I'm annoyed that if you type mental health into a stock photo site you're met with negativity and despair almost immediately. What's frustrating is that this is only one tiny piece of the mental health discussion yet it's the public face of mental health. Much like the rest of healthcare, it's treated by its sickness, not by its management.
I would much rather we include other facets of the mental health discussion into our everyday talks of mental health, not just when things go south. We continue to face difficult challenges to the extreme because we aren't attending to our mental health every single day.
That means eating well, exercising our minds, getting to know ourselves, self-care, self-love, being kind to others, getting fresh air, honoring our personality, and setting appropriate social boundaries.
Commiserate expressions for the mentally ill are only sometimes a helpful part of support and management of mental illness during episodes and challenges but much like any emotional support, you can also provide guidance, coaching, listening, fixing, challenging, or be a little tough when the timing calls for it.
Sympathy is not a one-size-fits-all method of support for the mental challenges we face. It isn't always helpful to express constant victimhood and sorrow in relation to mental health. Yes, it's needed sometimes, but not all the time.
There is a dire need for empowerment in the modern mental health discussion.
Sympathy is not always what people need to shake themselves loose from their despair in relation to their mental illness.
Sometimes it is cheerleading. Sometimes it's a reframe. Sometimes it's physical support. Sometimes it's validation for their efforts to survive. Sometimes it's all of the above.
So I would very much love to see continued alternate expressions of mental health growth and management because these expressions of sadness, hopelessness, sympathy, and victimhood are not the only things going on in the mind of those experiencing mental challenges and not the only narrative happening in the mental health world.
One of the systems that helped me get a better handle on my mental health management was learning Myers-Briggs Personality Typology so I can begin to separate the illness from who I am as a person. This has been massively beneficial in my growth as a person and in managing my mental health to then eventually translate it into creative expression. Take me free beginner's Myers-Briggs class to start learning about how the system works and how it can work for you in your personal growth journey.