Mental illness is very common in the US, affecting millions of people every year. Sadly, many of those who need help do not get it. The reasons for the reluctance to seek treatment include stigma and discrimination, limited awareness, and hopelessness. To further explore this topic, we’ve consulted a critical care medicine specialist, Dr. Alddo Molinar. By seeking input from this doctor, we can help dispel myths about mental illness and encourage people to get help.
Dr. Alddo Molinar Says There’s No Shame in Reaching out for Help
Dr. Alddo Molinar says that those struggling with mental illness need not be ashamed of their condition.
We don’t feel shame when we get sick, so why should you be ashamed when our mental wellbeing is deteriorating? Dr. Alddo Molinar notes that mental illness is a serious health condition, but it’s no different than diabetes or cancer with regard to the need to seek treatment.
Mental illness is a psychological issue that doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone. We need to redefine the way we view mental disorders. Seeking support for your mental health issues is not a sign of weakness. People can show their strength by supporting each other to get better.
Shame will only make things worse. The more people talk about their issues, the more okay they become. Stigma can have catastrophic effects on one’s life, making it hard to seek help since we are afraid or scared to admit the problem. Don’t let your condition define you.
The doctor notes that no one chooses any mental disorder—just as no one chooses to develop cancer, diabetes, or any other physical health condition. Why is there less compassion and less sympathy toward people with mental disorders?
Mental health awareness can help reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses. By raising awareness, people can now see mental illness like any other health condition. These illnesses are treatable, and anyone can live a normal life again.
Mental Illness Affects More People Than You Can Imagine
Mental illness impacts everyone in one way or another, whether they personally suffer or not. According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), 1 in 5 US adults suffers from a mental disorder. Other organizations report that the figure may even be higher because many people do not open up about their struggles. As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, more and more people say it is taking a heavy toll on their mental health. Dr. Alddo Molinar notes that mental health awareness can create a positive atmosphere where people feel free to open up about struggles they may be facing.
Dr. Alddo Molinar Says Awareness and Resources Must Increase
Talking openly about mental disorders can help those suffering understand they are not alone. For people without mental illnesses, talking about mental health issues can help them learn more about the risks, symptoms, prevention, and treatment methods. This can help reduce stigma and create an environment where people would be more willing to help those around them.
Dr. Alddo Molinar also recommends getting children involved in mental health conversations. The doctor has previously noted that his childhood was characterized by a never-ending curiosity. Children want to understand everything, so we can instill values in our children to help them develop empathy.
For Dr. Alddo Molinar, Fighting Stigma Is a Priority
Stigma causes many people to avoid seeking help. Due to stigma, people feel embarrassed or discriminated against. By talking openly about mental disorders, we can show that mentally ill people can live up to their full potential. Considering the fact that 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illnesses every year, we can safely say that we all know someone struggling.
Dr. Alddo Molinar notes that fighting stigma can go a long way toward helping our loved ones feel better. The doctor says there’s a need to create more awareness and compassion in our communities about the challenges others face.
Provide Support to Friends and Loved Ones
Once we know the effects of mental illness on an individual, we can start offering better support. Being aware of these issues helps you determine what you should do. This can support our friends and family members suffering from mental health disorders to live more normal lives.
The doctor himself has shared his experience of witnessing the struggles of family members after losing their grandparents to cancer. It was a period filled with lessons that would help him immensely in his future career as a doctor. Those experiences have also helped him provide better support to his patients. These experiences translate into the mental health arena as well. Everyone can play a crucial role in helping people living with mental illness feel less alone. If we don’t care for our friends and family, who will?
Dr. Alddo Molinar: Treatment for Mental Illness Is Possible
The above reasons can help someone experiencing roller-coaster emotions and mental health episodes realize that recovery is possible. This is important because people who struggle with mental disorders are more likely to suffer from other serious medical conditions.
The doctor notes that the aim is to ensure the best outcome for people who are going through mental illnesses. Family and friends should help them make the best use of the available resources. They can remind them to take medications consistently as well as help with day-to-day issues such as problem-solving, nutrition, exercise, recreation, and good sleeping habits.
Research shows that support from friends and family is a key part of treatment. This support ensures someone with a mental illness has a network of emotional and practical support.
The more that everyone talks openly about mental disorders, the easier it becomes to do so. As a society, we must increase our support to our loved ones through their dark days. With suicide rates growing rapidly, we must find ways to take part in the discussion and get our family and friends the help they need before it is too late.
Final Thoughts from Dr. Alddo Molinar
By being receptive to advise from Dr. Alddo Molinar, we can recognize that mental illness is an illness like any physical health condition. Mental health awareness means tolerance, love, and compassion rather than shame and judgment. It means ending the stigma and discrimination towards people struggling with mental illness. The doctor advises anyone who thinks they need support to reach out for help. People who get proper care and support in early interventions can more quickly recover from their mental health disorders and lead full, rewarding lives.