What would happen if after you read this article, you stood up and tripped over something on the floor. As a result of this trip, you broke your leg. Now that your leg is broken, your lifestyle is suddenly disrupted. You're unable to walk unassisted, you lack the ability to run, and you're most likely in a great deal of pain. The most viable solution for this sudden distrustful event, would be to visit the nearest emergency room. No questions asked. You see an injury and automatically know what to do. At the emergency room, trained and licensed professionals would know how to handle the problem. They may use some educational tools to explain what happened in your body. They'll use their specific interventions to assist in healing the break and will give you resources that can help you at home. At the end of the appointment they will insist you do a follow up appointment to check on your progress, until you are completely healed.
Now imagine, you have an injury that you can't physically see, there is no physical pain. But this injury affects your life. It affects how you respond to external stimuli. It affects what triggers you. It affects what upsets you. It dictates how you respond to people. Our mental health can be this silent injury. Our mental health is just as important as physical health, but is often ignored because you can't see it. It's time to stop ignoring it and place it as a priority for our well-being. So much is affected by our mental status, that it needs check ups just like our physical health. Our community has often brushed things under the rug, and felt things should be handled in house or at the church. Now that we are knowing better, it's time to do better. There are licensed professionals who will do the same things, the emergency room professionals would have done for the leg. Licensed professionals will assess the issue that may be disrupting your life. The professional will provide education regarding unlearning unhealthy habits and utilize interventions to teach adaptive skills to respond more appropriately. This unlearning of maladaptive behaviors, is where the healing begins. There potentially may be times where you can begin to recognize inappropriate behavior in your friends and loved ones and will need to process with the professional ways to respond to protect yourself.. The professional will also assist with follow-up appointments to ensure you are implementing the skills into your life.
Noticing that something is causing anxiety, depression, trauma, or emotional exhaustion, should ring just as many alarms as a broken bone. Take your time seek help from a licensed psychotherapist that you are comfortable with and can identify with your specific issues, culture, and other important factors.
Danielle Wrencher, LMHC