We Are All In This Together
Updated: May 21, 2019
Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in America is said to struggle with mental health. This, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness, is approximately 43.8 million people who struggle with managing symptoms of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder to only name a few. Most of us can relate to experiencing, on some level, extreme sadness, grief or mood swings.
Life ebbs and flows with situational stresses, circumstantial restraints and even our own mood swings. For the most part, these are normal and each of us has a measure of resilience allowing us to recover. So when is it not normal? And when do you need to seek counseling? Well you already do this! Most people have a family member, close friend or co-worker that often will listen, give advice and offer suggestions on how to manage the problem at hand. However, sometimes these people are too close to us to offer an objective view point often siding with us, validating how we feel and unintentionally perpetuating the negative feelings.
It is healthy to challenge our thinking for objectivity. Professional counseling or pastoral counseling can afford us opportunities to reflect, analyze and move toward solutions. They also provide, NOT advice, but an expertise to explore different coping tools that aid us in coping with difficult emotions, managing the physiological symptoms as result of feeling these negative emotions and/or problem solving techniques to help us navigate tough circumstances.
Back to the question of when is it not normal? And the answer is when we aren’t able to bounce back after a period of time. And no, there is no magic “time” number to dictate how long someone should grieve or should be angry or even be sad; however, prolonged time in these states serve as a sign that professional counseling could offer support.
Managing life can be tough and we begin to doubt ourselves and question our ability to manage it. Remember above I mentioned resilience. This is one’s ability to adapt or recover from a significant level of stress. Resilience threads our thoughts, behaviors and actions. We are adaptable, but sometimes we get stuck. Counselors can help you link up past experiences of adapting and recovering providing encouragement that aid in recovering in the present.
Mental health struggles are real. The statistics show that we, as a society, have trouble with managing stress, circumstances and our moods. Learning to manage better takes time and commitment and only happens when we are honest about our limits to cope and make change happen.
So today I encourage you to explore how you can benefit from counseling and grow resilience as well as paving a path to a healthier you. You can start by taking The Beginning Steps!