Have you ever felt like a square peg trying to fit onto a round hole? You know, you don’t “look right” or “talk right” or “think like everyone else”? Well, you’re not alone. Looking at our present and recent past, there are many people who’ve made a difference in our world, and they didn’t fit the mold of “normalcy” that is often touted by the majority.
Look, for instance, at Martin Luther King, jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Malala Yousazfai. And I could name many more. These are people who did not accept the status quo, the “norm.” They fought (or are still fighting) for what they believe – in some cases, against seemingly insurmountable odds.
“What does this mean for me?” you may ask. Well, think about the view of mental health. In many cultures and communities, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health disorders and seeking mental health counseling. We may be viewed as “weak” or “crazy” or “not right in the head.”
We’re told to “cheer up” when we experience clinical depression; that we need to “calm our nerves” when we experience anxiety. And so, we bear our distress in silence, not seeking the help that is becoming more readily available, leaving us feeling alone and isolated.
As of 2018, 19% of adults and 16% of children and adolescents ages 6-17 in the US experience mental health illness. You are not alone, and you don’t have to deal with mental health issues by yourself; your kids don’t have to struggle on their own.
Whether it’s anxiety, depression, trauma, or “just stress,” mental health counselors are here to help you through. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You do not have to suffer in silence, and you do not have to walk alone on your journey to mental health and wellness.