October invites reflection on mental health with the celebration of European Depression Day (4 October) and World Mental Health Day (10 October). All over the world, awareness-raising initiatives are being carried out on these issues that are (still) silenced out of shame or fear of stigma. Talking about mental health is difficult, because after the suffering she has been through, there is a feeling that others are judging them, a “look” of disapproval or incomprehension in the face of emotional pain. Sometimes it’s easier to hide or wear a “mask” that seems to hide everything you feel…
The greater the ability to know oneself, to look “inside” and understand what we really feel, the better will be the ability to make conscious decisions adapted to life situations. I remember the example of athlete Simone Biles who gave up on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and made her mental health a priority.
The epidemiological study “Sustainable Development and Sustainability of Primary Health Care” (Ordem dos Psicólogos Portuguese, 2021. Lisbon) on Mental Health of Portuguese reveals that mental health problems affect one in five Portuguese (23%). In fact, many studies report an increase in mental health problems (such as anxiety and depression) among young adults and adults (particularly those who have become unemployed, parents who have had to combine minors’ care with a professional life, health professionals, and people with pre-existing psychological vulnerabilities). ).
We have all experienced periods of grief resulting from loss or difficulties in changing or adapting to new life situations. When there is an increase in suffering that interferes with daily functioning, with the way we feel (with ourselves and others) for an extended period of time, we may experience depression. Depression is more than just sadness or discomfort, the diagnosis involves a combination of changes in mood and behavior (altered sleep, eating, arguments, anxiety, etc.) that last for at least a few weeks, with difficulty activating responses that help to cope with each day . It can also “appear from anywhere”, without being associated with specific events. In some cases, it can become so unbearable that people think about harming themselves or ending their lives. Depression can appear at any age, including children and adolescents. Despite the feeling of hopelessness that accompanies depression, accepting to be accompanied is always the right decision because emotional recovery requires appropriate intervention. Psychological therapies or psychotherapy are the recommended “first line of treatment” and they help most people.
(Still) There are those who think that asking for help is a sign of weakness, but I usually say that this step is a brave attitude, the most important move to know yourself better and develop skills that help you find appropriate answers for your life.
Let’s talk about happiness? Just as you look in the mirror and see your image reflected, try to look inside yourself and ask how you feel? What do you want to change? What do you need an evaluation to take care of your mental health?
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