Global coming out mental illness day
There is little that eats away at the soul as much as a secret that must be kept because of fear. This event is designed to help overcome the stigma associated with most psychological difficulties. The idea is that we all gather up our courage and tell someone, who does not know, that we struggle with a particular problem. There the secret is out and we no longer have the additional burden of being secretive with all of the doubt and uncertainly that causes.
In the kind of society we strive to create no one should feel ‘less than’ because of a psychological problem. So let’s support this initiative.
One step further for good mental health
My idea, the one I have been pushing for about 15 years, is that we all can take more responsibility for our own well being, both physical and psychological. We can no longer, sensibly rely on the NHS or some other agency to take complete care of us. I am not sure we ever could! It is too big of a job.They may do a good job for some people, even a lot of people. But the scale of the need for psychological input is too great for the resources available. Many people who need help can become demoralised and even think of suicide as the only way out. We need to start to recognise that we can all help ourselves to a much greater degree than we might imagine.
The real solution to psychological problems
The real, human scale, solution to psychological problems is to take responsibility for our own mental health and to use whatever tools we need to do this. The medical establishment always pushes to medicalize psychological problems thereby making them appear to need a medical (and by that I mean psychiatric) solution, ie a pill of some sort. The truth is that the vast majority of mental health problems are not severe enough to warrant a psychiatric intervention. Even the treatment for severe depression or severe anxiety are well within the scope of psychologists and cognitive behavioural therapists, usually without any pharmacological help. But when we give responsibility for our mental health away to the medics then the solution they proffer is understandable.
A few years ago I had an eye infection that made my eye water. I didn’t know what it was so I went to a specialist. He said it was blepheritis. I didn’t know what that was. He said that the solution as far as he was concerned was surgery to resolve a problem with a tear duct. A family friend said “oh I had that just use blepersol as a wipe. I did and it went away and has not returned since. The moral of the story being if you ask a surgeon then the solution is surgery, if you ask a psychiatrist then the solution is medication and if you ask a psychologist (me) then the answer is don’t ask these people but do educate yourself and take control of your own life and your own well being. That includes challenging the feeling that you should be ashamed for finding some things difficult. Be active in the management of your own problems. Don’t suffer in silence or accept less than you would wish for yourself. A solid chunk of most problems can be gotten rid of straight away with the resolve to change things for the better and the adoption of sensible and scientifically proven strategies. Become curious about why things happen and how things could be made different. And seek out people who have travelled a similar path and remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.