Video: Bringing Awareness to Mental Health
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — This week has been named Mental Illness Awareness Week.
When a loved one comes down with the flu or the cold, the first thought is to advise rest, relaxation, and a possible visit to the doctor’s office.
But for those who suffer from mental illness, it may not be as noticeable for family and friends.
“I went to the doctor because I was so fatigued. I was so tired all the time, I didn’t want to get out of the bed and I went to the doctor and I thought maybe it was my thyroid or something physical…and the doctor said she thought I was probably depressed.”
Olivia Bouder suffers from depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
Her depression has followed her since she was a teenager.
But when she went looking for help, many people close to her didn’t understand.
“A friend of mine, I expressed depression, to her and was asking for help, and she said snap out of it, and it just hurt my feelings so bad because I thought you understood me”, said Bouder.
Bouder said she wishes it was as easy as just snapping out of it.
“It makes them feel like no one will understand, they’re the only ones that has experienced the pain they’re feeling”, said Community Counseling Services therapist Patricia Thornton.
Thornton said 16 million people in this country suffer from depression.
She also said she believes the country needs to invest as much in mental health research as it does in medicinal and physical health, while also noting the difficulty of this kind of research due to the illnesses developing in the brain.
Both Bouder and Thornton say that simply talking about mental health issues can be a major benefit for society and for those who are suffering illnesses.
Another point Bouder wanted to make is for family and friends to help someone who could possibly be suffering a mental illness, and not assume that they are “crazy” or “dangerous”.
In honor of mental health awareness, The Pines and Cady Hill Recovery Center in Columbus will hold a candlelight vigil Thursday at 7 PM.