Saturday, October 11, 2008

Walking is Good for the Mind

Ok, I have been relatively quiet since the last update about our truck. Mainly because this week has been pretty busy for me. I have started seeing a chiropractor for my bad back and had other things going on in the evenings that just kept me from being bloggy.

That's ok, except that I just had a chance to catch up today with The Rock Chick's blogs about Mental Illness Awareness week. Unfortunately, participating in awareness week is a one day thing for me since today is the "last day". BUT awareness isn't just a one week thing. It's a forever thing.

The fact is, mental health is a MAJOR factor in your over-all health. Unfortunately, in many cases mental health "issues" are perceived by people as weaknesses. People are sometimes ashamed or afraid to seek help because they don't want to admit their weakness. IT'S NOT A WEAKNESS!

I can attest to this because I've been there. I have been so depressed that nothing else in the world even mattered anymore. I was ashamed to seek help because I just KNEW I was strong enough to get through it all by myself. Unfortunately, I was only deceiving myself. It wasn't a matter of being strong. It was a matter of being willing to accept help. My wife, my boss, and my friends could all see that I needed help, but I was too stubborn to go get it. I didn't even realize just how much it was effecting every aspect of my life until my boss (for emphasis only, not a "real" threat) threatened to grab me by the throat and drag me to a doctor. The fact was that due to my chronic back pain and ever-persistent sciatica (old Army injury), and the stresses going on with my job (and my perceptions of the need for absolute perfection in everything I do), I was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE. Talking to someone helped. I should have done it sooner. In my case, I did not need medication - but different people heal in different ways.

I believe there are many possible factors for issues with mental health to include physical, emotional, spiritual, chemical, and so on. The brain is a very complex organ and just like you can have illnesses relating to the heart, liver or kidneys, you can have illnesses relating to the brain. Sometimes medication helps, sometimes meditation helps. It depends on what's going on up there, but awareness is the first step to help. For the sake of those who might find that they themselves need help, SEEKING HELP IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH, NOT WEAKNESS! For those who know people who might need help, being informed can help you help them get help ( many times can the word help be used in one sentence???).

So, in the spirit of grabbing the Rock Chick's hand in spreading awareness about mental health and mental illnesses, I am encouraging everyone out there to be aware. Her own daughter is going through some battles with anorexia and bipolar disorder. If it weren't for Rock Chick's awareness, the consequences of her daughters battle could have ended up so much more severe! SPEAK UP AND SPEAK OUT! Stop on by her blog and let her know you're tagging along!


The Rock Chick said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dustin!!!!!!!!

Dustin said...

Now we need others to join in :)

Jen said...

I dealt with Depression for awhile and if only I would have turned for help earlier I wouldn't have wasted some of my life. I also didn't turned to God to help me either... but when I did He helped me see the light :)

Dustin said...

Awesome, Jen! I would definitely say that is an integral part of seeking help! After all, He made us, right? He most certainly can help fix us! Although I didn't touch on it in my blog post - I would always recommend keeping God in your treatment.

Crystal said...

Sometimes supplements and dietary changes can help facilitate healing as well for some people, like natural serotonin boosters... I'm pretty sure those things aided in Dustin's wellness. :)

Or maybe I just like to think that I'm a good cook. :P