Suffering in silence is not the only way…
Our NHS is extremely efficient in treating the population’s physical health. This is evidenced by the wide range of treatment and medication available for the large number of recognisable symptoms.
Not so with mental illness. It is much harder to recognise or understand which is why 2 out 3 people with a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety disorder, suffer in silence. Some may say that the reason for the lack of open treatment for mental illness is due to the fact that it affects everyone individually and in different ways. Some may not even be aware that they have a problem with mental illness or just be in poor mental health. Lack of motivation and stress in carrying out simple daily tasks can be an indicator of an underlying problem. Those who are aware may seek treatment but it may not be available to them. Many others just choose to suffer the pain in silence due to the lack of knowledge and awareness friends and family have of mental health issues.
There is no health, without mental health; so, why are so many people afraid of seeking treatment? This may be due to not wishing to be exposed; or to the fear of trying to make friends and family understand; or just to a lack of availability of treatment in certain regions. Knowledge about mental health issues needs to be spread more widely and awareness increased so that when the people closest to the individual are needed the most, the individual is not met with ignorant responses because of a lack of understanding. It’s hard to relate to and comprehend illnesses that are not visible such as a broken arm or a wound. Society needs to be more open-minded in recognising when people are continually fighting within their own minds every single day. Symptoms of mental illness and poor mental health are not very clear but they do have similar outcomes to those of serious physical illness. The outcomes may be constant fatigue; no motivation; no desire to improve one’s lot and live life to the full which is why it’s so important for people that are suffering with poor mental health to speak up and obtain treatment.
The treatment for mental illness isn’t as simple as prescribing medication or giving an injection as it is with some physical illnesses. Each individual is affected differently as this depends largely on genes, motivation, the will to bounce back and, above all, receiving quality treatment. This could possibly include therapy or coping mechanisms such as breathing techniques for illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, receiving treatment will allow the victims of poor mental health to improve and live their lives to their full potential without holding themselves back. It will relieve the endless fighting within their own minds, the exhaustion and the agony and will enable them to live happily and contented.
Poor mental health is just as serious as a physical illness and should be given the same amount of attention and treatment. Hundreds of people around us are suffering in silence and we need to help them. We need to observe subtle hints such as social withdrawal, lack of communication, constant confusion and fatigue. Above all, we need to understand that people who seem to be completely normal may be fighting this battle every day. This means that we should be more sensitive and sympathetic when it comes to talking about mental health issues in our society.