Get Help When Needed
Anyone planning to harm another, planning to commit suicide, or without any hope for the future needs to see a mental health professional immediately. Waiting for things to get better could be deadly.
Far too many people do not reach out for help early enough. The chances of leading a good life improve when major emotional problems are dealt with early on. Stigma and/or viewing needing help as weakness are false and harmful beliefs.
If you are concerned about your own emotional fitness, consider taking this Emotional Fitness Test. This is not in place of therapy and is only a guide. See your doctor or a therapist if you continue to worry about your emotional health.
No one can handle major life problems without help. When we lived in tribes or on farms, it was assumed we would help each other. No shame was attached to asking or receiving help. The same should hold today.
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure you need professional treatment. The same is true for emotional problems. Too much negative stigma is attached to mental health problems. As a Yiddish saying notes: “All of us are crazy in one way or another.” Moreover, it is not if you are crazy. Four things really matter more than ”craziness:”
- Do your emotional problems lead you to being cruel? Survival of the world depends on kindness. Personal survival depends on the ability to be kind to yourself and to others. Harming yourself is crazy; harming others unless in self-defense is equally crazy.
- Are your emotional problems keeping you from doing what you need to do to and that includes finding some pleasure and contentment in life?
- Is stress over-whelming you? Stress erodes emotional fitness. Just as there are supposedly “No atheists in foxholes” no one can stay sane when dealing with major stress. If you scored a three or below on question two, Go here for a more definitive stress test.
STIGMA IS THE PROBLEM
Many of the people others thought were crazy were thinking ahead of their time. Still others were so creative, most people didn’t understand them. Galileo was thought to be crazy because he believed the world was round. HMozart was thought to be obsessed with his music. Most of the great artists and writers of the world have had what would be called diagnosable disorders if evaluated by a psychiatrist. Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest presidents, suffered from a major depression.
People need therapy for many reasons. Sometimes getting therapy means you have a mental illness and need treatment, other times it might mean you are going through a time of over whelming stress, and need special help, or it might mean you want to gain insight into your life.
Not that some people don’t have such serious problems; some can be legally called insane. Usually these are people with chemical imbalances who cannot function at all without protection. Most need to spend their lives in a controlled setting. Very few people have such serious emotional problems. When such problems happen, it is truly sad.
At Emotional Fitness Training, we think cruelty to self or other is a far bigger problem than insanity or craziness. Cruelty comes from hatred. If you hate yourself, you will be cruel to yourself. You might even kill yourself. If you hate others you will be cruel to others. Instead of worrying about being crazy, worry about being kind. We worry about the ability of others to be kind far more then about craziness.
“Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”