It’s OK to not be OK

By Sophie Acebo | Contributor

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”

This quote by the Buddha perfectly exemplifies how we should be treating ourselves. When it comes to mental health, there is no one set definition as to how we should feel. And there is nothing disgraceful with taking care of your mental health.

The only disgraceful thing is the stigma that surrounds it.

The stigmas surrounding mental health can be detrimental to someone trying to reach out and get the help and treatment that they need.

According to a report published by the Center for Disease Control, “Only about 20% of adults with a diagnosable mental disorder or with a self-reported mental health condition saw a mental health provider in the previous year.”

This statistic shows the extremely negative effect that stereotypes surrounding mental health and mental illness have on someone’s desire to seek help.

Mental health should be treated at the same caliber as physical health. No one would bat an eye if someone sought help for the flu or for a broken arm. But when someone walks in to check on their brain or displays signs of depression or anxiety, we turn them away and pretend it doesn’t exists. That is not OK.

People may think that you do not have to go to therapy or find resources because you do not have a diagnosed mental illness, but that is not the case at all. Much like getting a yearly physical to make sure your body is physically fit and well, it’s vital to do the same for your brain.

Whether it may be just “one bad day,” or if it’s an ongoing mental struggle, finding resources is key in beginning the road to mental wellness.

The Counseling Center in the Student Life Center is one example of an extremely convenient and essential resource. Making an appointment with the Counseling Center is as easy as making an appointment with the Health Center; all you have to do is walk in.

The Counseling Center is a resource I’ve utilized many times.

Living with the stigmas surrounding mental health has stopped me from seeking them out many times. When I finally decided stigmas weren’t nearly as important as my well-being, I walked in and experienced the most liberating session of my life.

Getting to talk to a professional about whatever was weighing on my conscious was the most freeing thing I had done in a long time. It erased any strange or uneasy feeling I had about even going in the first place.

If you’re on the fence about going, or maybe you’ve never thought about going, I highly encourage you to take that step and go. You will not regret it, and your brain will thank you.

There is nothing wrong with going to therapy, and no one has the right to look down on you or think of you any differently because you decided to take control of your mental health.

If you need somewhere to turn to for resources or want more information, is a great website that has so much detailed information on mental health and where you can turn to for help. If you are trying to learn more about yourself or a loved one, this website a great place to turn to.

I want everyone reading this to know that I am also a resource. I can be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or someone to help in any way I can. Anyone reading this deserves a life full of happiness and should not be judged for taking care of themselves, internally and externally.

We need to do better with how we view mental health to help others and ourselves heal and take care of ourselves. Be kind and have love for one another, because you never know what the person next to you may be going through.