As someone who hopes to pursue a career in psychiatry, mental health is a topic that is very important to me, and I’ll be honest, mental health wasn’t always on my radar. It wasn’t until medical school where I truly began to see the value of taking care of your mind. So why do we still neglect our mental health?
- Stigma. Seeing a therapist used to be something you would never talk about or even think about saying out loud because who wants to be labeled as “troubled” or “crazy.” Those are misinformed thoughts. Thankfully, our culture and the language used around mental health is changing. You should never be ashamed of taking care of yourself—that includes mind and body.
- Social Pressure/Media. There’s a social pressure to “have it all together” or at least look the part. I blame social media on that part. There is this idea of what we think is perfect. That’s a lot of pressure and a high bar to set for yourself. Social media can portray these “impossible standards” that “life is perfect.” Newsflash—it’s not. Life is a beautiful process, but there are good times and tough times.
- Sign of Weakness. Who needs to ask for help? It makes me look weak. That’s a misinformed thought. You should never be ashamed of asking for help. If anything, think of it as having a licensed professional to keep you accountable.
- Work Ethic Culture Myth. There’s a cultural myth about being overly productive and exhausted equals success and is a sign of how hard we work. That means leaving little time to take care of our mental and physical health, and chances are if you have to choose one, most individuals will choose physical health. Rest and playtime are important to be the best version of ourselves. In fact, it allows us to be more agile and resilient.
You don’t need to wait for a crisis to seek professional help. Don’t neglect your mind. What are your thoughts on mental health?