It’s just easier to dance with your demons


Since 1949, May has been considered Mental Health Awareness month. With one in five Americans suffering from some sort of mental illness and one in 25 suffering from a serious mental health condition this has turned into an epidemic among every race and age. Suicide has become the 10th leading cause of death. This is leaving thousands of families torn apart all across the nation.

I have had mixed feelings concerning mental health for a long time. I have always and still believe that it is one of the devil’s greatest weapons. What better place could he damage you from than from inside your own mind after all? Suicide seems like a demon that preys on the people we never think we have to worry about. It preys on the funny, it preys on the beautiful, it preys on the rich. It literally grabs onto anyone in reach.

I have had my own run-in with anxiety related to food allergies. Mine has never been related to anything else in life and it was enough for me. An anxiety attack can literally make you feel like you are dying. When your throat is swelling closed and you are certain you will die before making it to the emergency room it defintely sets your mind up to worry. My anxiety plays off of that, it mimics the symptoms starting with the tightness in my throat.  Anyone that knows me knows that I have a strong personality and mind and, luckily for me, I can cope fine without the use of medication. I knew from working in pharmacy for five years that I did not want to start the cycle of medication unless I absolutely had to.

With me suffering through my own issues I always thought you have to get over it. It is a fight and you have to face it every day, but the important thing is that you continue to get up and face it. I never had to face real anxiety about every little thing, I never had to face depression, and I never found myself unable to even convince myself to get up out of the bed. When mental health is fading it causes you to further isolate yourself, pushing away the people that love and care about you. You have to make the choice to fight it, and many now are giving in without even putting up a fight because it is easier to dance with your demons than to face them.

So, what is the cause for the sudden rise in mental health issues? I believe it is due to expectations. You’re expected to work 40 hours, go to school, clean, cook, hang out with friends, be a great parent, be a caregiver for your parents, or whatever you face personally. We have more stress on us than any generation before. We even push our kids to excel. On the other hand when you give every child that shows up a certificate it does not teach them how to cope with losing. So they face the rest of life and not everybody gets certificates in adulthood so they feel inadequate when honestly they have strengths in other parts of their life. If everyone was the same, we wouldn’t be able to keep our society running after all. Our differences make us stronger as a whole.

The solution? Some would push essential oils, others suggest CBD oil. Meditation and exercise get thrown around. Medication is often prescribed and usually needed, but the biggest help would be to relieve some of the stress we face every day in life. Learn to say no. Learn it is okay to take a day for yourself. If you see someone struggling the sad part is that it is hard to get them help.

To me family and friends should be heard when it comes to dealing with the mental health of someone they love. When someone is having a crisis they don’t always see all of their actions plainly and that is not conveyed to the therapist or whoever they see. Family and friends see the things they do plainly, but are often not involved in treatment. This can often lead to a missed or wrong diagnosis.

The solution lies in removing the stigma. Stop making people ashamed to get help when they need it and the world itself will change.