Talking About Mental Health: The Importance of Reaching Out

FEATURED
January 24, 2023

Nue Life

Nue Life
7 MIN READ
This article was medically reviewed by Kristen Davis, PA-C.

Top Points:

  • One in five Americans is affected by mental health problems.
  • Talking about mental health can give you an opportunity to process your feelings and get an outside perspective, as well as help to break the stigmas surrounding mental illness.
  • When you decide to talk about mental health, make sure you set yourself and your chosen person up for success by preparing ahead of time and managing expectations.

Making the decision to talk about mental health issues with family members, friends, and loved ones is not easy. After all, mental health problems can carry various stigmas among the general public.

Sadly, these mental health stigmas can create unnecessary roadblocks for those needing care. Not being able to be open and honest about your mental health challenges can add to mental distress.

But, the days of mental illness being taboo are starting to come to an end. Here, we explore the importance of talking about mental health and some common misconceptions.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It affects our inner being, how we think, how we feel, and how we act. However, mental health doesn’t remain hidden inside — it also determines how we relate to others.

Our overall well-being can be affected by the state of our mental health. In fact, our mental health and physical health are closely linked. For example, mental health conditions like depression have been linked to chronic physical health issues like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and neurological diseases.

There can be several factors at play when it comes to mental health struggles, including:

  • Family history of mental illness or mental health problems
  • Personal life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Biological factors, such as brain chemistry and genetics
  • Substance misuse (drug or alcohol abuse)

Sudden or stressful life changes can also impact mental health. For example, working a high-stress job, becoming a caregiver for a disabled family member, or facing economic hardship can contribute to a decline in mental health.

There are many myths and stigmas that surround many mental health conditions, despite how common these issues are. For example, mental health problems affect around one in five American adults. Furthermore, serious mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression affect around one in 20 adults in the United States.

Why Is It Important To Talk About Mental Health?

For many, the stigmas surrounding mental health keep them from seeking the help they need. Experts estimate that one in five young people live with a mental health condition, yet more than half aren’t getting the help they desperately need.

One of the biggest barriers to mental wellness is the fear of negative perceptions. Stigmas breed silence, and silence can lead to feeling alone, further mental health problems, and even thoughts of suicide. Therefore, talking about mental health is an important form of suicide prevention. Even one conversation can be life-saving for young adults who are looking to open up about their own experiences and struggles.

In short, the courage that it takes to open up and talk about mental health far outweighs the cost of not doing so. Let’s look at a few other reasons why talking about mental health is so important.

Opens Up Opportunities for Support

Making the decision to talk about mental health can be extremely freeing. Not only does it help lift the burden of mental health struggles, but it can also open up the door for many opportunities for support.

At the end of the day, successfully managing mental health issues depends on the strength of the support system a person has around them. Trust should be at the foundation of this support system.

A strong support system includes people who:

  • Grant you the space to be open, grow, and make decisions and mistakes.
  • Have your best interest at heart.
  • Respect your desire for confidentiality in regard to mental health.
  • Offer good, non-judgemental advice when you ask.
  • Practice active listening as you share the good and the bad.

This support system could also involve things like peer groups. These are common in behavioral health settings and include people who can empathize with one another since they share similar struggles. Mental health support may also include speaking with a certified mental health professional.

Helps You Process Feelings and Thoughts

Talking about your mental health can also provide an opportunity to process your feelings and thoughts surrounding your mental health struggles. Over time, these feelings tend to build and build and lacking an outlet to process them in a healthy way can create further mental health problems.

Opening up and talking about mental health with a trusted person provides an opportunity to get bottled-up thoughts and feelings out in the open. This can be freeing for those who feel like they’ve struggled alone, but they need the proper support and space to do so.

Destigmatizes Mental Struggles

As mentioned above, mental health struggles have been stigmatized for years. Unfortunately, this means that many people have tried to reach out about their mental health struggles only to have their struggles cast aside.

Talking about mental health is the only way to help tear down the stigmas. But this takes courage and bravery. The more and more conversations that we have about mental health, the more likely the societal stigmas will dissolve.

Provides an Outside Perspective

While most people feel most comfortable talking with people they know, it may help to seek an outside perspective as well. This is where professional help comes in. Mental health professionals are trained to recognize, diagnose, and treat many mental health conditions.

While we need a loving support system of family and friends in place, many times they are unequipped to offer strategies and treatments for mental health problems. In addition to an outside perspective, mental health professionals can offer helpful coping strategies to help their patients deal with various mental health issues.

Opens the Door to Professional Help

If you’re ready to take charge of your mental health and wellness, there are options available to help combat the effects of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Nue Life’s ketamine therapy is a therapeutic alternative to antidepressants. It is available to those who struggle with depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, or PTSD.

Ketamine produces many neurobiological effects, allowing you to self-reflect and explore your thoughts from a new perspective in a safe and productive way. At Nue Life, our holistic and personalized aftercare also offers integrated support, including coaching sessions, weekly group integrations, consultations, and more.

Get started with your free evaluation today to begin your journey.

How Can You Start Talking About Your Mental Health?

The hardest part about talking about your mental health is taking the first step. This first step can feel downright intimidating.

Here are a few simple tips to help get you started:

  • Find a form of communication that works for you, whether it be face-to-face, a phone conversation, or a written letter or text.
  • Find a calm, quiet environment to discuss your mental health with a trusted person.
  • Practice what you plan on saying. Rehearsing what you’re going to say can help build confidence for the moment.
  • Be open and honest, and don’t expect too much. Don’t put unnecessary expectations on the conversation. It may take a few conversations for your chosen person to truly understand where you’re coming from.

The Bottom Line

Talking about your mental health can be an intimidating task. The fear of how others will perceive us can be paralyzing. But, the first step to healing is being open about our struggles.

Opening up and talking about mental health challenges offers an opportunity to break down the stigmas surrounding mental illness for others, while opening the door to healing for yourself. A few seconds of courage may be all you need to get started.

Treatment at Nue Life

Nue Life believes in holistic treatment, which means that what happens before and after your ketamine experience is equally as important as the experience itself. We want to ensure you have meaningful takeaways from your experiences and help you establish positive new neural pathways.

That’s why we provide one-on-one health coaching and integration group sessions with each of our programs. We’re here to help map out the mind and body connections in your brain and help you discover the insights that lead to true healing.

Sources:

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