Staying on Top of Your Mental Health
We cannot physically see that a person is suffering from mental illness. Mental illness is not as visible as physical illness; we cannot see depression as we can see a scrape or a cut. It’s part of what makes mental illness such a difficult thing to address and diagnose. The internal nature of mental illness can also lead us into the trap of complacency where we don’t think about it. We can’t see it, so we don’t register it and don’t think about it. This is how mental illness creeps up on us and surprises us when we least expect it. Even those who have gone through recovery can lose sight of their peers and miss the warning signs of mental illness in their friends. When nobody is paying attention, tragedy can strike. These situations hit us hard. They cause us to reel and think about our loved ones. Suddenly, we’re forced to take into account the things that truly do matter. This is good, of course, but there is still the fact that we have let our complacency cause something terrible to happen. Changing the way we look at life, and others can be a huge step in preventing future tragedies.
The Story of Jack Hatton
Just last year, a promising young athlete took his own life. Jack Hatton was a young man on the road to the Olympics. A skilled and talented member of the U.S. judo team, Jack was on his way to competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Tragically, he took his own life last September. To everyone around him, he seemed like someone with everything going for him. He was headed to the world’s highest stage for his sport, and yet, something was wrong enough for him to take his own life. His friends and family have spoken about how they could never have anticipated this. They cite various moments when Jack would shut himself in emotionally, but never enough for them to be concerned. These moments only came to light once the tragedy had happened. We are not saying this to condemn his loved ones, as these signs can be incredibly difficult to notice. What we are trying to highlight, however, is that we have to get better at seeing these things. We cannot let ourselves fall into complacency. If his loved ones had been able to see what was going on inside of Jack, perhaps things would have turned out differently.
Use Your Personal Experiences for the Greater Good
Those who have been through recovery can do a lot to be proactive in preventing these tragedies. It is not enough to empathize with the victims and appreciate the fact that we are one of the lucky ones. We also have to look out for each other. Recovery is a challenging time for all of us, but don’t have to hide it. We can be open about it, we can talk about it, and we can let others know that they are not alone. We can use our own experiences to watch out for the signs that should concern us. As a whole, our society has to do a better job of recognizing the symptoms of mental illness and taking it much more seriously. If we are not taught how to spot these kinds of things, we can’t possibly know enough to help those who need it. We can be the start of that change, and we can be the people to start the movement. Don’t keep your experiences to yourself. If you can, share your experiences openly so that others can benefit from your personal knowledge.
What happened to Jack Hatton was a real tragedy, and it’s not the only example of these kinds of things happening. Our world is still behind on teaching people to identify mental illness. We need to all work together to make sure that this education continues to happen. It is incredible to see the change that has already come, even if there is still more work to be done. That doesn’t take away from the fact that we are trying and we are succeeding. When we come together to stand up for one another, that is when the most beautiful part of humanity can shine.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]