April is National Counseling Awareness Month, and so I thought it would be a good idea to take this time to talk a little about mental health and the benefits of seeking treatment for whatever issues you may be facing.
When we talk about mental health, we are talking about our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Our mental health not only affects how we feel but also how we think and behave as well as handle stress and make decisions.
Mental Health Statistics
Just how common are mental illnesses in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- More than 50% of American adults will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their life (Adjustment disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, etc)
- In any given year, one in five people in this country will experience a mental illness.
- Children are not immune to mental health challenges, in fact, one in five will experience mental illness at some point.
Causes of Mental Illness
While there is no single cause of mental illness, there are some common factors that are believed to contribute to the risk of developing mental health issues. These include:
- Trauma or a history of abuse.
- Stress-related to ongoing chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
- Chemical imbalances such as hormonal imbalances.
- Increased use of drugs and alcohol.
- Feeling lonely and/or isolated.
- Genetic factors and Epigenetics
Therapy Can Help
Living with a mental health disorder can be incredibly painful, compounded by the tendency to want to isolate. This is why National Counseling Awareness Month was started, to help those in need recognize there are people and resources available to them. A professionally trained therapist can help you explore and examine the symptoms, diagnose (if appropriate) and offer tools and healthy coping mechanisms to turn mitigate those symptoms. That is a great path forward.
To find a therapist near you, you can directories like that of Psychology Today, Good Therapy or Google works too. Keep in mind that many therapists are now offering telehealth sessions over the internet, so it may be best to pick someone you feel more comfortable with instead of someone who is geographically close.
I do offer telehealth services and would be more than happy to speak to you about what is going on. Please feel free to reach out to me.