The Brain is an organ that cannot be ignored.
As a young kid growing up in the 80s, I believed that a person’s physical health was more important than their mental health. No one told me that directly, but there was this heavy stigma attached to mental illness. I didn't realize how bad it was until I got older and became more educated in this field. People would use phrases like “they're crazy” or “he or she is in the looney bin.” I remember adults would roll their eyes or display other negative expressions when they were having conversations about a person that fits this category.
I also recall being taught, without being told, that it was not something you talked about if you were struggling with mental illness. It was definitely not something you sought help for. Counseling or visiting the psychiatrist was a foreign concept, even in the church.
Since I became an adult and educated myself more about mental health, diagnosis, the emotions of the human body, and the benefits of counseling and psychiatrists, it has become a goal of mine to eliminate the double standard between physical and mental health. The brain is an organ just like the heart, lungs, liver, intestines, and kidneys, and it needs just as much -if not more -attention when it's not operating correctly. If a person’s heart is not working properly or his lungs are causing problems, he won't hesitate to see a specialist to rectify the situation. But often, if he is struggling with anxiety, grief, stress, PTSD, anger, or depression, he will, at the very least, hesitate to procrastinate in pursuing a solution.
Like all other organs, our brains sometimes malfunction and need our attention. Sometimes it may require counseling, talking to a friend, or visiting a psychiatrist. The fact of the matter is we are imperfect human beings who live in a broken world. We are bound to break down emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. It's inevitable. Ignoring it and remaining silent only fuels the issue.
Even though the stigma has gotten much better generations later, we still have a ways to go when it comes to normalizing mental illness. If you or someone you know struggles with mental illness,
Don't ignore it. Your brain is a vital organ. Pay attention to it.
Talk about it. Share how you feel and encourage others to talk about it as well. You remove the awkwardness the more you talk about it. Educate and bring awareness to those who are unaware.
Take action. Boldly take the necessary measures to treat the problem.
God created our organs, and all of them are important especially the brain!