According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, roughly one-fifth of all adults in the United States experience one manifestation or another of mental illness. Although the human brain is not well understood, mental health experts do know that the most effective form of treatment involves a combination of counseling – the practice is formally known as psychotherapy – and prescription medication.
Even though doing nothing more than talking to someone might seem too simple to be effective in curbing the symptoms of mental illnesses or eliminating them at their source, people suffering from mental disorders should never underestimate the power of psychotherapy.
Far too often, friends, family members, and others who are close to people dealing with mental illness simply don’t understand what such disorders feel like, effective modes of treatment, and – most importantly – what not to say to someone currently in the throes of mental illness.
It’s all in your head.
That’s right – mental illness is all in sufferers’ heads. However, while we can clear negative thoughts from our minds on command with enough practice, shooing away depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses isn’t possible in 99.999% of cases.
Try to be understanding and listen to your friends, family members, or coworkers instead of telling them their problems are all in their heads.
Just go for a run!
Although humans’ bodies are built to run, not everybody can comfortably run for even a few minutes at a time. Even natural-born athletes faced with climbing out of the impossibly deep rut that is anxiety, depression, or schizoaffective disorder – or any mental illness, for that matter – likely aren’t in great shape because mental health disorders often reduce concentration, detract from people’s figurative energy tanks, and boost fatigue, making them highly unlikely to willingly exercise.
Further, psychologists indicate that going on nothing more than a leisurely walk for only 10 minutes can directly lead to the same mental health benefits as a fully-fledged, hour-long weightlifting routine, run, and other intense exercises. Telling people suffering from mental health disorders to “just go for a run” will likely discourage them from any type of exercise – including walking.
Get over it.
If only conquering mental health problems were as easy as building proverbial bridges and getting over them.
Although mental illness and cancer are entirely different, they are similar in one way – sucking it up and being an adult will never cure them.