Family history has its own significance and a major role to play in one’s life. Knowing about one’s history not only helps a person gain a better understanding of one’s past but also of the individual’s present.
Talking about one’s family history is normal conversation. But, when someone tries to talk about the mental health issues faced by any of his/her family members, it is either considered embarrassing or an anecdote to be shared with friends. Shame and stigma associated with mental illnesses discourage people from discussing them openly.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately one in five adults deal with any form of mental illness in a given year. Considering the fact that such a major chunk of the population (approximately 43.8 million adults) is dealing with some or the other form of mental illnesses, it has become essential to talk openly about them.
Importance of sharing mental health history
Some of the reasons why it is important to be open about discussing one’s mental health issues are:
1. Easy diagnosis
Sharing one’s mental health history with a professional is important. This will not only help the expert be aware of all the aspects of one’s mental health condition but will also ensure an easy and accurate diagnosis.
Whether an individual has only just started exhibiting symptoms of a mental health condition or was diagnosed with one, one must share all the relevant information with his/her existing mental health practitioner.
2. Allows wise judgment
At times, it is very difficult to diagnose the mental health condition of a person. This is either due to lack of complete information or lack of cooperation from the concerned person.
Knowing the complete history of an individual and his/her family’s experiences and history can help determine the factors that triggered his/her mental illness. Being aware of one’s past can help understand the reasons behind an individual’s particular behavior without bias.
3. Planning effective treatment
Once the exact causes and triggers of the condition are known, it is important to determine the most effective treatment options. This begins by consulting a mental health expert who can help one develop a better understanding of his/her mental illness and then, assist him/her in choosing the most suitable treatment plan.
4. Helps understand change
When a person shares his/her complete history of mental health, including that of one’s family, with an expert, it makes it easier for him/her to understand the factors that shaped the person’s present condition. Being unaware of one’s mental health history can also act as a major barrier in opting for the best treatment plan for the person and can, in fact, prove ineffective.
5. De-stigmatize mental illnesses
It is true that people do not feel ashamed to seek help for their physical ailments but are too embarrassed when they need to see their therapist for a mental health condition, such as anxiety and depression.
Although such stigmas are being dispelled in society, there is a lot more that needs to be done. Sharing one’s mental health history can be an effective way to de-stigmatize mental illnesses, as doing so can open up discussions and initiate conversations about these illnesses.
Treatment can help
While there are several treatment facilities offering help for different mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), it is important to locate and finalize the best option to avail the treatment. Each treatment facility offers comprehensive treatment plans suiting the needs of its customers. Therefore, one must have a clear understanding of his/her requirements so that he/she is able to choose the best option.
The Alzheimer’s Association observes the month of June as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. So, let’s take a step forward and help people understand the importance of keeping themselves safe and avoiding any risks of developing AD.
If you or someone you know is dealing with any form of mental illness and looking to connect with one of the best mental health centers in California, Sovereign Health can help. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online to get complete information about our comprehensive mental health programs in California and other states.