One in Four
October 23, 2012 by
Categories: Emotions

“1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness—even Presidents” 

This line represents a new campaign for the organization Bring Change 2 Mind. This group was recreated to help remove the misconceptions about mental health. The group was founded by Glenn Close and Fountain House, which provides opportunities for those struggling with mental illness to live, work, and contribute to their community.

Even one of our most well-known presidents struggled with mental illness. Abraham Lincoln lived with melancholy which is now referred to as clinical depression.  Lincoln’s Melancholy explains how many historians believe his depression helped the president be more pragmatic and successful.

Bring Change 2 Mind asks, “What if we had turned our back on Lincoln?”  So many of us are either struggling with a mental illness or have a loved one or dear friend who struggles in the fight.

What if we all stopped to listen and offer comfort rather than using the opportunity to pass judgement?  Mental illness is often exacerbated by the isolation that people feel when they cannot talk about it within a safe environment.

Healthy Place, a forum for talking about mental health, provides some information about how to help if you know someone who is struggling with depression, one of the most common mental illnesses. Their advice includes understanding that recovery from depression is not as simply as taking medication or going to therapy. The process can be slow, but recovery is so much sweeter when a loved one is nearby to offer support.

As a marriage and family therapist, I work with not only couples and families but also individuals. When working with individuals, impromvement often occurs more quickly and lasts for longer when a family member either attends sessions or offers a comforting and supportive environment outside of our sessions.  Removing the stigma of mental illness is such an important step in helping millions receive the treatment they need, and it is one step that can begin at home.

 

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