National Depression & Mental Health Screening Month
October 2019 holds more than just spooky stuff and Halloween. Maybe you’re having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, maybe even a bad year. Perhaps you’re not feeling like yourself and haven’t for quite some time. Maybe you have everything to be grateful for but are having a hard time finding even a little bit of joy in your everyday life. When is it more than just a bad mood or a bad day?
In the United States alone, 46.4 percent of people who are age 18 and older will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. But sadly, only 41 percent of people who had a mental disorder within the past year received treatment from a real professional for whatever reason. That is almost half of the adult population in America that has had to deal with mental health issues or concerns and almost half of those people don’t get the help that they need.
We see the hashtags #SickNotWeak, #DepressionIsReal, or even #MentalHealthAwareness all the time one social media. Yet, many people with mental health conditions are still being stigmatized in today’s day and age. That is absolute insanity! Many people are scared of what they don’t know or of things that come off as being different.
But in all honesty, aren’t we all different and unique in our own way?
When there are so many different mental health treatments available today, why are so many people suffering in silence and opting out on asking for help? If you need help coping with your everyday life, for whatever reason, please don’t be afraid to reach out. If you are feeling depressed, sad, empty, frightened, or overwhelmed that DOES NOT make you weak. You are only human and everybody is wired differently inside of their brains.
What one person walks tall through could cause another person a lot of distress. It is not our place to judge how another person feels or deals with their own emotions.
You Are Not Alone
Please don’t try to fight a mental health disorder or condition on your own. Reach out to someone, anyone who is willing to listen to you. Don’t try to hide how you feel with a smile and act like everything is fine if it isn’t.
We’ve all seen those smiling pictures of the late Robin Williams. No one knew he was hurting as bad as he was. This might sound cliche, but it is so true, sometimes the people with the biggest, brightest smiles are the ones who are hurting the most inside and fighting battles that no one else knows about.
Even if you don’t have medical insurance there are places like government centers, warmlines, crisis prevention, and so on that you can try to turn to. You can utilize Google to find out what options you have in your area. You can even text the National Alliance on Mental Health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 741741 and just type “NAMI“ in order to try to find help.
If you do have medical insurance you have plenty of options available to you in order to find mental health treatment. Most insurance cards have a behavioral health hotline right on the back of your card. Remember, you are sick and not weak.
The suicide rate in the United States seems to climb higher and higher each and every year. As of 2017, for every 100,000 people, 14 of them take their own life by suicide compared to the 10.5 per 100,000 people back in 1999. That is a scary thought.
“Suicide doesn’t end the pain; it just passes it on to someone else.”-Unknown
I haven’t always had medical insurance either…
But I did not let that stand in the way of me getting the help that I desperately needed, and neither should you. I have done things such as go to the emergency room in order to be hospitalized in a behavioral health unit. And during my hospitalization(s) a caseworker started the Medicaid process with me.
I’ve already contacted my local government center which helped me get free mental health treatment for an entire year based on my either low or non-existent income depending on my situation at the time. And I was able to find these resources and information thanks to Google.
National depression and mental health screening month. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself. Mental illnesses are recognized as health conditions. You can’t always just focus on how your body feels while neglecting your mind. Not to mention, mental health disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can also cause physical symptoms as well.
If you are feeling suicidal please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number at 1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.