Raising awareness for mental health disorders - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Raising awareness for mental health disorders

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PADUCAH - Millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.  The month of May is designated to bring awareness to mental disorders.

If you have a mental illness know that you are not alone. One in five adults experience some form of mental illness in any given year.

One in every 20 adults live with a serious mental health condition such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, or depression.

Licensed therapist Micah Thompson says anxiety and depression are two of the most common conditions.

"People seem to see more depression and anxiety, some people speculate that that's due to the growing population, people are more crowded, spread out from families, different stressors now-a-days than there were prior," said Thompson.     

Thompson said many do not seek treatment, or they are not aware their symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition.  That is because people may expect a person with a serious mental illness to look different. They may tell someone who does not look ill to simply get over it.  Thompson said this only adds to the problem.

"I think it has gotten a whole lot better, the stigma that was attached to mental health, but it's still there, that's their big fear. They don't want to talk about it, tell friends, family or co-workers in fear of being judged," said Thompson.

Every year, people overcome those challenges.  Thompson said it is important to talk with someone or get a loved one help if they are experiencing symptoms.

"Men become more aggressive, irritable, not as easy to talk about emotions and feelings. Sleeping too little, too much, eating too much to little, loss of pleasurable activities," said Thompson.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms or needs support, there are places you can go for help. Click here for NAMI, or National Alliance on Mental Illness, website. Click here and here for more additional information.
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