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Mental Health: Muddled and Misconstrued

Mariah Nunes is a professional basketball player as well as an inspirational business owner. Here is her most recent article on mental health:

I’m about to talk about something difficult, something serious and something pretty misunderstood. Many of you may not know this, but October 10th is National Mental Health Day. It’s okay if you didn’t know—for a long a time I didn’t either. It’s not that I didn’t care, but I was a little apathetic to the cause. You see, the thing is, most people don’t really relate to something until they really relate. I’m not sure if that last sentence makes all that much sense but my point is, certain things don’t become very significant to you until something major happens to shift your perspective and understanding. Well that’s what happened to me, so as I sit here writing this blog, teary-eyed and terrified, I know that there are so many people out there that struggle with mental health issues (1 of 4 people in the world to be exact), so many people affected and so many people oblivious, which is why I’m writing about it today.

People are afraid of the unknown, which is why I believe most people are afraid of the mentally ill. Not only because, it has only been brought to light and spoken about in the past recent years, but mainly because we never know what someone with a mental condition might do—seriously, it really is terrifying. But what I realized which was even scarier, was sometimes it’s hard to see the telltale signs. Unlike the common “physical” illnesses that have many indications, mental illness is often times confused and concealed. So it can be very difficult to diagnose someone with a mental illness but what’s even more difficult is treating them. When someone is physically sick and they are diagnosed with an illness, they usually want treatment to get better. But when dealing with mental illness, sometimes the person doesn’t feel or know they are ill, doesn’t want or understand the treatment—making mental illness that much harder to deal with.

You might wonder, how I know these things. And for a long time I was afraid to talk about this story; I’d tell myself, “This is not my story to tell”. But in reality, it is my story, and although I may not have suffered from the actual mental illness directly, it has had such a huge impact on me. You see, mental illness doesn’t just affect the person with the imbalance in their brain; it affects their family, their friends, coworkers, and even strangers in the wrong place at the wrong time. So yes, I understand pretty deeply about the impact of mental illness. I know what it’s like to feel intimidated by mental illness, scared of it, confused about it, angry at it, helpless against it, and hurt by it. Fortunately, I’ve also learned a lot about mental illness, about myself and others, throughout the process of battling it.

The first thing I’ve learned about mental illness is that the most important treatment is having a strong support system; but I guess that’s t also true about life itself. Secondly, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with in life and it’s important to ask for help (because I’m sure it will be needed) and know that there are a lot of resources out there. Thirdly, it’s nobody’s fault and putting the blame on anyone isn’t going to help. I discovered that you may have to make decisions that may hurt even if it’s the right thing to do and more importantly, that you never know what’s going on in someone else’s mind or life; so never judge, because only God should do that. Mental health has taught me that it’s important to love and be kind to others, that we need to support and uplift one another, and when you need strength ask for it, don’t try to do it alone. I’ve also realized that society needs to become more comfortable talking about mental health and value it more, because it is just as important as physical health. I’ve learned that to be truly healthy and happy, we must approach health with a holistic perspective. Health isn’t just about eating right and working out—it’s ensuring that you take care of yourself in all aspects of your life. Physical, mental, nutritional, social and spiritual health are all vital to becoming the best, healthiest and happiest version of yourself.

I may not have all the answers, but I will always be here for anyone who needs to talk about any issues they are dealing with mentally, physically, spiritually or anything else for that matter. I’ve also made it my mission to help others come to the realization of holistic health and wellness and I want to support anyone in search of becoming the healthiest they can be—your health is your wealth, after all!

With love,

Coach Mariah Faith

Instagram: @riiah_richfit

To read more from Mariah, check out https://goodafternunes.wordpress.com/