The Benefits of Good Mental Health By Cathy E. Rigg, LCSW
Do you believe your mental health is as important as your physical health? Most of us would answer “Yes,” to that question. However, our actions often say something quite different. Most of us are quick to go to our doctors when we have a physical health issue such as chronic pain, problems regulating our blood sugar, wounds that won’t heal, decreased strength, trouble sleeping or just generally feeling unwell. However, our mental health issues do not receive the same prompt attention much of the time. For some reason, many of us feel that we can talk ourselves out of feeling anxious or depressed. That might be true occasionally, especially if our moods /feelings are connected to a time-limited situation that is “getting us down.” However, if our moods/feelings are negatively affected by clinical depression or another mental health problem, it might be time to seek out a little professional help.
Even with all of the education made available to the public concerning the need for good mental health care, there is still some stigma attached to this very common problem. Depending on our life experiences, there may be some messages we received from our parents or from society that gave us the perception that admitting to depression or anxiety was a sign of weakness. In addition, many males in our society have been given the message that they must appear strong at all costs. It isn’t that important to identify why we avoid discussing mental health as long as me make a decision to start making our mental health a priority.
Have you been struggling with sadness, hopelessness, lack of motivation, sleep issues, isolating yourself, lack of enjoyment of once loved activities, feeling anxious or some other mental health symptom? Do you feel comfortable bringing this up with your doctor? Do you know what steps to take to get help for these issues?
The good news is that we have several options in this geographic area for taking care of our mental health care needs. And it can be as easy as bringing up your mental health concerns with your family doctor. Your doctor can then refer you to Taylor Clinic’s behavioral health services, our local mental health services, or specialized mental health services. In addition, CMH offers mental health services to our older population through their Intensive Outpatient Program, Senior Life Solutions.
Remember, your mental health is as important as your physical health. Maintaining good mental health increases the quality of our lives in many important ways! Give yourself the gift of good self-care both physically and mentally. It will be one of the best investments you have ever made!