Mental illness affects around 57.5 million Americans, yet less than half actually seek treatment for this. Without a clear picture of what occurs alongside mental illness, it may seem easy to consider it weakness or character flaw. For many years, movies, songs, and even our cultured language has shaped mental illness to be something of a defect, which has induced shame in many people. As researchers have conducted many more studies over the years, however, we’ve learned that mental illness isn’t a weakness or a character flaw – in fact, it’s just a small part of what makes up a person, and it’s absolutely treatable.
There are a number of reasons why a mental illness may develop – sometimes it’s genetics (someone close to us also has a mental illness, so it was easily passed down to us), while other times it’s due to environmental factors (our experiences, which may include trauma), or even brain chemical imbalances that still need to be explored. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) highlights the fact that men in particular struggle with mental illness stigma, as a number of phrases have been used over the years to promote stigmatized thinking:
- “Be a man.”
- “Big boys don’t cry.”
- “Suck it up.”
- “Tough it out.”
These phrases are incredibly damaging, and lead us to believe a number of false beliefs, with this one being the most damaging:
- That our sex determines whether or not we’re allowed to feel emotion, which is a basic human trait across all spans of life
Working professionals are considered high at risk for mental illness due to not only stigma, but the general expectations that as a successful businessperson, they should be able to manage their mental health concerns on their own. The reality is that growing up, we’re not always provided with the tools we need to overcome things such as depression, anxiety, anger, etc. For many of us, our parents or caregivers didn’t give us information on healthy coping mechanisms or how to seek help, and it’s likely because they weren’t taught that, either.
Part of total health and wellbeing is ensuring that your mental health is taken care of, and there’s nothing more commendable than a professional who aims to promote their mental health so that they can move forward confidently in their business endeavors.
Don’t wait any longer to seek the help you need. Your life and happiness matter.
Men can find freedom from addiction. At Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, we are helping men transform their lives in mind, body, and spirit. The Tree House Man is a new breed, creating sustainable recovery through sustainable changes. Call us today for information on our programs: (503) 850-2474