The hidden danger of the unstable mind
When dealing with others we assume that they are mentally stable and that they are reasonable. The truth is that we never really know how mentally stable someone is until we get to know them better. Unless you spend a considerable amount of time with someone, you won’t really know how logical they are or how they manage under pressure. We all have things that trigger us and an unstable mind is wired differently from a ‘healthy’ neurotypical mind.
The sad reality of modern times is that mental health still does not receive the recognition and government funding that it deserves. In many parts of the world, there is still a huge stigma around admitting to having any mental disorder or some kind of inability to cope with the pressures of life. We are conditioned to smile and say that everything is fine, even when it isn’t.
What is good mental health?
Mental health is the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings and behave. Sometimes people experience a significant disturbance in this mental functioning. A mental disorder may be present when patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving cause distress or disrupt a person’s ability to function.
Thankfully, most depressed people do not want to harm others even if they regularly think about harming themselves. As pressures seem to increase, people are more stressed and feeling isolated yet there seems to be less help available. In the UK, there is often a waiting list as long as 18 months for someone wanting to see a counsellor. This is woefully inadequate.
As adults, we have so many different roles to play and this can often hide the inner turmoil that people experience. We have to push aside our recent breakup, our huge financial debts, or the fact that we have severe low self-esteem and harbour irrational thinking. We are required to act the part that our roles require. Whether that’s a Doctor, a pilot, a teacher, or a politician. Sadly, the world doesn’t really want to know, and in many instances…doesn’t really care.
The way forward is to speak up about how we think and what emotions we are experiencing (especially when they are negative and causing depression or anxiety). Only when we feel more comfortable accepting, that along with our physical ailments, there will be mental aspects too. When we break our leg, we get a plaster cast and a walking stick. When we experience mental instability in our thinking, we need to address this the same way we would a physical ‘obvious’ illness. Whether that is through regular counselling or medication.
When is an evaluation or treatment needed?
Each mental health condition has its own signs and symptoms. In general, however, professional help might be needed if you experience:
- Marked changes in personality, eating or sleeping patterns
- An inability to cope with problems or daily activities
- A feeling of disconnection or withdrawal from normal activities
- Unusual or “magical” thinking – if I believe it it will happen
- Excessive anxiety
- Prolonged sadness, depression or apathy
- Thoughts or statements about suicide or harming others
- Substance misuse
- Extreme mood swings
- Excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior
- Disconnection from reality
- Hallucinations or delusions
Many people who have mental health disorders consider their signs and symptoms a normal part of life or avoid treatment out of shame or fear. If you’re concerned about your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek advice.
There should be no difference between treating our minds and the rest of our bodies. If I had to choose between losing my mind or a limb, I would rather keep my marbles!