I Try to Say Something Useful (For Once) or Why We Should Be Able to Talk about Mental Health

I say a lot of things. Approximately 90 percent of those things are pointless and roughly 40 percent of those things are related to me wanting nachos.

So there, you get the picture, I’m not exactly a wealth of information here. I’m not a conduit of knowledge. I’m not known for bestowing wisdom. Most of the time, I’m just some lady who won’t shut up about wanting some nachos.

Today though, I’m going to attempt to say something worthwhile because every once and awhile I figure I should give that a shot, just for the change of pace.

Also, I just happen to think this is actually important.

I think it’s important that we learn to talk about mental or behavioral health as a component of overall health.

I think it’s important that we learn to talk about mental health — period, not just when something terrible happens, but all the time, because it matters all the time.

I think it’s important that we talk about mental health issues the same way we talk about things we think of as traditional health ailments:

  • as physical conditions,
  • as conditions that can be treated and sometimes cured, and
  • as conditions for which people can, and should, seek help

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. When someone asks for help, that just means that they noticed they weren’t feeling like their best selves and they took a step to address, and possibly improve that.

I’ve never really understood the supposed stigma about getting mental health treatment or simply seeing a therapist.

If your tooth hurt, no one would fault you for going to a dentist.

If you had a stomach ache, no one would question you for going to your primary care physician.

But if something feels off in your brain — arguably, the single most important organ in your body, you’re not supposed to say anything about it?

That does not make sense to me. At all.

I’m all for asking for help. I do it and, well it helps.

I’ve gone to therapists occasionally when I’m anxious or worried, or simply want to talk through a problem with someone who is unbiased, professional and can give me good advice.

It helped. I liked it and I’d highly recommend it to anyone else who is going through something stressful.

There’s no shame in it — or at least there shouldn’t be. Therapy is just another tool you can use to address your overall health and you shouldn’t feel bad about using it.

Most people believe you only get one shot at this life business so why wouldn’t you want it to make it the healthiest, happiest life you can?

The availability and affordability of mental health care is another issue I’m not going to get into here, but bottom line, if you want help, please ask for it.

There’s nothing wrong with it and you deserve to feel your best.


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