In the United States, 46.4 percent of adults will experience a mental illness at some point during their life.
Less than half of the people included in this percentage will seek out the help they need.
Why are people so opposed to getting help for their mental illness? When mental health is important, why does it take a backseat to physical health?
Here are some reasons why we need to treat mental illness like physical illness.
1. Your Brain is an Organ, Too
Think about it this way: like your stomach or your heart, your brain can “get sick,” too. Just because mental illness isn’t a physical injury or infection doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to heal.
Your brain allows you to think and feel, but it also allows you to move. Because of this, mental illness can take its toll on physical health, as well.
Recognizing that mental illness is normal is the first step to encouraging people suffering from mental illness to seek treatment.
2. Your Mental Health is Important
When left untreated, mental illness can begin to affect other parts of your life.
For example, mental illness can inhibit your decision-making and stress-handling abilities, leading to bad situations and overwhelming frustration. Depression and anxiety can get in the way of relationships which can further lead to feelings of isolation.
Since mental health is a part of physical health and well-being, when the brain malfunctions, curing it should be a priority.
3. Mental Illness is Stigmatized
Because mental illness can’t be seen, it often gets ignored by both by onlookers and the people suffering. People who suffer from mental illness may seem completely okay, but that doesn’t mean they are.
Mental illnesses come in all types, so their effects aren’t always visible. It shouldn’t mean that people suffering from behavioral, thinking, and emotional disorders should be treated like their illness is any less legitimate than a physical ailment. They have an affliction that needs to be taken seriously.
4. Mental Illnesses Can be Treated
Just like a physical illness, mental illnesses can be treated. Just because you can’t see the treatment working immediately like you can with a bandage or cast doesn’t mean they’re not working.
Different kinds of therapy and medication are available for individuals with mental illness. Mental health treatment centers also provide more intensive programs like Medication Assisted Treatment to treat mental illness. Inspire Malibu is one such treatment center that offers addiction treatment and dual diagnosis programs.
Treating Mental Illness like Physical Illness
The first step toward treating mental illness is accepting that it’s just as harmful as any physical illness. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it can’t be treated. Visiting a therapist and taking advantage of mental health services are the best way to ensure a mental illness is being taken care of properly.
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