How many of you have gone to the doctor for a cold? Have you ever gone to the doctor for cancer treatment? How many of you have gone to the emergency room, thinking you were having a heart attack, just to be informed it was a panic attack? How many of you have sought counseling to process through emotional struggles?
Friends, we have it all backwards. We seek medical treatment when we are not physically doing well, yet it’s taboo to seek mental health treatment when we are struggling with our mental health. We openly discuss medical struggles with friends and family but suffer in silence when the struggle is in regards to our mental health.
My favorite quote is, “Mental health is not a casserole disease. No one brings you a casserole when your kid is in the acute unit.” It’s absolutely true! I’ve seen prayer groups pray for individuals whose health is poor, but I’ve never heard a group prayer focused on an individual who is living with depression, who can’t find the will to live.
Just like cancer is not a weakness, mental illness is not a weakness. It’s a diagnosis you probably didn’t will into your life, yet you’re faced with the uphill struggle of overcoming it. No matter the diagnosis, it doesn’t mean you are broken. You are not defective.
Your wellbeing requires a balance between physical and mental wellness. I challenge you to reframe your view on mental illness and look at it through the same lens you look at physical illness. Times have changed. We no longer live in a time of “insane asylums,” and there is no shame in living with a mental illness. Let’s make mental health a kitchen table conversation. Let’s be mindful of our loved one's struggles and spread compassion around like Trader Joes cookie butter on a rice cake.
If you live with a physical illness or a mental illness, don’t struggle alone in silence. Recognizing you need help is the most courageous thing you can do.
I’d love to hear how you take care of your mental health in the comments below.