I think the whole world is in a bit of shock learning about the recent suicide of an awesome storyteller, Anthony Bourdain. How can a person like him, successful, famous and on top of his game, take his own life?
The thing is, we were not familiar with his personal life, his struggles, and his suffering. What we saw on the outside, did not reflect what was happening on the inside. This usually is the reality of mental illness and raising awareness about this matter is crucial in this modern, fast-paced, stressful world we live in.
Dealing with my own anxiety and panic attacks, I have learned plenty about mental health and I would like to share some important points with you. I will not write a long story here because many of you don’t have time to read and I would like to reach as many people as possible with my message.
If you or anyone that you know suffers from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorder or any other type of mental syndrome, please read the following facts. You never know you may help save someone’s life.
In the points below, I will use the terms anxiety, depression, and mental health interchangeably.
- Some people with depression are very good at hiding their symptoms. They seem joyful and strong on the outside but they are full of sadness and loneliness on the inside.
- Many individuals are ashamed of their condition; they see it as a sign of weakness and don’t want to tell others. They may not even want to seek proper care to treat their illness.
- Receiving support and knowing you are not going alone through this battle is a very important step towards healing. However, your family and friends are not the best source of assistance as they do not understand what you are experiencing. Finding a support group or talking to people who have faced mental health is the best way to go about this step.
- Saying: “Get over it” or “It will pass” are the worst statements you can say to someone who is suffering from depression. It’s like saying: “get over it” to someone who has pneumonia.
- Most people battling mental illness are overly sensitive. When something negative is said to them, they take it very personally and they might easily get upset.
- Many individuals suffering from mental health are prone to substance abuse. Drowning their sorrows in alcohol, sex or drugs provides a temporary escape from pain.
- There is no cure for mental illness but it can be managed with different types of therapies, medicine and supplements. Certain aspects such as getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, getting involved in regular physical activity, learning to manage stress, writing in a journal, spending time in nature and surrounding yourself with loving individuals make a huge difference when it comes to improving mental health.
- When looking for an effective treatment for depression, there is no “one size fits all remedy”. For some people, yoga or meditation work very well, while for others an intense kind of exercise is the way to go. Some find relief in hypnotherapy, while others improve by supplementing with herbs. If you are dealing with mental health, you need to do a lot of searching before you find what works for you.
- Learning about the triggers is another effective way of dealing with the symptoms. While it’s not always possible to avoid situations that bring on an episode, being aware of the triggers and accepting them, makes the symptoms management much easier.
- People who suffer from mental illness are affected by distorted thinking pattern which may be very negative and destructive at times. If a person is at his/her low point, this type of thinking can lead to contemplation of suicide.
- Don’t judge
- Be kind
- Offer a listening ear
- Give a warm hug