Home Hometown News & Voices Mental Health check-in with Shayla & Burgess

Mental Health check-in with Shayla & Burgess

Social media, in all its many platforms, can impact more than just your taste in fashion and your ability to mimic do-it-yourself videos or cooking tutorials. Social media can impact mental health in a multitude of ways. 

Allow us to solemnly and adamantly advocate that your mental health is not a cliché, nor are the coping skills used to help you navigate. Clinical research suggests that there is a common misinterpretation, or misconception, regarding what mental health really is. Translation: Many people have a misunderstanding of mental health on the most basic of levels, and its often not their fault. 

Clinical diagnosis often have symptoms that cross over from one diagnosis to another, which is why seeking a medical professional is recommended instead of self-diagnosis. Since so many people misunderstand the very definition of mental health, it’s no surprise that many people refuse to seek professional help. We hope to remove that stigma and shed light on the importance of finding the right professional for you.

When working with the individual, it would be careless and dismissive to not acknowledge that we are working with the family unit as well. A core life task of lifespan development is finding understanding of ourselves and our fit in the world, which includes our fit in our own families.

Allow us to share the importance of working with a professional mental health provider by using an example of building a cabinet

Let’s say you are trying to build a cabinet. This cabinet (or more accurately, the current lack of one) might represent your depression, your health block, your alcohol addiction. You drive to Lowe’s to find what you need to build this cabinet that you desire, this cabinet that fits into your living space. 

The role the therapist plays is the person behind the counter. You share with this team member what your problems are, what your goals are, where exactly you would like to see the change. You describe what you want. The person behind the counter gains insight and understanding of what you are looking for and goes to collect the necessary tools and materials for you. They will go up and down aisles and reference back to you for guidance, a collaborative effort. The person behind the counter explains the necessity for each tool and leaves you with options to create the best version of this cabinet. The collaborative effort is to explore and create avenues to the best quality of life.

When you leave that store you are now solely responsible for the cabinet. Taking the tools and leaving them in your car is counterproductive. Leaving the tools in the garage, your cabinet is still not being built. Ignoring the issues that led you to go to Lowe’s in the first place only compounds the already built-up stress. 

If progress is slow, assess whether your clinician’s expertise is geared towards your needs and your own mental health issues. Selecting your mental health professional is as important as finding the right fit for dentistry or a primary care physician. Think of the benefits that could come from investment in developing a relationship with your own mental health provider.

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Shayla and Burgess Brown are a husband-and-wife writing team. Both are Licensed Mental Health Clinicians and hold bachelor's and master's degrees from Lindsey Wilson College.