Stigma? What Stigma?
In the last few years, the gravity of mental health has been greater felt around the world with the tragic suicides of leading celebrities in the West. Notable ones included celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, fashion designer Kate Spade and in the East, K-Pop star Kim Jong-hyun who was the lead singer of a boy band SHINee.
Unfortunately, many misperceptions and stereotypes by the public about persons with mental health conditions still stem from fear and the lack of understanding around this topic. This is further exacerbated by the influences of negative media portrayals which result in the deep-seated stigma that are prevalent in society.
Do i have a mental health Condition?
The 2nd Singapore Mental Health Study published end 2018, reported the top mental health concerns in Singapore. In fact, 1 in 7 of people in Singapore has experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime.
The top 4 mental disorders include
a) Major Depressive Disorder (Depression
b) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
c) Bipolar Disorder
d) Generalized Anxiety Disorder
5 Ways to build mental resilience
Early identification of any mental health concerns allows the problem to be addressed early but as most Doctors would tell you: Prevention is better than cure.
- Enough Sleep
Getting 6-8 hours of sleep a day allows for our body’s natural circadian rhythm and sleep cycle to be properly regulated. Too little or too much sleep disrupts this and in turn affects the hormonal and chemical balance of our body. These chemical imbalances can affect one’s mental wellbeing.
- Exercise Regularly
Endorphins or “feel good” hormones are generated during exercise. Not only do these hormones act give one a positive feeling, they also act on pain receptors and help dull pain. Overall, regularly exercise improves one’s outlook and wards of anxiety and feelings of depression.
- Leave work at the workplace
With our hustle and pace of life, there is often an element of stress that is associated with the work that all of us do. Whether it is deadline demands or problems with fellow employees, all these can add to one’s personal stress and take a toll on one’s mental health. By leaving work at work, it allows one to compartmentalize and have space outside of work to recharge and rest.
- Talk with friends
There are many benefits to having good social support. The biggest one is to know that you are not alone in your challenges and by talking about your stressors and struggles, you find an outlet, a listening ear and even support as well. No man is an island, friends and family are important.
- Accept treatment
There are many misconceptions surrounding treatment. These misconceptions also stem from the stigma attached to mental health and well-being. In fact, many mental health conditions are caused by chemical imbalances in the body. Medications help correct these imbalances. Furthermore, with the adjunct of good support, counselling – medications can be eventually weaned off to lesser doses.
Stay Positive, Stay healthy!