Over 10.3 million adults in the U.S. have serious thoughts of suicide and more than 10 million adults have an unmet need for mental health treatment. Neither number has declined since 2011. Mental health issues have a significant impact on American life. While many people approach mental health, and health in general, as knowing when to address thoughts and behaviors harmful to overall health before they get bad and bring them to an emotionally negative place, others struggle to get help. When it comes to health, you cannot allow symptoms and signs to go ignored and untreated. When you let these things fall by the wayside, you are putting yourself in a position to become far worse than you need to be.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
When the first signs of mental illness begin to manifest themselves in your life, it is essential to address them as soon as possible. This is the basis of the B4Stage4 philosophy at Mental Health America (MHA). MHA is an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about mental illness. Through education, advocacy, and research, MHA hopes to improve the world’s view of mental health issues and ensure that resources are available to those in need.
MHA’s philosophy is called B4Stage4, which refers to the severity of an illness in the final stage. Stage 4 is typically used in cancer diagnosis and it is the stage in which cancer has spread to other organs in the body. This is seen as a point of no return when it is too late to treat the sickness in time. Like with cancer, MHA promotes the mindset that mental illnesses can–and should–be caught before they get worse. By increasing awareness and educating others about mental illness, you can stop mental health conditions from progressing to the point of being out of control and you can make treatment and coping easier to manage.
Don’t Ignore Symptoms
The goal is to keep your eyes open for when symptoms first begin to appear. For example, when you are becoming sick, you may have a small cough or a runny nose. These are signs that something bigger, like the flu, is coming. Likewise, when you begin to lose sleep, feel depressed, feel anxious, or have suicidal thoughts, these are signs that a mental health condition is beginning to develop. These conditions will worsen over time, so this is the time when MHA is encouraging you to act.
When you address mental health symptoms at the onset, there is a better chance that these symptoms won’t progress into something more severe. They could just be temporary manifestations of something less severe and could be a short-term issue that will be resolved quickly. But they can also be much more than that and should be addressed swiftly before they get worse.
The unfortunate truth is that once mental health symptoms appear and don’t go away, a person will often wait months or years before they are given a correct diagnosis and begin to receive the proper treatment. This is a large span of time in which treatment could have been given to a person who needs it. These are months and years in which, because symptoms were ignored, a person let their condition grow and worsen until it reached a point where they can’t cope or are in crisis. This is a long time to let things escalate until getting help.
Don’t Give Up
During this time, even without proper treatment, you may still have the right kind of support and relationships to help get through your condition. You can recover far more quickly when your condition is addressed when it needs to be. Remember, even if you ignore your symptoms and things do get worse, hope is not lost. Both minor and major mental health conditions can still be addressed and treated. It may take more time and effort, but you can heal.
The efforts of MHA have led to many expanded treatment options. MHA can offer a person clinical treatments, therapy programs, and many other choices. They can also provide your friends and family with resources to help them handle the situation and guide them through recovery. Overall, the crucial work being done by MHA and B4Stage4 is something that will benefit everyone with mental illness in every phase and chapter of their life.
You cannot allow yourself to fall into ignorance and complacency. That is why MHA is dedicated to catching mental health issues before they reach a point where you feel like you have lost control. Addressing symptoms and trying to find the underlying causes behind them can be a huge step in treating a mental health condition successfully–sometimes before you even realize that it’s happening. That is why you need to follow the philosophy of B4Stage4 and keep being vigilant to finding treatment.
If you are concerned about a friend or family member, be sure to approach them from a place of love and not a place of judgment. Don’t make them feel like they are different or less worthy simply because they may be dealing with a mental health problem. Be respectful of their needs, be mindful of your actions, and keep making this world a better, healthier, and more understanding place. True Recovery’s dual diagnosis programs can help individuals experiencing the complex manifestation of multiple co-occurring disorders while combating addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment facilities like True Recovery are aimed at addressing substance abuse and the underlying psychiatric diagnosis as well. Our staff is experienced in treating a wide range of mental health issues and handling the challenges of dual diagnosis recovery. You’ll never have to walk this road alone. Ask for help and get the support you need throughout the delicate early phases of recovery. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.