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Thinking about your mental health like your physical health

Have you been experiencing thoughts or feelings that you have never felt before? Do your thoughts irritate you or leave you feeling unpleasant? Have you just not been feeling like yourself lately? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, help is available. Like any other illness, it can sometimes be difficult to discuss your mental health. It is common to have a lot of questions whenever you have a new health concern, and mental health is no different. Some common questions are:

  • What if the problem is much bigger than I expect?
  • What if I am put on medication?
  • What if people start treating me differently?

These concerns may be overwhelming and make you want to try and avoid the problem. However, as with most health issues, mental health symptoms are more easily treated when they are addressed early. In order to avoid having early symptoms become major concerns, it’s important to be open to speaking with a professional. Taking action to deal with any mental health problem is the first step toward overcoming it. To start, take some time to think about how you're feeling and discuss your concerns with your loved ones. Then, just like you go to a doctor to answer questions and receive treatment for physical problems, you can see a therapist or psychiatrist for mental health concerns. These healthcare professionals can give you information to help you better understand your experiences and provide education about your treatment options.

Remember, there are only benefits to taking a proactive approach to your mental health. The journey to improved health starts with you!

Kristen Candan, PhD

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