Your story is unique. No one else has lived your exact life.
This poses challenges when it comes to sharing mental health wisdom.
How do I write about a topic that is so broad?
How do I find the precise words to connect with so many different life stories?
It’s a challenge, and it’s especially a challenge while writing and talking about mental health.
It seems daunting at first because there are so many different factors that go into it.
But it’s possible. There are connections beneath the surface.
Your mental health is interconnected.
You were born with a certain genetic makeup.
You grew up in a particular family environment, and you had certain friends who influenced your behavior.
The social influencing process continued as you went to school and then, eventually, ventured out on your own.
Mental health is a biological issue, but it’s also a social and an environmental one.
It’s your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors wrapped into a jumbled ball of yarn.
The thread is who you are.
Tug on it one way, and you’re going to impact some other aspect of your life.
To go with my strange ball of yarn analogy, what if it’s not actually you who’s that ball of yarn?
What if we’re all tangled up together as millions of little bumps on a gigantic, fuzzy ball?
I think we are.
Because mental health–and what it means to you, me, and anyone else in the world–is determined within a social context.
We give it meaning.
Something that is “mentally healthy” in one part of the world might be shunned in another.
Hearing voices is praised in certain areas, but it’s a sign of great concern in others.
All of this complicates the matter of talking about mental health.
Because before we can try to fix something, we have to know how we’re talking about it.
We have to find some common ground.
As you go about your day today, I want you to consider your own mental health story.
How do you think about it?
Have your ever considered what it might be?
Do you see yourself as the lone victim struggling, or are there others involved in your story?
If you’re starting to buy my argument that mental health occurs in a social context of tangled thread, you’ll start to realize that the answers are both within you and “out there” at the same time.
Mental health issues can only ever be understood by looking through a social, holistic lens.
Your life experience is unique, but there is a very, very good chance someone has experienced something similar to what you have.
You alone have to live your life, but there are others who are impacted by your actions. And their actions impact you as well.
Think about the interconnected nature of it all today.
Think about how your thoughts are influenced by others’ actions– and how the behaviors you choose have been influenced by your emotions, which may, strangely enough, been influenced by the thoughts and behaviors of others.
Mental health is complex. Sometimes needlessly so.
But remember the thread.
Keep tugging on your one little piece, and you’re bound to frustrate yourself.
But search the reverberations of the larger ball of mental- health yarn, and you’ll start to get a more complete picture.
On that note, have a great day. And let me know how else I can be of service.
P.S. If you made it down here, it means something about this issue resonated with you. I’d love to know what that is. Reply with a comment or just give a “thumbs up” to this issue. It helps me know what kind of content to share.
P.P.S. If you really liked this issue, please help me spread the word by forwarding this to your friends or sharing it on social media. I do this because I love to. The more people we can get talking about mental health in accessible ways, the better. Thank you.