Breaking the Mental Health Stigma
On the first episode of The Mind Itself, John Whitbeck introduces two guests. Jennifer Marshall is the executive director of This Is My Brave. Jennifer was diagnosed with type one bipolar disorder and clinical depression. Starting off with an anon blog, she wrote to connect and share stories about mental health. Eventually it led her to creating her organization. Dr. Michael Oberschneider, the founder and director of Ashburn psychological and psychiatric services, provides mental health care for people of all ages and people who are dealing with a wide range of issues. Together, they discuss the mental health stigma, how important the junction between creativity and mental health is, and how to stay mentally healthy.
Breaking the Stigma
One of the hardest things about dealing with mental health is when an individual doesn’t believe they need help. Jennifer and Dr. Mike talk about how difficult the realization of needing help can be for some individuals, and this only furthers the mental health stigma.
Mental health is hard to pinpoint when thinking about why it’s happening and when it’s happening. People go years and years without the proper diagnosis, which can leave them feeling helpless. Some people can’t come to terms with what they are going through, going through grief – like stages towards acceptance.
Therapy is uncomfortable, and all individuals handle it differently. However, the sooner someone gets treatment, the sooner that person can start getting better. Learn how kids and adults handle their mental illnesses differently.
Protecting Mental Health
When people need help with their mental health, it’s at the tipping point of the crises. People wait until things are as bad as they can get. Dr. Mike and Jennifer discuss how it needs to change, that kids need to have check ins and learn about mental health earlier on. There are preventative methods and ways to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself.
Legal systems also make it harder for people to get mental health help. Structures and policies that are put in place often make it harder for the people that need help to get it.
Combining Mental Health and Art
Mental health treatment may not seem fun, and people are sometimes resistant to the clinical style. Jennifer allows treatment to be in the form of a play, of giving people a stage and allowing them to tell their story. This creates a sense of community and connection.
Dr. Mike explores medication, therapy, and evaluation techniques, acknowledging that a good psychiatrist connects with the person needing help. It’s an unfolding process to understand what each person needs to get that help they want. Good therapy can happen everywhere, not just in an office. Working on what you need to work on is helping lessen the mental struggle.
Staying Mentally Healthy
The mental health struggle isn’t over after going to therapy once. It’s a process, and sometimes it takes going to therapy your whole life to combat it. Understanding triggers and having stability support mental health. Long-term strategies are making sure you’re going to therapy to live your life, not living your life to go to therapy. Meaningful changes, exploring the self, and continuing beneficial therapies along with medication management can help relieve mental struggles.
There are many different ways you can care for you mental health. Dr. Mike and Jennifer have resources that you can implement into your life.