia, but that does not mean one is more important than others. There are more mental health illnesses but i want to focus on these few for the time being because they hit closest to home.
Now allow me to touch base briefly on all of these.
ADHD is characterized by an inability to remain focused on a task, impulsive behavior, and excessive activity or an inability to sit still. It is more common in children but adults can also be diagnosed with it.
Anxiety disorder is defined by intermittent and repeated attacks of intense fear of something bad happening or a sense of impending doom.
Bipolar disorder causes a periodic cycling of emotional states between manic and depressive phases. Manic phases contain periods of extreme activity and heightened emotions, whereas depressive phases are characterized by lethargy and sadness. The cycles do not tend to occur instantly
Depression covers a wide range of conditions, typically defined by a persistent bad mood and lack of interest in pursuing daily life, as well as bouts of lethargy and fatigue. Dysthymia is a milder but longer lasting form of depression.
Schizophrenia is not solely about hearing voices or having multiple personalities. Instead, it is defined by a lack of ability to distinguish reality. Schizophrenia can cause paranoia and belief in elaborate conspiracies.
My initial confrontation with mental health issues was at a young age and at that time i did not fully understand what was going on because of the lack of information availed to me at that time. As i grew up, i started to focus and equip myself with knowledge on mental health issues in order to understand it better. I made a couple of friends through learning and spreading awareness about mental health. The day i finally decided i had to start talking about this more than i do was when someone said to me during a conversation, “maybe i am just sick in the head and crazy but it’s whatever.” I do not know why but this gave me anguish because i noticed how people still lack knowledge of mental illnesses and what to do to get better or to help others. So today, i have decided to go a week spreading all out awareness about these issues to anyone i can so i decided to start with these 3 notes.
1. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IS IMPORTANT. There is a need to raise awareness about mental health and the issues concerning it. Everyone needs to know about mental health because it affects us one way or another. If you do not have any illness, someone you know does so either way you are affected so it would not hurt to equip yourself with the right amount of knowledge to use when you encounter certain situations. This way we can try to prevent suicides and save our fellow friends. For further reading on mental health check out any of the below links
2. SUPPORT. Have you ever went through something alone? How did that work out? Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on because remember no man is an island therefore you have to aid and support one another in everything including mental health issues. There is an Tswana proverb which goes like “Mabogo dinku a thebana” which when the definition is translated means that people achieve more when they work together to achieve it. Supporting a friend going through a mental breakdown or undergoing treatment for Bipolar disorder makes it easier on them because they see how much other people care for them and are not afraid of them. Support is essential in mental health. Mental health illnesses are not some airborne disease which you would catch by hanging out and supporting someone with it so why shy away.
3. GET HELP. It is not weakness to ask for help. Asking for help is more strength than weakness. The moment you notice that you are feeling low all the time or that you have one or some of the symptoms on those links, there is no use hanging around and being afraid to go to a psychiatrist. Go and get an evaluation by a professional so that they could put you under therapy as soon as possible. Early diagnosis means early treatment. The earlier the better. So take the first step and ask for help. If it is not a psychiatrist, at least talk to someone you trust and feel open with because talking also helps. Bottling things in does not help anyone, especially you because soon that bottle will be full then what? Take the initiative and help yourself get helped.
Life is worth living. Help a life. Yours or someone elses.