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Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 6-12, 2013
Posted: 10/11/2013 | Wellness Comments
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This first week of October marks the 23rd anniversary of Mental Illness Awareness Week, spearheaded by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Over the years we’ve grown far more cognizant and educated about mental illness in our culture, yet there’s still much work to be done to diminish the stigma and ignorance surrounding this sensitive issue. This week, mental health professionals make efforts to educate and encourage all of us to be more understanding and accepting of mental illness.

NAMI defines mental illness as, “...a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.” It affects all races, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It can be crippling for anyone from any walk of life. Twenty percent of people have been diagnosed with some form of an anxiety disorder and we can imagine there are many more who have not been identified. All forms of mental challenges can greatly interfere with our relationships and way of life. (You can read more about anxiety disorders here and depression here) There are many effective treatments, but it can only make a difference if a person recognizes it’s o.k. to ask for the help they need.

People turn to NAMI when they have family members or friends who suffer with problems like Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dual diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness, Depression, and more.

Why is talking about mental illness so important? For most of us, a kidney infection would send us to the doctor for medication and treatment. But for many more of us, a mental disorder would be hidden, avoided and ignored. We fear what we don’t understand, and so many people don’t reach out for the help that could make a real difference for them and their lives.

Imagine living in a world where most mental disorders
are just as acceptable as a sore throat or broken bone.  I hope you’ll take some time this week to read more about the subject, share information with friends, and open a discussion with loved ones about this very common and human condition. I recommend starting with the NAMI website: www.nami.org

Have you wrestled with accepting mental and emotional struggles in a family member, loved one, or yourself, and how have you worked through it? Please leave your comments; they make a difference for all of us!

For further information on accessing your wisdom, happiness, fulfillment, and peace you desire, click here to learn about Dr. Howard's Multiple Award Winning Book "Your Ultimate Life Plan: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That Last."


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