In Honor Of Mental Health Awareness Month
Start writing a post
Featured

In Honor Of Mental Health Awareness Month

An open discussion on how much we need an open discussion on mental health awareness

12624
In Honor Of Mental Health Awareness Month
Ashley Wen

Odyssey recognizes that mental well-being is a huge component of physical wellness. Our mission this month is to bring about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community. Let's recognize the common symptoms and encourage the help needed without judgement or prejudice. Life's a tough journey, we are here for you and want to hear from you.

The first article I wrote for the Odyssey was about one of my experiences with anxiety. It wasn't written as a cry for help, but rather in the hopes that someone else who hasn't opened up about their mental health issues could feel like there was someone they could relate to. Now, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I want to open up more about why it’s of paramount importance that we address mental health awareness.

I can say from personal experience that it’s difficult to admit you have mental health issues, especially because of the stigma that surrounds them. Emotional distresses and illnesses are more often than not “treated” by being told to “suck it up” or “deal with it,” while physical health issues are treated with utmost seriousness. And unlike an antibiotic that can heal the stomach flu or a fever, there is no reliable cure-all for mental health issues.

I’ve often wondered why there exists such a gap between acknowledgment of physical health and mental health problems. I personally believe this can largely be attributed to how the latter is discussed across the media. We toss and turn over the irrational actions of mentally-ill psychopaths that star in the dramas and horror movies we watch. We blame the genocides committed by criminals in the news on their mentally-ill states. As a society, we have created in our minds this idea of some Joker-looking, eye-twitching, drug-overdosed monster that is the “mentally-ill.”

We are also taught to judge how much our mental health issues matter based on where we come from. I am guilty of trivializing my own mental health issues, and even denying that they exist because of how comfortable my life is. I have internalized the belief that someone who claims to have mental health issues while living a life with minimal tangible struggle is in reality, just being petty. This is completely false. However, to be brutally honest, even as I type that, I don’t believe it entirely. I try every day to teach myself that my issues are real and should be dealt with as so, but it has been engrained in my brain for far too long that they are not. And so, I’m not just writing this article to reach out to others, I’m also doing it to try to help myself.

I’m in no way proud of the fact that I have mental health issues. However, I believe that I must recognize and acknowledge them as an important first step to realizing I need to reach out and get help. We should all feel unafraid to address our mental health issues. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, around 61.5 million adults in the United States alone undergo a variety of mental illnesses. This is approximately 1 in 4 adults. Given the prevalence of mental health issues here in America, it should make sense that they are discussed more, or even at all. Instead, we oftentimes hide these issues behind chipper facades. Not everyone who has a mental health issue seems like the “type of person to have a mental health issue," and the statistics prove just that.

By writing this article, I don’t expect to solve the issues of stigma surrounding mental health issues. But mental health awareness is a topic that isn’t talked about enough, nor recognized largely enough as a topic worth discussing. As the proverb goes, the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging it exists. So I hope that this piece encourages people to do their own part in ridding the stigma. Mental health issues are real, and it’s about damn time we recognize that.

Report this Content
Pexels

As the holiday season draws nearer, many of us find ourselves drawn to the same old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials and the perennial favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas." However, I would like to suggest an overlooked alternative, "Arthur's Perfect Christmas." It is a heartfelt, funny, and surprisingly inclusive Christmas special that deserves more recognition.

Keep Reading... Show less
Reclaim Your Weekends From The 'Sunday Scaries' With 'Self-Love Sundays' Instead
Olivia DeLucia

Laid back and taking it easy — sometimes that is the motto we all need after a busy week. Sunday scaries? Yes, they are valid – but you know what else is? A Sunday full of self-love. A lazy Sunday spent doing what you feel needs to be done to ease into the next week. Self-Love Sundays are a guilty pleasure that isn't only essential for our mind, and body, but are also a surprisingly proactive way to devote the upcoming week with a clear mindset.

So, what is a more suitable way to dedicate your week's end than a beautifully, connected playlist to accompany your face masks and journaling? Cheers, to a Self-Love Sunday (and a playlist intertwined with it to match). (Please note: "Sunday Morning" isn't included in this list, due to the obvious, but feel free to blast it anyway, we know you want to).

Keep Reading... Show less
Sunset Girl

The sun rose and peeked through the sheer curtains. Rose’s alarm shrieked. The loud bells caused her phone to jump on the side table. It was time for her to get ready for church. Blindly reaching for her phone, she shut the alarm off and pulled at the covers providing her a cocoon of warmth and tossed them to the side. She swept her bare feet across the bed to touch the cool wooden floor.

Rose softly tiptoed to the corner of the bedroom to grab her clothes dangling on the arm of the bedroom chair. Scooping all of the items of her chosen outfit, she headed to the bathroom hoping that she wouldn’t drop anything.

Round, piercing blue eyes stared back at her in the bathroom mirror. Rose fingered the wrinkles forming around her eyes. So many of them bore signs of laughter and smiling. Slowly dropping her hands, she couldn’t remember the last time she laughed in her home with Tom. Shaking her head as if to erase the negative thoughts, she reached for her makeup bag and went through her regular routine.

Applying her favorite deep rose lipstick, Rose headed downstairs to make her coffee and bagel to take with her to church. The smell of dark-roast coffee swirled in the air as Rose sliced her cinnamon raisin bagel. Hearing the Keurig sputter with the fresh brew, Rose found the interruption of the stillness comforting. The toaster signaled that her bagel was done with a soft pop. It had a delicious golden brown color. Placing the bagel on the counter, she generously spread honey nut flavored cream cheese across both halves. Gathering her bible, notebook, and pens from the side table on the porch she stuffed them into her purse. Purse hanging on her right shoulder she juggled her coffee and bagel in both of her hands as she headed to the garage.

Keep Reading... Show less
Environment

This Holiday Season, Choose To Be Eco-friendly And Reduce Pollution

Many of us have old magazines lying around, fully read and not of much use anymore. However, we can use their bright colors and prints as a stylish and trendy wrapping paper!

986
Presents

It can be overwhelming to see the detrimental effects of climate change and pollution on the news, from animals dying and forest fires spreading, but there are smaller changes that we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint, and it begins with our gifting season.

On average, Americans throw 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years, which translates to 25 million tons of garbage. That's 1 million extra tons per week.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

This Feeling Hurts

A Poem on Love

2586
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments