When we think about medical diseases, such as cancer, hypertension or diabetes, we are much more prone to seek treatment immediately. When we experience dizziness or fatigue, for example, we look to immediately reverse these symptoms by seeking medical treatment. Put simply, we typically don’t ignore the early signs of disease. So, why aren’t most individuals doing the same when it comes to mental health issues? When you or someone close to you starts to experience the early warning signs of mental illness, knowing what the risk factors and symptoms are will help to catch them early. Often times, family and friends are the first to step in to support a person through these early stages. Experiencing symptoms such as sleepiness, tiredness, feeling sad or stressed shouldn’t be ignored or brushed aside in the hopes that they go away. Like medical diseases, we need to address these symptoms early, identify the underlying disease, and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health. Mental health conditions should be addressed long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process.
Many people do not seek treatment in the early stages of mental illnesses because they don’t recognize the symptoms or they are hesitant to seek treatment. In fact, up to 84% of the time between the first signs of mental illness and first treatment is spent not recognizing the symptoms. Mental illnesses are not only common, they are treatable. Mental health treatment includes counseling, or talk therapy, which has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide range of mental health issues.
It’s up to all of us to know the signs and take action so that mental illnesses can be caught early and treated, and we can live up to our full potential. We know that intervening effectively during early stages of mental illness can save lives and change the trajectories of people living with mental illnesses.
May is Mental Health Month. Mental Health America is promoting the early detection and treatment of mental health issues. Below is a May calendar full of simple ideas to help promote positive mental health every day:
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues, counseling can be an effective treatment. At Evolutions Behavioral Health, we offer individual, couples and family counseling. Call 855-875-HELP today for a consultation.