Over the last few weeks, countless blogs and news headlines have been published relaying the same message: Mental illness does not discriminate. It can affect anyone. The recent deaths of handbag designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain serve as a tragic reminder that success, or fame doesn’t make you immune from mental health struggles.
Like many offices around the world, these losses have sparked an honest conversation about mental health here at our clinic in Newmarket—one that starts with accepting that mental health concerns each and every one of us, not just those with a mental illness.
“Wouldn’t it sound absurd if we said working out was only for people with diabetes? That’s how we think about mental health,” says Dr. Yashar Khosroshahi, naturopathic doctor and brain-based executive coach at Align. “The brain is a muscle; therefore, we need to train it like a muscle.”
We are often guilty of looking at mental health like we do dieting—that something has to be “wrong with us” in order to make changes. For example, most people decide to cut calories after noticing an extra five pounds on the scale. Similarly, a lot of people assume they have to be diagnosed with a mental health illness in order to work on their mental health.
“We look at people who exercise and celebrate them for being proactive about their physical health, but we don’t see it the same way when people want to work on their psychological health. We need to change that,” Dr. K says.
Mental-emotional wellness is a wide-ranging spectrum. Whether you have experienced a trauma, or you feel like you’ve lost your meaning since becoming a stay-at-home parent, everyone struggles in some way.
“You can come into my office after a 20-year battle with depression, or you could have no prior mental health diagnosis and still tell me ‘something isn’t right.’ If we’re honest with ourselves, we all experience it,” Dr. K explains. “It comes down to whether you feel connected and purposeful in your life. That’s why everyone is affected by mental health—we all want to feel fulfilled, or connected.”
Show Up for Yourself
Whether you are struggling with a mental health illness, or you simply want to perform better mentally, Dr. K says the first step to working on your mental-emotional health is to be unapologetically open with yourself and recognize the emotions you are feeling. “Ask yourself: Do I feel connected or purposeful?,” says Dr. K.
Above all, don’t feel scared to reach out if you need someone to talk to. Our team is here to support you in all areas of your health. We believe in building a community that supports one another; a community where we can help one another conquer challenges and truly learn about ourselves.
If you are looking for mental health support, book a complimentary 15-minute consultation with Dr. K today.