Avoiding Professional Help for Mental Illness: Is it Over-Confidence Or Courage?
You’ve heard about it. Day after day, people making the news due to some horrific incident that usually ends sadly in someone’s death, followed by words like: “he suffered from Bipolar/Depression/Schizophrenia” or “he/she has a long history of mental illness.”
Many times, you hear the commentator go on and on about the “psychological” issues involved. They then interview friends who comment: ” I never knew so-an-so was mentally ill” or (they may say) “he/she was always strange.” What happened?! Where did the ball get dropped with these peers?!
I, personally, was of the mindset that I could handle my moods. After all, I should be the master of my own domain, right?? For some, with mild cases of mood disorders (if there is such a thing?… a mild mood disorder…) this may be true. They may never have seen a doctor or never have stepped a foot into a psych ward.
For years, I knew I had “a” problem. However, I did not know what “it” was labeled/called. I just knew it was something in my head. Here is how I looked at it – in an article I wrote last year titled: I Can’t Be Depressed… I’m a Guy! Can you see the over-confidence? Or is it courage?
I can’t be depressed… I’m a GUY! I don’t have the time to deal with this mood. So, I swallow the pain and move on. I avoid the help that is out there because I don’t want my other guy friends to think I’m weak. Yes, weak. The stigma of how others think of mental illness keeps me away from talking to anyone about my unrelenting feelings of despair. So I buck up and tell myself I can take this… I’m a GUY. We don’t complain about this type of thing!
True Courage Comes With Asking For Help
Please DO NOT confuse over-confidence with courage and go it alone with Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia or any other Mood Disorder!! It’s OKAY to Ask For Help!! Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the stereotypes of over-medicated, wacked-out people TV and the media perpetuates. It takes real “COURAGE” to seek help.
No, I’m not saying you need medication or you should run out and get electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), but until you know what you’re dealing with, you’re basically suffering in silence. Who wants to suffer in vain to the point of becoming insane?! You may not even need medication or tons of therapy – you just may need to know that you’re not alone and there is someone to talk to who understands/cares. Having courage to acknowledge that you need professional assistance is the first step in your recovery!
Once you get an idea as to what you’re dealing with, the next step is education. Learn everything you can about what you’re dealing with. Read and research: There are many different therapeutic approaches to dealing with psychiatric conditions. Some peers do well with cognitive therapy that includes treatment to help change an individual’s thoughts or belief systems. You may take a holistic approach or find a well-versed therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. Or you may take the medication approach.
Whatever angle works for you and helps you “improve,” choose well and be well!! Be informed. Be educated. Be selective and work with it. Recovery is possible!! Just don’t get over-confident thinking you can handle it all by yourself. All of us need support!!
“Imagine all the people living life
in (with) peace (of mind). You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” John Lennon
Footnote: this is my very first whiteboard video. The above-mental health humor cartoon was done first as a whiteboard drawing. I thought it would be fun to share the whole creative process with my readers. And if this video gets a lot of subscribers, retweets (hit the blue retweet button) and Facebook “likes”…I’ll make more of them.
Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.
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Originally Posted on http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor YOU need permission use ©2011
Mental Health Humor Cartoonshttp://www.sharecare.com/static/sharecare-now-depression
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Stewart, C. (2012). Avoiding Professional Help for Mental Illness: Is it Over-Confidence Or Courage?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 30, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/humor/2012/03/bipolar-depression-overconfidence-or-courage-its-okay-to-ask-for-help-you-are-not-alone/