Today is World Mental Health Day, and the theme of this year’s day of awareness is Depression and its impact globally on the lives of people. The goal of the day is to raise public awareness about signs and symptoms of depression, but also to put forth ideas about how communities, and larger health care and government systems can respond more effectively to the needs of people with depression. Depression is considered the “common cold” of mental illness as it impacts most of us at some point in our lives. The beauty of awareness campaigns, I think, is that they have the power to both normalize human experience and give us a language to describe our experience; and both are potent ways to feel empowered!
One of the main messages I would like to highlight on this day, is that depression exists on a continuum from mild to severe and if ignored when in a mild state, it can worsen and become harder and harder to cope. Much like a headache – if you address it at the first sign of discomfort, often it can be headed off, if you ignore or try to “push through it” – you might eventually have a migraine on your hands! Tuning into our bodies, our emotions, and our thought processes and using these as important signals about what we need is a crucial part of emotional well-being (and dealing with or preventing depression).
Self-care is a huge part of this which I’ve written about often on this blog, and a practice of self-awareness (see past post here: http://nikkilively.com/practicing-self-care-moving-from-should-to-good-habits/). Engaging in psychotherapy is one way to work on, or learn how to take care of ourselves and decode emotional signals, but there are many other ways as well (see links below). So, the other important message for me on this day is that emotional health and well-being are just as important and worthy of our attention as any other part of healthcare.
May you be inspired on World Mental Health Day to make your mental health a priority today and everyday!
Thanks for reading, and as always, your questions and comments are welcome!
For more information on World Mental Health Day, as well as ways to manage depression and the latest research on depression click here:
I also wanted to share some links of my commonly visited websites for inspiration on keeping myself well and happy!