THE 411 OF MENTAL HEALTH
BY STACY KING-CHANE/GOSPEL EDITOR
In the beginning, God created,… (Genesis 1:1). “Let us go down and make man in our Image,” (Genesis 1:26). So, God created man in his own image, he created him in the image of God he created them male and female, (Genesis 1:27).
As we take a glance at Scripture as recorded within Genesis, (1st book of the Bible), we discover that all beginnings have their place in God. Therefore, our heart and our mind are hard-pressed to believe that he or she that is created by the Divine and bares the image of the Divine could find him or herself in a weakened state of mind. However, before we judge or doubt the validity of the struggle of mental health and welfare, let us be reminded that through the course of time, there are circumstances and situations within our lives that may leave us broken. Dare I say, shattered. Within this place of brokenness, our mental health struggles to remain whole.
Our mind tries desperately to tell our body and soul not to give way. It tries to encourage us with “good thoughts.” Our mind tells us that we can make it. Our mind tells us, “to pick ourself up by our bootstraps.” Somehow, there seems to be little comfort in those thoughts because circum-stances and situations may not have changed. So, our soul picks up the mantle and begins to try and lift our thoughts to a higher level reminding us of our Divine Creator. Our soul brings to mind Psalm 139:13-14, which states, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” But, there are times that our mind does not seem to hold to that brief reminder and our body begins to give way. Our body tries to convince itself that, “if I can only get myself out of the bed, then maybe I can do this.” Our body tries to convince us that maybe, “if I get some comfort foods, then I will feel better.” As mind, body and soul try to desperately handle our brokenness in its own strength, our wholeness becomes shattered. We find ourselves oppressed by the weight of it all and then depressed and cannot get up from under it. We begin to wonder, “what is wrong with me.” Well, this article is to inform you that there is nothing “wrong” with you. Brokenness is not a “right” or a “wrong.” It is a state of being that needs to be healed and there is healing for your brokenness.
Healing begins, when we along with those in our life realize that caring for Mental Health and Welfare is as essential for our wholeness, as is exercising and feeding the body. Eating balanced meals, getting rest and sleep, as well as physical recreation is as beneficial to our mind and soul. No, we cannot grind, so much that we do not give our mind, a brain-break.
Healing begins, when we realize that we are worth taking a “Mental Health Check-up.” Yes, take a moment out in everyday to ask yourself, “How are you?” Answer yourself honestly. If you are not alright, there is no shame. Say it and share it. Share it with a beloved One, a trusted Friend, a caring Pastor or a responsible, trained Mental Health Professional.
Healing begins, when we look out for our beloved family members, friends, co-workers and fellow students. Ask those that we encounter, “How are you?” There is no shame or nothing to fear. If they are not alright, don’t be afraid to seek Mental Health help on their behalf. Let them know that they are not doing this alone. Seek out a responsible, trained Mental Health Professional and encourage your beloved to “Say it and share it.” If you believe that it is an immediate detriment to their welfare, don’t be afraid or ashamed. Call 911 or take them to the nearest Emergency Room and get the professional help needed to start your Beloved One’s healing.
You and your Beloved never needs to be afraid or ashamed of strengthening your Mental Health. Your life is worth it because you are worth it. The time that you take is worth taking the time. Brokenness is healed, when being whole is the goal.
The following information is provided by the American Psychiatric Association. Exposure Magazine wants to be responsible in our addressing Mental Health. Our Editorial is personal but in our journalism we must be responsible.
PLEASE READ BELOW:
Fifty percent of mental illness begins by age 14, and three-quarters begins by age 24.
Signs & Symptoms
If several of the following are occurring, it may useful to follow up with a mental health professional.
- Sleep or appetite changes — Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care
- Mood changes — Rapid or dramatic shifts in emotions or depressed feelings
- Withdrawal — Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Drop in functioning — An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as quitting sports, failing in school or difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems thinking — Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
- Increased sensitivity — Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
- Apathy — Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
- Feeling disconnected — A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
- Illogical thinking — Unusual or exaggerated beliefs about personal powers to understand meanings or influence events; illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
- Nervousness — Fear or suspiciousness of others or a strong nervous feeling
- Unusual behavior – Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior
One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness but may indicate a need for further evaluation. If a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a physician or mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.
The above mentioned statement and the Signs & Symptoms is information provided on the American Psychiatric Associations Website. We encourage you to view their website to help you be informed about Mental Health and Welfare.
We are not the authority in this area but, we provide information for you to make informed decisions about your Mental Health and Welfare.
Our hope and prayer is that each of us will become diligent about total care of mind, body and soul.