The Continuum of (mental) Health

(This is a re-post from April 2012)

We are all on the continuum of mental health, just like we are all on the continuum of physical health.  I like to remind my clients of this…often.  When we become sick with a cold or the flu, our body forces us to obtain the rest it needs in order to recover.  When we become sick with infections, pain or other serious illnesses, we seek medical care to help us heal.

Most of us are functioning pretty well, but if you add too much stress, are not getting enough exercise and are not eating or sleeping well…there will likely be a negative effect on your body or mind.   Some people have had difficulty functioning for longer periods of their life.  Perhaps they have biological predisposition to less-than-desirable physical/mental health and not enough support in their life.

Have you ever pulled your back or twisted an ankle?  Too much stress on the body without enough support and…”snap“.  If you have experienced this, then you know how long it can take to heal, and often the back or ankle tends to remain a little vulnerable to repeat injuries, if it is not adequately supported.

I like to use this example as a metaphor for our mental health.  We all have our limits, and without enough support we can “snap”.  If you find yourself “snapping” at your friends and family, then perhaps it is time to obtain the support your need in your life.

You don’t have to be “crazy” to benefit from mental health services, and I am always surprised when a new client who has never had therapy before tells me that they didn’t know if they were “crazy enough” to seek therapy.  We all need help at times.  Please remember that.

If you have questions about the benefits of seeking psychotherapy or mental health services, please give me at call at 619-379-7450.