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It is Normal

May 15, 2017

In Beloit and Michell County, the Mayor of Beloit signed proclamations declaring the month of May to be “Mental Health Awareness.”


Here at Hope for Healing, we are diligently working to get the word out about mental health and how important it is to get treatment before you are in crisis.  Many individuals do not like to admit they have a problem or can feel weak for having to seek out help for emotional challenges they may be facing.  When an individual has appendicitis or heart disease, they will seek out medical help.  However, when they suffer with feelings of anxiety or depression, they feel as though they have to “deal with it” and try to manage it themselves.  Because of this stigma, feeling this way becomes shameful and people don’t seek out counseling.  This leads to more challenges and a life that is overwhelming and not as fulfilled.



Here are some statistics to consider:


     *One in five adults in the U.S., about 44 million people, 

      experiences mental illness in a given year.


     *Among the twenty million adults in the U.S. who

      experienced a substance use disorder, about fifty percent

      had a co-occurring mental illness.


     *Sixteen million adults in the U.S. had at least one major

      depressive episode in the past year.


     *One in five youths aged 13-18 experiences a severe

      mental disorder at some point during their life.


There are myths out there; one in which it must be the poor poverty stricken people who deal with mental illness.  Those who are successful and wealthy are above mental illness.  The fact is there have been many celebrities who have been faced with mental illness and many courageous enough to be public about it.


Owen Wilson, slashed his wrists at his home in an attempted suicide in which he almost did not survive. 


Angelina Jolie sank into a deep depression after the death of her mom in 2007. She said, “I felt I was going into a dark place. Each morning I wasn’t capable of getting up and moving. I did the only thing I could do. I got help.”


Mel Gibson, a tremendously successful actor and director, today speaks openly about his struggle with bi-polar disorder. “I have weathered some very low, lows in my life.”


Carrie Fischer, Princess Leia, battled bipolar disorder throughout her entire life. She wrote and spoke about her struggles very publicly. 


Abraham Lincoln battled severe depression every day of his life. Biographers all agree that he was the most depressed president of all time.

What seemed to be one of the most eye opening mental illness actions was when Robin Williams hung himself in his home as he was battling the darkness of depression alone.


Just as we are given a diagnosis when we go to the doctor, mental health mental health providers also are trained to assess and make a diagnosis in order to know how best to treat those symptoms.  This does not mean you are put into a box of categories, each being labeled better or worse than the other.  This is a way for mental health professionals to understand symptoms and how to treat them.  NO different than a doctor with diabetes. 


Mental illness is very much part of our society.  It has been around since the begin of time and affects anyone, young or old, men or woman, rich or poor.  It is a serious issue within our society that needs to be more recognized as “normal” and those who need help, need not feel ashamed for reaching out for counseling.



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