That’s Unhelpful: the Deadly Silence on Mental Health

“No, no, no,  ugh, I  thought file meant save, not send.” I tried to close the application, unplug my modem, even though I knew, my tax return was most likely cached and there was no way to stop the transmission. It was 2015, I was accustomed to applications where file meant save; that was my laughably wrong assumption with Turbo-Tax because file meant send. All my frantic efforts were unhelpful and did not work in the situation.

“That’s unhelpful,” is the tagline for BetterHelp.com. Their ads feature people advising on mental health issues, with suggestions like, breathe, or play golf.  Here is the tricky part, many times when people give advice, it’s easy to smile and nod politely when you know the person has no idea what they are talking about. “Just buy a lot and have your house custom built,” was advice I got when I’d spent 6 months looking for a home in California. Yup, it just doesn’t work that way here unless you are spending beyond 8 million and even then getting the permits and staying within codes and regulations are problematic. The thing is, I knew it wasn’t advice to be seriously considered. It’s all about perspective and experience. Just like file means save in some applications and file means send in others. However, when people give advice about mental health, it’s not as easy to dismiss. It’s hard to know whats in your head and what’s in your control. Which in turns can make the struggle worse or as the ads say, that’s unhelpful.

Often, we tend to address the symptom, not the cause. If your arm is broken, you can take something for the pain, but, it’s going to keep coming back if you arm isn’t set and put into a cast and heals. Signs of depression include insomnia in about 75% of the cases. Therefore, sleeping pills are treating a symptom, not the cause. I’m not an expert nor is this my field of expertise. I am not one for pharmaceuticals and over the counter medication. I don’t  take aspirin, or anything. I’m not some pillbilly advocate. I’m not exactly trusting of doctors either. With that said, I’m an advocate for mental health. It may be a counselor, therapist and it may involve a psychiatrist and a prescription. Mental health is not to be dismissed.

You don’t tell someone with a broken arm to shake it off and do yoga. That doesn’t work for mental health issues either. Yes, healthy life styles are good, blah, blah, blah. But, there are times when people are suffering. It’s only after a suicide we hear, “battling with depression.” You don’t know what is going on with people. Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst died on 30 January 2022 from an apparent suicide.

This week be mindful. If you need help, get it. If someone expresses the sadness, depression or inability to cope, please don’t say, shake it off, get out, do yoga. Be there, be supportive. You can save them some pain and send them to get help.

One comment

  1. Sheila! So spot on! Yes and yes and yes – mental health help is more nuanced than a band aid on a scraped knee and hurrah to you helping shine the light on the fact we all need to acknowledge it as per of all of us and as something we need to learn a lot about fast.
    Sending you big, gianormous hugs
    Here’s to us all being there more for us all!
    Xoxo- Veeps

    Liked by 1 person

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