My Two Biggest Mental Health Pet Peeves

11:00 AM

There are two things that people do in relation to mental health that absolutely irk me, no matter how patient I try to be: when people come in and tell me what diagnoses they do or don't have, and when people don't think they need to take care of their mental health.

I imagine that most people don't tell their mechanic or doctor or dentist or vet what's wrong or what isn't. Sure, they may come in and have some ideas about what may be going on, but they're probably not coming in and arguing that they don't have cavities even though their x-rays show that they do. Yet they're quick to tell me that they don't have depression even if their symptoms match the DSM 5 diagnosis perfectly.  While I completely believe that individuals are the experts on their own lives, that doesn't mean that they know absolutely everything.  They may know what symptoms or feelings their experiencing, but that doesn't mean that they know what's going on or what can help.

You probably visit your dentist for the recommended check-ups, which is twice a year for cleanings and exams.  If you have any major issues in-between, you visit to get them taken care of.  Why the hell do people not believe that they should do that for their mental health?  There isn't a recommended frequency for seeing a counselor or therapist, but a lot of people don't seem to know when they should see someone.  This article and this article talk about some signs that you should see a mental health professional.  You don't have to be severely depressed to go see someone.  You can go just when you're dealing with extra stress from work.  It may take some time to find a practitioner that you like, but it'll be so worth it when you do.

Okay, I'm glad that I got those off my chest.  I guess it's because I'm a future social worker and totally fascinated by psychology, but it totally blows my mind that not everyone is more open and in-tuned with their mental health.  It does seem like we're heading in that direction, even through things like yoga and coloring books, which can be great for mindfulness and stress.

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