Communication is a fundamental element of human existence, allowing us to convey emotions, explore ideas with one another and gain extroversive knowledge of the people and the world around us.
For people living with mental health issues, speaking with others is also essential in order to further understand the situation and identify ways to improve their wellbeing.
Whether they are a medical professional, or even just a close friend or family member, being open and honest will help to actualise your symptoms, achieve a more relaxed mind-set and avoid feeling ashamed about your circumstances.
GPs and Doctors
First and foremost, it is important to speak with a qualified medical practitioner when you begin to have concerns about your mental health.
Whether you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, hallucinations or any other symptom, speaking with someone who can provide honest, pragmatic advice is essential.
Doing so will allow you to be fully aware of your situation as well as to identify different approaches and strategies to tackle the symptoms pertaining to your condition.
This includes information on possible treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapies, medication, diet plans and changes in lifestyle.
If your symptoms are ignored, their severity can potentially increase and this can even lead to the development of additional problems further down the line.
For instance, if you are suffering from anxiety, you may find yourself becoming depressed if action is not taken at the appropriate time which can make it harder to focus on work and relationships.
Friends and Family
Whilst your family may not be able to provide the same support of your doctor, discussing your feelings can be a liberating experience and will help you remain calm by ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Transparency is important with any distressing circumstances and this includes the quality of your mental health.
The people in your life want the best for you; however, until you speak to them about your concerns, they may not be aware that anything is wrong.
Mental health conditions contrast greatly with physical health issues in that they rarely manifest as visible afflictions and, with people who are apprehensive about expressing their problems, this can make it extremely difficult for a discussion to begin.
Furthermore, there may be people who have encountered similar experiences to you who can provide you with first-hand knowledge and support to help you improve.
In addition, having someone to speak to on a daily or weekly basis can help considerably by providing you with peace of mind and simply allowing you to speak your mind.
You shouldn’t be afraid to speak with your employer about your health if you feel it has reached a level where it may be detrimental to your performance at work.
For instance, if you are suffering from severe depression and are finding it difficult to focus at work, your employer may be able to offer you time off to help you recover.
If this is deemed appropriate, taking a break can be hugely beneficial in the long run and can allow you to return to work in much healthier state, helping you to regain your productivity.
However, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to restructure your day to remain at work whilst avoiding areas work which are proving to be challenging.
For many, mental health illnesses can instil feelings of worry and shame due to the stigma surrounding them and their supposedly ‘atypical’ status amongst certain groups.
However, with around 25% of people being affected by some form of mental health conditions each year in the UK alone, these issues should certainly not be overlooked.
If you have concerns about your mental health, make sure to visit your GP as soon as possible.
It may simply be a temporary period of unrest which will pass quickly, however, there is a chance it can be something more serious.
Encompass is a registered charity which helps people living with enduring mental health illnesses and learning disabilities to live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Our Support Workers provide a range of care services including respite care, supported living and day care support.
Find out how we can help you or a loved one by clicking here.