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Mental Health Awareness Month 2018: Understanding Mental Health Stigma
May is a special Month for me. Apart from the fact that it is my birth Month, May is also a Mental Health Awareness Month.
Mental simply refers to the mind and the intellectual process. Health, according to Wordweb.com, is a “the state of being free of physical or psychological disease, illness, or malfunction”. Awareness can simply be described as having knowledge of a situation, being knowledgeable. That said, If you agree that we all have mental health, my question to you will be, ‘how much do you know about your mental health?’
I am passionate about mental Health issues because I know that there is a dearth of information on the subject especially in Nigeria. There is a gap between what Mental Health disorders mean and what the society understands about people living with these diagnoses. In this gap lies, MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA .
Not many people would understand how it feels like to wake up in the morning with an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion from just trying to think through how the day would unfold. Sometimes, it is the side effects of the medication that needs to be deal with.
Not many would understand that the unplanned naps during the day are as a result of a new medication which the body is still adjusting to. Sometimes, the mood swing comes without any prior notice and then the snapping at the closet person without truly understanding why!
I believe that educating the society about mental health issues can make a positive difference in the way mentally ill persons are perceived. Mentally ill persons can add immense value to the social economic structure of any society IFprofessional treatment, love and counselling are made available to them.
Sharing my bipolar story is my own way of educating Nigerians and contributing globally to ending the stigma around mental health.
Welcome to Mental Health Awareness Month!