We all experience tough times, have our ups and downs, good days and bad. Some mornings we leap out of bed like a startled gazelle ready to greet the day with a winning smile and a cheery hello, but on others, all we can do is pull the covers back over our head and hide from the world. Having difficulty dealing with some of life’s challenges does not make you weak, strange or different from everyone else.
An issue that affects all
Difficult experiences in life can manifest itself in different ways with our mental health. Mental health is not a worry limited to a small, unfortunate section of the population; rather it is something that concerns everyone. In fact, according to studies by the WHO, mental health issues impact 20%-25% of our population, and that means 1 in 4 healthy individuals at any given point in time might face a mental health difficulty in their lives.
Talking it out
Dr. Amber and myself received a tremendous response from listeners on our recent appearance on the always-wonderful Dubai Today Radio show hosted by Suzanne Radford. As we talked about positive mental health and discussed difficulties commonly seen at Camali Clinic, listeners responded with their own experiences. We began to hear from people from all ages and walks of life. From mothers concerned about their teenage children to adults who have struggled with emotional issues their entire life and wished to share their personal path to positive mental health and lifelong recovery.
Mental health doesn’t discriminate
It was these human voices speaking out, these everyday lives affected by mental health, which make us all realise that these issues are common and can affect people regardless of background, and that they can profoundly affect the long-term happiness and wellbeing of the person. The overall message and feeling was one of hope and positivity.
Awareness and openness about mental health is key
While a broken leg is a broken leg in any language, mental health problems take on particularly subtle linguistic and cultural meanings. The first step to positive mental health is having an awareness of the importance of mental health in yourself and those around you. A lot of education is needed to help people realize that emotional wellbeing and behaviours are just another aspect of your overall health and wellbeing, and are no different than visiting your doctor if you have a physical concern.
Although these issues can have a profound impact on your life, they can be overcome with the right care. Keeping active, making time for friends and family, relaxing or speaking to someone you trust (be they a family member, friend or mental health professional) can all help you deal with these issues return to living the life you want to be living.