Just as one would take care of all other ailments, Dr. Ali Ghahary also notes how important it is for patients to take care of their mental health. This includes your psychological, emotional and even social wellbeing. Our mental health affects our thoughts and our feelings – including the ability to make important life decisions, school and work performance, and how we interact with other human beings.
Recently, Madalyn Parker, an Ann Arbor, Michigan woman, made headlines after revealing an e-mail she sent to the CEO of the company in which she is employed, telling them she needed to take a few days away from the job in order to focus on her mental health. In response, the company’s CEO, Ben Congleton, commended Parker for setting such a positive example for others.
It is important to recognize that mental illness can come in many different forms. From anxiety and depression, to other kinds of mood disorders and substance abuse (such as drug use and alcohol) – all of which have the ability to become debilitating if left untreated – and, in some cases, even fatal due to the increased risk of suicide that comes with mental illness.
While not everyone will experience mental illness, most people know someone who has or is going through some sort of mental health crisis. In many cases, a person will not even reveal that they are struggling with their mental health. This is usually due to fear of being judged as a result of the stigma and discrimination that is attached to mental illness – something that many companies like Bell and the Canadian Mental Health Association have been working hard to fight back against, with campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and Mental Health Week. Being able to recognize some of the signs of mental illness will allow you to not only help yourself, but also help others, and you will have a greater understanding of mental health disorders.
Some of the warning signs most commonly associated with mental illness that Dr. Ali Ghahary is able to recognize as a physician include panic attacks, anxiety, social withdrawal, prolonged feelings of sadness, crying, irritability, fear, thoughts of suicide, and changes in sleeping and eating habits. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or know someone who is, it is important to seek out help and to not be ashamed about talking about mental health – because the more we talk about mental health, the easier it becomes.