So if you aren’t sure whether you have good mental health, look to the ways you are behaving. Things like addictions, self-harm, and poor self-care can all signify that you have mental health issues and need support.
Myths about mental health
There are far too many myths about mental health out there. Here are a few.
1.There is an exact formula for good mental health.
Not at all. What makes you feel inspired to take care of yourself, feel good in the world, and live out your potential might be entirely different than what works for someone else. Some people find mental health through sport, others through spirituality, for example.
Find what works uniquely for you, no matter what others might think.
2. It’s obvious when someone has bad mental health. They are ‘mental’.
First of all, calling someone ‘mental’ is entirely unhelpful. It creates a stigma around something that we all go through. You, too, will one day struggle to cope in the face of life change.
Secondly, mental health issues can be far from obvious. Sometimes the person who seems the most together is suffering the most, and the person who always goes on about their troubles actually feels quite stable beneath it all.
So don’t assume you know someone’s mental health. Or think that because someone seems to be doing well they don’t need you to ask them how they are. Ask anyway, then listen carefully.
The most important thing you can do is not judge yourself. It’s not a competition. And the more we put ourselves down for struggling mentally, then worse we feel. Remind yourself that everyone, at some point in life, has mental health challenges.
We are living in a time with more information available than ever before. Self-help is a great start. There are great books, articles, and forums you can access.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that self-help equals support. The truth is that when we are struggling with mental health issues it can be hard to ‘see the wood for the trees’. We lose sight of what we need or how to make good decisions. And our friends and family, who want the best for us, can be too invested to tell us what we need to hear.
A counsellor or therapist is trained to help you move forward and creates a safe space for you to do so. And nowadays counselling and therapy is more affordable than ever. If you are worried about finances, read our article on ‘Low Cost Counselling‘ for inspiration on finding the help you need.